(April 1997)

Match head strikes the grainy pad,
Miniature graphite stones glued in place,
Sparking up with flare and flame.
Bringing warmth and cooking heat.

No roar as it jumps to life.
Jus’ a gentle crackle from hunger,
Gobbling up leaves and twigs.
The tinder I set before the flame.

Smoke curls into my face,
Stinging my nose and eyes.
Yet I stare unblinkingly anyway
An’ breathe in as fully as I may.

In contrast, the whiteness of snowfall
Mixing with dirty brown wisps,
Called campfire smoke,
Blend with the orange glow of flame.

There is a stillness to the day
A quiet only natures’ voice affords,
With a campfire engulfing my mind
An’ snowflakes encircling my being.

Coffee is my great intent this morn’.
Grounds from last nights’ cup inside.
Stream water for to boil to brown mud.
Sitting, waiting, my one great reward.

Rumble then a chug, I wait and wait.
Smoke blows in my face, defiant,
Marking me with it’s burnt odor breath,
Angry that it works so hard while I sit.

Snow falling is quiet to the untrained ear,
Speaking loudly to anyone will to listen —
Wanting of a simple conversation
‘Tween cup of coffee and campfire.

My mind drifts away for a moment,
Lost on breeze and dancing snowflake
An’ the smoke forged in a campfire.
I could live like this — always.

“Would I have been able to survive?”
I asked thinking ’bout blade striking bone.
“Probably not,” I conclude
Content with the present life I live.


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