Home Fires

Jessica Dofflemyer all rights reserved
Jessica Dofflemyer
all rights reserved

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Jessica Dofflemyer all rights reserved
Jessica Dofflemyer
all rights reserved
Jessica Dofflemyer all rights reserved
Jessica Dofflemyer
all rights reserved

Fanning Flames

In my California mornings, I reinvigorate the fire.

In early light, the sun not yet crested above the surrounding hills, I bundle in layers and follow my breath to the fire pit. The coals from last night’s big Oak round have burned down to a few pulsing cinders.

With cold hands, I gather the small sticks, a toss of Oak leaves, and begin to fan the flames. Sometimes Jeb is with me and we can huddle around the smokey pile, feeding and blowing in delicate attention. Other times he’ll wander off to stand among the dogs that wrestle on the frosted grass, leaving me to stoke alone.

I can pull my hair back with one hand and bend in close to breathe long and full into the orangey-red embers. I’ve been building fires most of my life and there is always a satisfaction felt when my own exhalation makes flame. My breath to fire, wood crackling to catch, a small blaze building.

This warmth gathers us. Family members from three to sixty-three, wander out in the morning with steaming mugs in their hands, big coats and sleepy eyes. The fire wakes us. Even once the sun has cast slants upon the melting lawn, the fire will still hold a steady flame. Spirals of smoke will dance in light throughout the day.

We realized last night that the fire has been burning without pause for three days. A heartbeat pumping, our family’s outdoor hearth is only an ‘h’ away from the love-life source that keeps us living.

We laugh at how I’ve taken to keep it burning in the morning. I love the unending cycle of stoking coals to flame.

“Well, whaddya think? Let’s keep it burning til 2012!” we say as we sit and warm our hands.

We smile in the cold as the knees on our jeans get toasted. My father’s quiet tone
drifts in the swirling smoke, our eyes fixated on the flames.

“…there’s something about a fire…”

Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

At Home with the Lovers of the Earth

by the fire
with the earth lovers
and a rising moon

the Garden Poet pulls red hot rocks
by pitchfork
from glowing coals
each one with its own shape
and story

I brush the embers away
with purple ti leaves
as the pulsing porous surface dazzles
the darkness
like some space stone from afar
ancient
all knowing

inside the arches
of tied guava saplings
we sit and sweat
with these keepers of time

every drop of our perspiration
releases to the solid soil
supporting
just beneath us

lemon basil floats
in our water calabash
and with every prayer
is the casting of spray upon stone
punctuating the thick air
in the zesty garden steam of green
rising in heated refreshment

tonight
a homecoming
remembrance of connection
all things earthly serve
gifting us
may I never again forget my nature
forever giving thanks

outside the womby lodge
water cools
fire warms
moon illumines
aloe soothes
lemon refreshes
garden greens nourish
terra firma holds our feet

until I lay down by the fire
and let the whole earth
hold my whole body
drift off to sleep
warm in the moonlight
fully fed
with the lovers of the earth

courtesty of bobaliciouslondon