Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

    2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

    Categories: Poetry Challenge 2013, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    Whew! We’re nearly 3 weeks into this challenge. Let’s keep the poems flowing.

    For today’s prompt, write a burn poem. I actually wrote a poem titled “burn” earlier in this month’s challenge, so I’m going to have to think a little on this to avoid repeating what I’ve already written. However, burn can represent many things–from getting burned by a bad deal (or a friend) to feeling the burn when working out to physically burning from fires.

    Here’s my attempt:


    she doesn’t do tanning beds
    she don’t rest beneath the sun
    for her the moon is bright enough
    to have a little fun


    Workshop Your Poetry!

    Writing poetry is exciting, but the revision process can be too, especially when you’re revising with a group of dedicated poets and an experienced mentor. As luck would have it, that can be accomplished with the Writer’s Digest online course, Advanced Poetry Writing.


    Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


    Quick note on commenting: Please always save a copy on your computer. There have been moments in the past in which comments have disappeared, and I don’t want anyone to lose their work. Heck, I’ve lost some of my work here in the past, and it’s not a great feeling. That said, commenting here is a lot of fun, especially in April. If you’re completely new to the site, you’ll be asked to register (don’t worry, it’s free), and your comments might not appear initially until I manually accept them. However, after that initial phase, your comments should appear without my help.

    Want some more poeming fun? Check out these previous Poetic Asides posts:

    You might also like:

    • No Related Posts
    • Print Circulation Form

      Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    211 Responses to 2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

    1. cstewart says:


      Way up high, the night was black.
      On top of the Smokies,
      We saw a house burning,
      In the mountains above Chattanooga
      Raging orange, a farm house of some size,
      But very far and back from the main road.
      It would be hard to reach.
      The fire truck was climbing,
      But it would not be fast enough.

    2. Nadienne says:

      [another sci-fi poem]

      Thleven Shorn, First Minister of Gyvies

      honored with a statue cast in bronze—
      tall man stooped to hold a palmful of seeds
      to the little green-skinned girl.
      In the histories of your people, it is said
      he tempered kindness with kindness.
      Our history books tell the same stories:
      crispy, crackling kindness.

    3. foodpoet says:

      Twigs placed
      Layer by layer
      Fuel feeds fire to flame
      The seed of thought to spread

    4. foodpoet says:

      Even burning
      I cannot open my hand
      To cooling hope

    5. PKP says:

      Book Burning On A Saturday Night

      They piled them
      In merry heaps
      Laughing in the night
      And lit the flame
      As words curled to ash

    6. vsbryant1 says:


      The burning thoughts of forever, ends the tragedy when called love
      The fires of what use to be call passion stops, slows, goes out without a word.
      Burn, burning, burned
      Pieces of scorched pages flies through the sky
      I fly high, even though my words blend with the light
      Burning, burned, burn pages, I am the words, I am the night

    7. The Burnt Breakfast

      On the stove, the pan was put,
      The Fire kindling, jolly good.
      In went a dollop of butter lo,
      Not caramel, so the flame was low.
      Aside she stood, beating two eggs,
      With some milk in it, and pepper-salt to taste.
      Beaten to a fluff, the batter went in,
      Swish it let out, promising a crust not so thin!
      The Fire still low, was burning bright,
      The omelette cooked and hissed, to her delight.
      She turned to the other flame instead,
      On it rested two slices of bread.
      And a fan of multitasking she,
      Forgot the two flames in a glee,
      Whilst she ran to switch the radio on,
      The low flames kept burning on.
      And while she tuned her station in,
      She flipped through the morning paper too.
      All this while she a picture quaint,
      And the toast blackened, the omelette seared.
      And when the smell of burnt food wafted across the room,
      She ran to the stove, to watch them charred, and saw them to their doom!

    8. “Boston Butterflies’ Aflame”
      (in memory of fallen innocents)
      by dr todd harris

      By baker’s lair
      hid hate’s vaunted verve
      two souls’ vices plainly packed
      (incineration unreserved)
      tossed-out metal’s cruel spice
      piercing arrows carving sack
      (launched via searing anonymity’s device)
      Boston’s marathoning Spate

      deep red stripes
      redrew April’s winter ledge
      tinting silver crimson’s hedge
      thinning steel’s stranding depth
      enrobing family’s fragile fawns
      (now left empty shadows gone)
      innocent martyrs kept

      arising slowly
      eve’s early aftertouch
      freshened Spring’s Atlantic currents
      parrying cerulean blue’s increase

      clearing cloud-banks’ crowded wings
      sharing fresh baked breads’ unburnt scent
      still gentle fleece

      raised en route
      (so softly soft)
      carrying fragile butterflies aloft
      conjoining afternoon’s ever-sung accord
      unquenched flames
      all gardens’ heaven

