Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Bonfires

“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.” 

“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, 

as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire”

An effigy of Guy Fawkesburnt on a Guy Fawkes Night--
November 5th in England--to celebrate the failure of 
his assassination  attempt against King James I.

Midweek Motif ~ Bonfires

Bonfires are used in celebrations around the world including Australia, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Poland, Nordic countries, Turkey, and Slavic countries.

Is anything more fascinating than fire?  Anything more devastating?  Anything more Holy or Profane?  

Your Challenge:  
Build a poem around a bonfire.

I remember end-of-summer bonfires of leaves and dead wood
which cleared the land and made a centerpiece
for marshmallows and ghost stories.  

The Bonfire by Robert Frost

OH, let’s go up the hill and scare ourselves, 
As reckless as the best of them to-night, 
By setting fire to all the brush we piled 
With pitchy hands to wait for rain or snow. 
Oh, let’s not wait for rain to make it safe. 
The pile is ours: we dragged it bough on bough 
Down dark converging paths between the pines. 
Let’s not care what we do with it to-night. 
. . . .   (Read the rest HERE at

Dreams in War Time BY AMY LOWELL

. . . . 

I painted the leaves of bushes red
And shouted: “Fire! Fire!”
But the neighbors only laughed.
“We cannot warm our hands at them,” they said.
Then they cut down my bushes,
And made a bonfire,
And danced about it.
But I covered my face and wept,
For ashes are not beautiful
Even in the dawn.
. . . .  
(Read the  rest HERE at The Poetry Foundation.)

For those who are new to Poets United:  
  1. Post your "One Day in the Life of ..." poem on your site, and then link it here.
  2. If you use a picture include its link.  
  3. Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  4. Leave a comment here.
  5. Visit and comment on our poems.
(Next week's Midweek Motif is Swimming.)

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  1. Happy Guy Fawkes night - probably not the cheeriest bonfire but i enjoyed the prompt as ever thank you..

  2. Happy Cracker Night...It has been banned here for years ! I am going to write a Guy Fawkes one later if I find time. Good prompt.

    1. I had to look up Cracker Night! I see that "cracker" has a much different association in the USA. Looking forward to another visit from you later!

  3. Not growing up in England (or around the culture) I only know a little about the celebration for Guy Fawkes. For us in the US the bonfires served two purposes - burn off the mounds of corn stalks, dead tree limbs and other waste and Celebrate a good year. A tear did come to my eye as I think about many of my California friends who had nothing to harvest this year :(

    1. And a fire in California is also a tragedy these days. Your poem memorializes a tradition.

  4. Good morning, Jae Rose, rallentanda and Moonie! I am still on old time--good thing I wrote my poem yesterday. I'm making cofffee and then will come and visit your bonfires.

    1. And good morning Old Egg! You beat me to it too.

  5. Susan, your prompt evoked some pleasant memories! Have a good week, everyone.

  6. Hi All -

    Sorry. I am making a new poem now.... :-)

    1. Thanks for understanding - I have updated it based on the prompt.

    2. Thanks,Totomai, for also understanding. I am very happy that you are here! Your work is exquisite and I love the comment you left on my poem. We at Poets United have an open prompt on Sunday that you will enjoy, too.

    3. i will :) hopefully i won't get lost again 😜 been enjoying my second week here

  7. Hi Susan, added a myth oriented poem for this beautiful has been such a busy day and i'm being late at's quite late already...hope to make my rounds from tomorrow morning...

    1. Your timing is fine, Sumana. It's hard to believe this is a rushed poem! I keep returning here through Friday, and close it sometime on Saturday morning. I like how slowly the poems come in over three days.

  8. Hi friends, I am under the weather, as per usual of late....but this is an intriguing prompt, Susan and sends my mind in two directions...........I will go work on them and then come back and read.

    1. Sherry please feel better!!!

    2. Hope the weather will cooperate, Sherry! Much Love :)xx

    3. And you come back with 2 poems! And a reminder to follow what sparks us--that one quote--the two directions. What a gift.

    4. feel better Sherry. drink lots of water :)

  9. Hi to PU, I was inspiring today by theme, Susan, but to put the idea in form 'Creative Blooming' helped me by introducing the new form for me - hadron. More details - on the site.

    Thanks for inspiration! x

    1. Thanks for the form as well as the poem, Humbird. Have a great week.

  10. Some of you may have seen me flash next week's swimming prompt--It was up and then gone. While working on it, I hit a wrong button and link. I think everything is back to normal now. Whew. Forgive me!

  11. Thanks for all the extras with this prompt, Susan.
    Mine is up at:

    1. It's like a scrapbook page, isn't it? I like shifting perspectives for inspiration.

  12. I'm posting a little late, but mine's up now. Thanks for the prompt Susan.


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