Slow Burnings

— Dennis Noren

Consider the many small burnings
that thirst and fail to tell their stories.
These are the dances dared on the edge,
imaginings too strange, too timid or too bold,
weightless in their fools-eye offerings.
Their yearnings will die young.
Burn a little. Push them aside.

Know the halting first-breath passion of
something new, and let it languish.
Burn a little. Turn away.
See the whimsical view of the child,
and say the magic can’t be dreamed.
Burn a little. Let it fade.
When the mass of What Everyone Knows,
ancient or modern, grows a few cracks,
they can be safely ignored.
Burn a little. Cover the ashes.
Send no flames to mark the night.

Somewhere billowed smoke screams,
sentinels that change a nexus of thought
to crisp dark flakes of memory.
But this is not required.
Books are burned before their writing.

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