    9. dr todd harris says:

      “Boston Butterflies’ Aflame”
      (in memory of fallen innocents)
      by dr todd harris (twitter: @bluebirdspoetry)

      By baker’s lair
      hid hate’s vaunted verve
      two souls’ vices plainly packed
      (incineration unreserved)
      tossed-out metal’s cruel spice
      piercing arrows carving sack
      (launched via searing anonymity’s device)
      Boston’s marathoning Spate

      deep red stripes
      redrew April’s winter ledge
      tinting silver crimson’s hedge
      thinning steel’s stranding depth
      enrobing family’s fragile fawns
      (now left empty shadows gone)
      innocent martyrs kept

      arising slowly
      eve’s early aftertouch
      freshened Spring’s Atlantic currents
      parrying cerulean blue’s increase

      clearing cloud-banks’ crowded wings
      sharing fresh baked breads’ unburnt scent
      still gentle fleece

      raised en route
      (so softly soft)
      carrying fragile butterflies aloft
      conjoining afternoon’s ever-sung accord
      unquenched flames
      all gardens’ heaven

    10. Yolee says:

      March, 1981

      I came out of the kitchen with both hands under a hot
      platter of food for guests at my sister’s 15th birthday party.
      You were hiding within the silence of a corner wall.
      Whatever words you had swimming around
      in your thoughts, they did not come forth
      to prepare me for your kiss. It was a soft cloth
      polishing love to some edge, and yet it
      burned my knower. I played the mix tape
      you gave me later that week, until technology
      surpassed my torrid affair with every song.

    11. tunesmiff says:


      Each sear’d by his
      own viewpoint, all
      agreed he took
      it up.

    12. Mr. Walker says:

      to say that she burned water
      might be an understatement-
      every step in the kitchen:
      a chemical reaction

    13. DentonDenton30 says:

      My Little Niece

      When we were small
      We had no say
      Our bond was broken
      When you ran away

      You did not care
      You stole my peace
      When you quickly fled
      With my little niece

      I missed my friend
      So close in age
      Your careful silence
      In my heart did rage

      Long years did pass
      Then by happy chance
      We were reunited
      By lucky happenstance

      But now she’s gone
      And my heart does burn
      With lonely sadness
      At this tragic turn

      The many years
      You robbed from me
      An empty hole
      Will always be

    14. “SS”
      Like the match that burns the candle
      my flame is flickering out
      somebody please help me
      find my passage out

      Wayne L Murphy 4/19/13

    15. EbenAt says:

      What is it
      that turns
      a person?

      Did a screw turn left
      or was it loose
      from the get go?

      Meir Dagan wrote,
      “There is no joy
      in taking lives;
      anyone who enjoys
      it is a psychopath”
      Is it true?

      How far
      from the animal state
      have we

      Killing is life
      to many a critter.

      how much critter
      remains within?

    16. Linda Voit says:

      Cooking Marshmallows

      If I find myself near a campfire
      with sticks and marshmallows
      I’ll suspend one over a smoldering bit
      let its insides soften
      turn it slowly, watch it brown.
      I’ll give it to someone else
      if they want it, and make another.

      There was a time, in the same situation
      I would plunge it into flames
      watch it catch fire, yank it out,
      blow it out, pull it’s black bubbly coat off
      between my thumb and index finger
      and eat it as I sent its core back into flames.

      Back then, I didn’t know how fast
      everything else went for those old folks
      who seemed so content to sit in the glow
      and wait for the browning.

    17. Glory says:


      I’ve left the house
      I’ve looked the door
      I’ll not see him, no never.

      I’ve walked away
      No half-glance back
      Burnt my bridges – forever

    18. shethra77 says:


      Tongue like terrycloth
      Trees droop
      Plants wilt to the ground
      Grass blades are crunchy splinters
      And that fool
      Picked today
      To light off the trash pile
      Next to his house.

    19. nessajay says:

      Breaking eggs

      My oldest son is nothing like me
      he coats the pans with thick black oops
      but keeps on turning the eggs on high
      9 times out of 10 it works out

      Of course I, too, have burnt the pan
      I scrubbed it 50 different ways
      rolled over in bed planning to replace it
      listened more carefully next time

      My oldest son is nothing like me
      he writes like he scrambles eggs
      dots the paper with little black oops
      a 9 out of 10 works for him

      I, too, have gotten an a-minus
      I read the mark 50 times
      posted the paper beside the keyboard
      wrote more carefully next time

      I labor to teach him he does it wrong
      but I guess 9 out of 10 is okay for him
      and in just 2 years, he’ll be buying all his own pans
      and beyond, when our souls leave our bodies
      his way and my way will be equal

      but the irritated words we exchanged
      over preparation methods
      will be little asymmetries that warp our travels
      to our next incarnations

      in which he will maybe cook slowly, gently
      and I will perhaps set accidental fire to his cooking oil

    20. dextrousdigits says:

      When we hear “Fire”
      destruction and danger
      come to mind.

