Tag Archives: fire

Inktober: The Fiery Pits of Utopia

 

A friend asked me to illustrate her kid’s statement: “I’m going to start a comic strip called the Fiery Pits of Utopia. In the first episode, a nice devil guy is going to buy a doughnut.”

It’s just too perfect. Hell doesn’t get any fresher than this.

 

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Incendiary

 

Sitting at the kitchen table by the window, smoking and watching out the open window. The screen had long since been torn away, by animals, perhaps. The scent of a dying fire on the cool evening breeze carried from the city: a primal, inviolable, deeply human smell.

I’d just come from there. My work for the day was done, and there was nothing to do now but rest.

They said the cigarettes had given me cancer, and cut out my larynx. Them. Doctors. Hospitals. People whose profession was to help you live. It all sounded so phony. Laughable, even.

I hadn’t wanted to go, but my husband had pleaded and begged me into it. In the end, I went for him.  He wasn’t afraid of what he called my paranoia, but he was terrified of losing me to cancer. He might have been naive but he was kind, and he loved me, and I could never say really say no to him; not when it mattered.  So they weren’t the ones who took my voice. I had given it as a gift to my husband, to stop his tears. After all, I still had hands to write, feet to run.

Now he was dead, too. Taken away by the same men in white, in an ambulance. Halfway through dinner, he’d fallen down. I hadn’t been able to protect him after all.

I tamped out the butt of my cigarette and lit up a new one, breathing deep. The sunset’s pink light caught the edges of the dissipating cloud over the city.  It was a beautiful evening. They couldn’t touch that.

A laser focused over my heart. I pretended not to notice, gave the marksman time to aim, and took one more long drag, relishing the flavor, the last thing left to me.

Aim well, bastards. I’ve already made my mark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Stepmother Fire

Stepmother to the primal man

her smoke winds upward

her smile bites down

into hardwoods, conifers

animal or man alike

inert or alive

makes no difference to her

she will devour.

elemental

transparent

digestion open to view

leaves, twigs, paper, logs

all shrivel

she sucks vital fluids

until the remains are featherweight,

mummy dry,

fragile flaky feces.

her life cycle tumbles quickly through

all the stages

from heat to spark to smolder to flame

to bonfire and bigger

no matter how much space she covers

she is never satisfied

she eats herself out of an area

starves, fades, passes away.

In the wake

of her carnage and consumption

humanity warms itself

gratefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Fall

 

When Fall passes by

It brushes some trees on top

Some the bottom

Some the side.

Wherever a leaf has been touched

It quickly spreads.

The torch of Fall

Kindles all.

They go graceful, as nature wills

They go with fire, one last glory

Immolating the world.

There is beauty in destruction

And the trees glow with it.

Filtering sunfire

Into their own shade

Coloring the sidewalks

Rose

Lemon

Baby green

Port.

With a farewell kiss

So light

Too soft for all senses

But sight.