because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

the things we burn

you say we are descended
from giants,
but i

am more impressed
by the tenacity
of acorns,

how they worm
their way into the wet
fall ground. inside

their porcupined-cap heads
they are oaks already, & we
mere children

playing in the dirt, watching
sparks curl round the thread-
bare dark. their every breath

threatens to catch the night on fire,
and my eyelashes are singed
with soot-stained doubting.

these are the things we burn;
with smoke in my hair,
will you love me still?

16 responses

  1. um, i think this thread got started here:, and was answered here:, then got ping-ponged back to this piece, with the answering cry here: try to keep up, people.

    October 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  2. Pingback: Carbon Cycle | The Bard of Liminga

  3. they are oaks already…smiles…true that….from small to big versus ddescendents of giants….i rather like your philosophy a bit better…plus i like playing in the dirt myself so….smiles…the things we burn…you bring this to a very poignant point with that….and the final question can sometimes be haunting…

    October 16, 2012 at 6:44 am

    • thanks, brian. playing in the dirt… yep. 🙂

      October 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

  4. I have learned never to burn my bridges and to leave people, places and things on the most positive atmosphere possible despite any negatives. Helps when an old boss suddenly becomes your new boss five years later.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

    • ah. i bet it does. i have an aptitude for burning bridges though, unfortunately.

      October 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

  5. I saw this last night for the first time and I like the slight change you made. Always enjoy your poems, particularly those that are sad or are of love.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:40 am

    • 🙂 thanks, George. it was good to see you last night.

      October 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

  6. This is beautiful. I love its layers. Ultimately, I see it as a love poem, to our trees and to earth.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

    • thank you, Myrna. i like that take on it.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

  7. Love how you start off the poem with a twist and end with a question. My answer: of course I will. Porcupine-capped heads, indeed. Bril.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

    • aww, Mosk. 🙂 >blush<

      October 23, 2012 at 12:03 am

  8. Another beautiful write, Joanna.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    • thank ya, dahling. 🙂

      October 23, 2012 at 12:05 am

  9. free penny press

    You have a great blog and I shared it with others here:

    October 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

    • much appreciate the sharing! sorry i hadn’t been around to check out your site earlier; life, you know. looking forward to seeing what other cool content you’ll be drawing our attentions to!

      October 23, 2012 at 12:01 am


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