      Yet any trainer will tell you
      “feel the burn”
      the burn is how you know
      you are building more muscle fibers.

      In forests, there are intermittent
      fires which sweep through and
      clean out the ground allowing new growth.
      Fire fighters sometimes use fire to fight fire.

      Some American Indian tribes
      use sweat lodges
      burning woods, sage, and water
      to facilitate visions and purification.

      Women from these tribes refer to “hot flashes”
      as a time for women to burn away their old life
      and its roles and
      begin new roles, often more spiritual in the tribe.

      Burning logs at a campsite
      telling stories, watching stars,
      having “Some-mores”
      provides a warm environment to build memories

      Let’s go burn up the day
      with our own personal burning passions.

    21. THEGingerSass says:


      Sometimes silence burns,
      more searing than hot irons,
      more painful than death
      Yet, when you chose to be mute,
      your oppressors are then burned.

    22. Burn for Now—
      All these plans built
      With dollars and curtains,
      Chicken dinners and sensible cars,
      Changing light bulbs, going to a job—

      The ghosts hidden in old photo
      Albums, jewelry boxes, dishes
      In your cupboard,

      And that invisible future
      Painted on the inside of your forehead—
      Burn that, too.

      Burn the whole house of yourself.
      Stand still in the charred doorway
      All that’s left of your proud life.
      Rubble of all that didn’t work out.

      Leave these smoldering ruins
      Step forward.
      Feel how light
      When there’s nothing left to

    23. drwasy says:

      hotdogs on the grill

      When I saw you
      by the hundred year oak
      talking to her
      your hands lively
      it seemed all
      the air filled
      with smoke
      and a thin thread
      kindled hot
      under my ribcage
      I turned the hotdogs
      on the grill

    24. happys says:

      ~Burn the Bridge~

      Burn the bridge shouted my mind full of emotion
      After he unnecessary sent that hurtful message to my direction
      My mind said stay away from him since no confession
      My heart whispered give him a chance for a fresh presentation
      It could be his tiredness and there is room for negotiation
      Since he continues to be my one and only inspiration

    25. Dyane357 says:


      The only one I will ever love.
      The only one I need.
      My heart beats when yours does.
      I feel it when you breathe.

      I lost a love before you.
      You have restored my joy.
      There will never be another,
      My blue-eyed baby boy.

    26. P.A. Beyer says:

      Burning rubber

      Everyone has that one secret they wish they could share
      Some choose strangers, like a barber or bartender
      It’s a vacation resort, a sanctuary without risk or care
      Where one person’s truth mixes like a blender

      Some choose strangers, like a barber or bartender
      Hoping to avoid the judgment of a husband or wife
      Where one person’s truth mixes like a blender
      While the sage advisors cut to the meaning of life

      Hoping to avoid the judgment of a husband or wife
      Gunning the red light to make a lightning bolt getaway
      While the sage advisors cut to meaning of life
      Opening front doors with a sign “Closed Today”

      Gunning the red light to make a lightning bolt getaway
      To a town just down the road where no one knows your name
      Opening front doors with a sign “Closed Today”
      Aware that you never quite follow the rules of the game

      To a town just down the road where no one knows your name
      It’s a vacation resort, a sanctuary without risk or care
      Aware that you never quite follow the rules of the game
      Everyone has that one secret they wish they could share

    27. carolecole66 says:

      Summer haiku

      May in Florida
      delicate winter white skin
      burns to deadly red

    28. Alpha1 says:

      Whole World on Fire

      Burn baby burn like
      fire shut up in Miss Hettie’s
      bones on Sunday
      like Watts and Newark and
      Harlem burned in the 60′s
      burn baby burn like a
      fiery shot of moonshine
      shootin up my spine burn
      like Lil Petey caught up
      in a burnin house on Carroll
      Street like 10 bullets rippin
      open Malcolm’s chest in
      the Adubon Ballroom uptown
      burn like the sun through
      a manifyin glass on a hot
      summer day like my joint
      burned even though Flo swore
      I was her first and only
      burnin like the tires on
      Ernest Evan’s ’57 Chevy
      belair hittin the Blenhiem
      Highway at 90 miles an hour
      like the people in the world
      trade center explosion
      burned to a crisp

    29. Marjory MT says:

      Anyone for take-out?

