Published  in the Yercaud Poetry Festival 2020 Ignite Poetry Anthology

Water! don’t try to put me out

I can turn you into vapour invisible

Wind! do not try to blow me off

I can spread to turn a city into ashes.


There is no light and warmth without me

Friendship dances in joy around the bonfire

With my name you describe your love

You turn yourself into me in rage, wild.


Volcanoes liberate me and I run down the slopes

Lightning claps aloud and I brighten the dark clouds.

My heat has kept wild beasts away and saved man

From stones he made me, friend and foe he knew not.


Invaders, plunderers and heroes marched with torches lit

As cities burned, people fled, but the emperors feasted.

Flames rise up in prayer, but no match for a burning heart

Incense fills the air; only pure souls win the test of fire.


Often, I burn in vain beneath an earthen pot of water

Boiling rapid, waiting and much await they too

Each second, as flames rumble in their stomach

Money they seldom had, to bring home rice grains.


Costly it was not much, but I cursed myself

Fine silk on her, his dream for his daughter beloved

Not her merits, they sought much more money

My flames gave her freedom from their enormous greed.



Wisdom never dawned on them, furious

They protested, marched and shouted

My head bent in shame, my reluctant flames

Devoured page after page, knowledge mounts


Could a man kill himself and others?

Seeking pleasure in puffs of smoke

When borrowed time ends, lips part

Dropping last breath and the lighted killer.


My breath envelops green world, ablaze

The birds, their small chicks and the nest

Look up to find smoke sailing, like

 In a war-torn city; flee if you can, fly away.


Fire is pure and holy

Love is true and divine

As elements of life

Man needs both

Eternal are those

Sensibly use them.

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