Signal Fire

I have come forth
to set my heart
on the ground

and to make a small
signal fire,
mixing smoke
with dust and clouds.

The blue-white
flame, with the orange
aura, bright
as the blood oranges
of the south,

this
will be the burning
of my soul.
How long
does a soul endure
in a changing place?

Pilgrim
drop some alms
of your holy journey
into this bowl
of wavering embers.

Behold,
the frailty
of the human body!

the sun-
drenched silhouette,
perfumed
by the summer earth.

DAVID SPARENBERG lives in Seattle. He dedicates this poem to his "beautiful and beloved wife, Joan," who passed away in August 1997.

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine July-August 1998
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