      Dinner looks great,
      guests are here.
      It must be fate
      the ‘grill’ and ‘off’
      switchs are set so near.

    30. bxpoetlover says:


      It is better to marry than to burn
      is all well and good
      as long as you are asked

    31. tonijoell says:


      Burn one down
      in a thousand shades of green.
      Honor peace, the groove, and one another:

      Really, how bad would it be
      if everyone just got

    32. tonijoell says:

      After Burn

      I dream
      illicit dreams
      of self-immolation,
      chilled Prosecco, tiramisu
      and him.
      Equally sinful, dangerous,
      rife with lust; temptation–
      but which would scar
      the least?

    33. “Jane Richard”

      An evil simmers through the milling crowd;
      the fire they carry packed into their urn.
      They relish burning with a hate unbowed
      as much of innocence as they might turn.

      The evil fails to take Jane’s Irish, proud
      but tries the little heart of dance that yearns.
      They hate; with too much fire they’re allowed
      so only love like Jane must we all learn.

      (form: Roundeau Redouble`)
      Jane, the little Irish dancer, age 7, lost one of her legs in the marathon-terror-blast.

      • (A rewrite, overnight, thanks for your patience:)
        “Jane Richard”
        An evil simmers through the milling crowd;
        two brothers carry fire packed in urns.
        They relish killing with their hate endowed;
        they take the innocent and try to burn.

        The evil fails to take Jane’s Irish, proud,
        but tries that little heart of dance that yearns.
        The hate enkindled by the fire allowed;
        our love of Jane is where we all must turn.

        (form: Roundeau Redouble`)
        I should have added the loss of Jane’s brother, Martin, age 8.
        To help the Richard family with their sudden expenses, a bank account has been established in their name at Meetinghouse Bank, 2250 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester Center, Massachusetts, 02124. Checks can be made payable to the Richard Family Fund.

    34. deringer1 says:


      I went to the mountains
      to find peaceful solace
      among the evergreens–
      to hear, blowing through their branches
      the whisper of the breath of God.
      For trees are things of symmetry and beauty
      that feed the soul
      and shelter birds and creatures of the forest.

      I go to the mountains now
      and find only memories,
      for fire became the unwelcome visitor
      that has driven wildlife out
      and left the blackness of ash everywhere
      upon the dead and dying.
      I weep, knowing this may have come
      by the hand of man,
      a careless moment or
      unbelievable disregard.

    35. Jane Shlensky says:


      Unwilling to take back
      his words, to say
      his beliefs are mistaken,
      he faces hard questioning
      and awful pain, designed
      to garner names of believers
      like him, who dare
      translate the Bible
      to their tongues,
      who preach that Latin
      is not understood,
      and hint that Rome
      may be too far away.

      We don’t negotiate
      with heretics, the clerics say,
      with malice in their eyes,
      and he laments that those
      defending Christ
      should know so little
      his mercy and love.

      He cannot run away
      from what he is,
      bound to his truths,
      his words like holy fire.
      He preached and wrote
      in books, the case is plain.

      Belief is strong but flesh,
      alas, is weak, for one
      is purified as the other
      melts like wax.
      His martyrdom is nigh,
      and he must learn
      if he’s prepared to die.
      He holds his shaking hand
      above a candle flame
      and weeps aloud
      at skin’s betrayal of courage.

      They say he’ll burn in hell,
      but really mean
      that he will burn in life;
      they’ll see to that.
      And some who loved him
      will collect his bones
      and wait until it’s safe
      to call him saint.


      His ashes
      Laid bare,
      And scattered
      Into residual
      Piles of lawlessness.

      Evidence of

    37. Deri says:

      Semi-Automatic Love Affair

      We were that
      white hot flash
      the comes before
      the bang.
      A hint of burning,
      gunpowder pheromones
      in the winter air,
      and the recoil
      into the hand
      as our spent shells
      eject into the dust.
      heady with power,
      we rush to chamber
      another round before
      the muzzle cools.

    38. BDP says:

      “Found On a Sidewalk: Space Elevator Ad”

      Forget blast off, the burn of rocket fuel.
      Step up to try our carbon nanotubes,

      a Musak tether to a moon wide-eyed
      to greet you. Shop his stylish Crater Mall.

      No goodies there? Another beanstalk rope
      will grant your wish for stores on Venus, Mars!

      Should Pluto still be one of nine? Climb in,
      find out—the elevator’s foolproof, trust me.

      You don’t believe? Could Cleopatra dream
      of cars? From chariots to Harley bikes

      to smooth space ride. You’ll catch a thrill
      with each celestial stop! Orion, gifts

      not of this world. Buy early: two for one.
      (Suits extra, other limits may apply.)

      B Peters

    39. Smokin’

      So you say I spurned you,
      when in fact, I burned you,
      gaping hole of ash
      in my memory that needs cooling
      down to sub-zero before
      I can burn with a new passion
      for someone worth preserving,
      more deserving, than you.

      Poetic Asides
      April Challenge – Day 19
      Write a burn poem

    40. RJ Clarken says:

      Out of the Ashes

      “The paper burns, but the words fly free.” ~Akiba Ben Joseph

      I wrote some words, a stream of thought,
      about some things I wouldn’t say.
      I lit the note on fire today
      but my actions were not for naught.

      What was the truth in my small jot?
      A feeling that was far away
      about some things I wouldn’t say.
      I wrote some words, a stream of thought.

      My words are free. They won’t get caught
      in judgments or be led astray.
      They’re burnt, which is an old cliché
      that means the memory’s all I’ve got.
      I wrote some words, a stream of thought,


    41. PoM says:

      I’m burning with joy
      The terrorists are caught
      One dead it matters not

      Let the word go forth
      We will not stop
      You harm innocent people

      We’ll hunt you down to the ends of the earth

    42. Fire

      My element is fire, he says,
      dismissing water, earth
      and wind. We remember him,
      no more than nine or ten,
      setting fires, striking matches,
      the smell of sulphur
      clinging to his clothes.

      He says it in his offhand way,
      as if no one would choose
      any other. Like a circus act,
      he juggles fire, swallows
      flaming swords, not content
      to submit to its crucible,
      he embraces fire’s destructive
      power, going for the burn.

    43. De Jackson says:


      I’m concerned
      that I might
      never learn
      which bridges
      to cross
      and which
      to burn.

    44. LouiseBilborough says:

      shouts of pain
      and hatred
      we shake our puny fists

      we fall to our knees

      ashes and sparks
      the world burns

      little eyes wide
      i see hope die
      she turns to me and
      asks why

      and i have no answer

    45. Julieann says:


      My burning heart longs
      For your sweet caress
      Your loving arms
      Your tender kiss

      My burning ears yearn
      For your sweet laughter
      Your softly spoken
      “I love you”

      My burning eyes search
      For your sweet smile
      Your jaunty walk
      Your scruffy hair

      My burning soul cries
      For comfort not found
      Until I join you
      In that better place

    46. Arash says:

      The Haul Truck

      by Arash

      A forklift backs away
      from a front-end loader
      and parks hastily at the side
      of the main course beside
      an excavator, and blunt grader.
      In the distance, over the horizon,
      the haul truck is huffing and puffing.

      A tired road roller smears
      steaming asphalt and cool
      slippery white sand
      over the soaked
      crimson soil.

      The front end loader
      lifts its full bucket
      with a long prayer
      towards the bed.

      As expected, the water
      is dripping from the bed
      like slime.

      Please please keep it down
      this time.

    47. Those lovely twin lights
      that burn closer
      and closer together?

      Yes, in fact, that is my candle,
      and I don’t give a fig
      if it lasts the night or not.

      A controlled burn,
      firefighters call it
      set lest you keep
      cursing your darkness.

    48. Angie5804 says:

      Don’t burn that bridge
      it may be the only way out
      when sorrows pour and the creek rises

      Don’t say never
      it burns that bridge
      of ever and maybe and perhaps

      Don’t say forever in the negative
      for you do not know
      where that heart will go

      Don’t believe that rhyme from childhood
      words can hurt you, words can burn

    49. Lindy says:

      Burnt Potato Chips

      We didn’t have ruffles
      or corn or baked
      or flavored tortilla -
      plain or barbecue
      is what we brought home.
      Only occasionally
      was fiery barbecue there.
      Plain salty potato chips,
      what a treat they were!
      They even snuck their way
      into our sandwiches
      (even peanut butter and ice cream).
      My brother and I would sit
      in front of our black and white tv.
      I can’t remember what we watched,
      besides EBS warnings and tests.
      We’d pour the whole bag
      into a large bowl,
      then fight for the the biggest ones
      and the burned ones.
      I vividly remember the blackened edges
      you rarely find anymore.
      How swell they tasted,
      like lightly charred buttered toast.
      This memory is seared in my brain
      of my childhood, my brother
      and burnt potato chips.

    50. Larry says:

      That burning desire inside you
      That cannot be quenched.
      A fire that burns deep within.
      So hot that it melts your fears.
      No matter that you see the flames
      And you know you will get burnt
      The burning will not abate
      Until your desires are fulfilled.

    51. Once again, my poem’s connection with Robert’s prompt is tenuous at best “burning” is mentioned in the first part). The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem in the style of a personal ad. I had fun with this one.

      Musical Personals

      Are you lonesome tonight?
      Hunk o’ burning love seeks
      hard-headed woman to love him tender.
      Loves pets, especially hound dogs.
      Don’t be cruel, it’s now or never.
      No suspicious minds.
      Reply care of Heartbreak Hotel.

      Jealous guy seeks woman for real love.
      Come together and imagine us
      in a day in the life, free as a bird.
      I’ll do whatever gets you thru the night.
      No mind games.
      Reply to http://www.iamthewalrus.com.

      Material girl seeks true blue lover
      not afraid to express yourself
      and tell me a bedtime story.
      I want to be crazy for you
      but you need to justify my love.
      Let’s go on a holiday to the borderline –
      I’ll act like a virgin and live to tell.
      Call 1-800-555-VOGUE.

    52. identity says:

      The Branding

      Words brand the pale screen,
      Charring its luminous flesh,
      Filling the room with smoke
      That drifts and congeals
      Into ghostly images of lives
      That were never lived–
      Fiery lives that accelerate
      The branding of the screen
      Until they have made it theirs

    53. omavi says:


      Ignorance is really not bliss and
      Even behind closed lids
      The real nightmare still keeps on living
      Most things are foreseen and even mistakes
      Can be gleamed at the very beginning

      I knew that this was a dangerous thing
      But I couldn’t stop myself from
      Sampling the forbidden

    54. pmwanken says:

      (a shadorma)

      Dark of night.
      His flickering flame
      of desire
      drew her in.
      Mesmerized, she flew into
      his consuming light.

      P. Wanken

    55. RJ Clarken says:

      Bum’s Rush

      “I’m either going to be a writer or a bum.” ~Carl Sandberg

      The writer’s life? O what a rush!
      Gerund, verb and preposition
      brighten up my disposition.
      To be a writer is so lush!

      (Although some words can make me blush.)
      But denouement and exposition,
      gerund, verb and preposition…
      The writer’s life? O what a rush!

      It’s really like a Royal Flush.
      I’m no bum with no ambition:
      I write of my own volition.
      Please do not put my work in slush.
      The writer’s life? O what a rush!


    56. profal29 says:

      I burn
      as I sit here waiting
      waiting for the word
      that life is clear again
      I burn
      knowing that he has
      managed to shut the
      entire city down
      I burn
      wishing that the sob
      would be caught already
      so life can return
      I burn
      feeling i am back in a cell
      awaiting the permission
      to step out and live again
      I burn
      at life that has become
      this way when all I want
      to do is live
      I burn
      that I have just run out
      of milk for my coffee and
      my friends are so far away
      I burn
      because there is no common
      sense left in this world
      I burn
      because there are no longer
      any morals in the people
      left behind
      I burn
      when kids don’t go to school
      for I know they have just burned
      themselves from any future
      I burn
      when others have burned people
      that I so believe in
      I burn
      I burn

    57. IrisD says:

      Boston Hearts Burn

      Paul Revere warned Boston of harm
      Now CNN is sounding the alarm.
      Old North Tower stands silent now
      The streets are lined with armoured cars
      Swat teams, police, ATF, and FBI
      All united to search land and sky
      Video pics show two suspects on the run
      One is dead now, the dad pleads for his son
      What a tangled mess that seems to unfold,
      Double life from a college student we’re told
      Our prayers are with you brave Bostonians
      We pray safety, caution, and protection..

    58. PressOn says:


      Where hate burns,
      it can leave only
      a black hole;
      where love burns,
      it can embrace the whole world
      or a galaxy.

    59. lionmother says:

      Trying too hard can burn you

      Icarus tried too hard
      to be like the birds
      he saw soaring so
      free in the air
      and he pumped his
      homemade wings
      hoping to be a part
      of this elite society
      who could oversee
      the lives of poor mortals
      beneath them

      Yet he never made it
      due to his sad mistake
      He never realized as he
      neared the sun that the
      heat of this orb would
      burn his appendages and
      send him plummeting to
      his death

    60. julie e. says:

      i keep seeing shadormas so i decided to see what that was and attempt one. i think that’s what this is.


      She’s on fire.
      Watch as she burns bright
      see her pink
      and black shoes
      walking fast on the treadmill.
      Something burns for sure.

    61. Raina Masters says:

      Fire takes care of bad memories, too

      I watched it all crumble, one section
      at a time. The heat broke the windows
      out and I stood just feet away while
      the curtains I had just picked out
      a few weeks ago became engulfed in the
      blaze. The dog was in my arms. My laptop
      and my cell phone were wrapped in my
      jacket and sat in the passenger seat of
      my car. I thought about the things I
      wouldn’t be getting back: my favorite
      hat, the one I bought in Philly at a
      cute little store on South Street, those
      pink heels I never got to wear (they never
      went with anything I had), the old tv that
      gave a slightly red picture but managed to
      hang in there for almost fifteen years.
      Then, there was almost relief in knowing
      that I didn’t have to pack his things so
      soon after we’d decided to call it quits.

    62. Domino says:

      How to Start a Fire
      (advice for new lovers)

      Prepare carefully.
      Have everything you need
      at hand
      before you begin.

      Plenty of oxygen is essential,
      as is plenty of tinder,
      but try not to use too much;
      things will burn quickly, and
      if it is too quick,
      everything will be over too soon.

      Sometimes, that is too
      discouraging to try again.

      Don’t give up;
      some fires are slower to start
      than others.
      Take your time.

      And have a bucket of water
      in case things get
      out of control.

      Diana Terrill Clark

    63. Pressure Cookers? (for Boston – 15 April 2013)

      Thirty years ago
      scouring Goodwill shops
      I found a battered
      pressure cooker
      perfect for popping corn

      The brand new one
      ten years prior –
      too huge
      too shiny
      to ruin
      with scorched oil
      burnt kernel-prints

      Left derelict
      on a pantry shelf
      after I stopped
      being domestic
      ceased planting
      beans and tomatoes
      abandoned canning

      meant to tempt
      a newly minted wife
      thrift shopping
      to preserve
      her harvest

      Not nails
      like those my husband
      dropped on the floor
      during carpentry projects

      Not BBs
      like the ones
      my brothers shot
      at squirrels in the 1950s

      Not human limbs

    64. Domino says:

      Once you have wings
      just remember not to fly
      too close to the sun

      Diana Terrill Clark

    65. JRSimmang says:

      Name it!
      The madman who burns from the inside out
      discovers he cannot, WILL NOT!, go about
      dousing the flame with water refreshing
      or else find the burn evermore unrelenting.

      Woe to he, the man who burns inside,
      for soon his heart will soon decide
      to wretch itself free from flames everlasting
      and scorch his lungs and throat and end in his passing.

      From the outside, it is, a pitiable sight.
      It begins with the glow, the spark in the night,
      enveloping around him the shadowless light.

      His flesh becomes ruddy, red, aflush,
      smoking and steaming, engendered thrush,
      burning and yearning, an intentional rush.

      His heartbeat quickens.
      His stomach sickens.
      The behemoth awakens.

      This burn, this fire, this wily flame,
      it consumes.

      A flame left to its own devices, left to burn for days,
      will seek to sustain itself, sustain itself always.
      It will seek out the tinder, the tenderest spots
      to burn and to burn and to burn itself hot.

      Eventually, you see, if the flame is not fed,
      the man with burn to ashes, embers cold as lead,
      He will become a man wholly undone, completed,
      his fire spent, his flame excised, his conflagration defeated.

      He will be but an ash,
      once no more a fiery flash.

    66. Jane Shlensky says:

      Clean Burn

      “I call it a medical service…The aim was a final solution to incurable agony.” Jack Kevorkian

      He likes to see the colors change and leap
      from smoky yellow to orange to green and blue.
      He likes the way the flames dance, spreading out,
      nibbling at dry leaves, trash and wooden doors,
      hungry and eating outward; it’s alive.
      The warmth and light can make him smile and laugh,
      especially on a clear and chilly night.

      What he’s been doing may not be so right,
      but it’s not wrong by most accounts he’s heard.
      He’s cleaning up the land for careless folks
      who let a building lean for years and fall,
      an eye sore for decades. They watch the roofs
      crack under fallen limbs or burning sun.
      The kudzu covers window frames and doors,
      until the whole is like a lonely grave
      with weathered bones sticking up through the soil.

      He keeps a clean burn notebook in his head
      of barns and sheds, abandoned homes that lean
      neglected now to nature’s steady pull,
      to gravity and animals who nest
      inside it for a while. Each façade falls,
      an ancient weary face upon itself.

      Where is wrong if he works free of charge?
      He’s careful not to set the woods on fire.
      He never burns on dry or windy days,
      but after rains. He even digs a trench
      if he fears spread and sometimes lets the flame
      eat in, not out. He checks if anything’s
      inside to care about, then he performs
      last rites to each old place, sweet gratitude
      for better days, Godspeed to ash and rot.
      He lights dry wood and lets flame do its work.

      Some pyromaniac has had his way,
      some locals talk of burns he’s helped along.
      He’s like Kevorkian for dying barns,
      maligned by those who will not end the pain.
      He’s in no hurry; this hobby can wait.
      He wouldn’t like to answer to the law.
      The lighter in his pocket warms his hand.
      Such places burn themselves, he likes to say.

    67. Burn

      Burning down her throat,
      Unbroken, a thirst for life;
      Revenge is not an option but
      Neither is forgiveness.

    68. Thoughts blister from
      burning emotions
      scalding through veins.

      Heartbeat a thrum,
      pumping the bellows
      lest sensation wane.

      My heartstrings strum
      to rising passion –
      pleasure or pain -

      one they become,
      searching for outlet and
      not in chains remain.


    69. SINGED

      The slow simmer
      of your indifference has burned
      straight through me

    70. priyajane says:

      I am flammable
      I burn when ill treated
      Stepped over, or, when cheated
      Harsh words can ignite
      Lingering scabbing bites
      Cruel acts can activate
      A Forest Fire agitate
      When rubbed the wrong way
      A volatile grey may display
      Please handle with care

    71. Amy says:

      Slow Burn

      You entice with subtle warmth,
      drawing me closer to the flame.
      Your burn is slow, like scorching honey;
      sweet at first, to numb the sting.
      My resolve perspires in the glow
      and drenched doubts slip through
      the space between reason and desire.
      Your flames grow, feeding greedily
      upon the novelty of a fresh ingénue.
      My insides blister in the wake of
      your chemical combustion; I am
      consumed by fervent blue flame.
      When virtue has been spent like
      charred accelerant, my heart grows
      cold and only hollow echoes
      resound from within.

    72. missjoyce says:

      A burning poem.

      What You Do

      ignite a spark
      that’s what you do
      hinting a smile
      nonverbal cues

      across the room
      your eyes on mine
      breathless yearning
      suspended time

      counting gestures
      all moves for you
      blowing my mind
      done in a few

      you start a fire
      soft witty ways
      responding blush
      that’s all I say

      insides excite
      started to burn
      hold it, just stop
      now its my turn

    73. Rachel Blake says:

      I saw you
      a spark
      nothing more
      we spoke
      first flame
      you touched my hand
      softly kissed my cheek
      fueled the heat
      we danced
      we loved
      we burned
      red orange
      now we feed this fire
      keep it a glow
      now and then
      throw a log on
      the heat
      most times
      we keep it
      just warm enough
      we need no
      extra sweater
      or blanket
      as with are life together
      we reap and we sow.

    74. Down in Penitent Purgatory

      A broken dish,
      an angry parent,
      “Face the wall.
      Put your head down.
      Think of what you’ve done.”

      Now in church
      brittle bits of bangs
      drift over the candle flame
      as I hold my head in prayer.

      Transgression spotted souls
      are striving to achieve
      the holiness necessary
      to enter heaven’s joy.

      “Face the wall.
      Put your head down.
      Think of what they’ve done.”

      But who pray for me
      in my epic time out?

    75. alana sherman says:

      What Burns

      My father was known for his photos
      of firemen, gritty with smoke, rescuing people.
      But, he wasn’t around the frigid night
      our home burned to the ground.
      We all got out barefoot and shivering
      the dog, barking and barking,

      saved us—we couldn’t revive her.
      Later, too upset to sleep
      I heard my mother whisper
      to her friend, “I think Hy set the fire.”
      Those words scorched when he became
      a fireman himself. Years later when he died,

      people shook my hand, told me how he’d
      carried them from burning buildings.
      It’s heroic, a calling, putting out a blaze
      for whatever reason a person does it.
      The dark night, the words spoken,
      an inferno I still can’t erase.


    76. Genevieve Fitzgerald says:

      a burn poem

      Distracted by a silence
      Grown too long
      She burned things
      In the kitchen

    77. In fine script
      on his broad back

      The world burns inside us
      as we burn the world

      In the desert of a prairie
      fire sustains life more
      than water

      In the rage of underbrush
      long ignored
      the inflamed crowns of trees
      burn brightest

      and in this hierarchy of life
      with nothing gained or lost
      did he know what burned away
      when he branded himself

      His teachers
      secretly dreaming
      he would one day burn away
      everything they had taught him
      with all that he had learned

    78. Angie K says:


      Bagals, French bread, waffles and more -
      poptarts, pitas, strudels galore -
      but if the dial’s on “high” it may need turned
      or your once tasty breakfast will end up quite burned.

    79. The tolling of the bells
      Frightens the innocent
      Reminders of alarmingly accurate
      Attempts to sway the prejudice
      Hesitating to relieve awful notions
      Of inadequacy and confinement.

      Troubling though it is
      The fire within burns with desire
      Hope and love
      But is it enough?

    80. Cauterized

      The heart – broken, bleeding -
      barely pumping life into this
      worn facade of a human -
      once burned by the touch of
      Eros, lives to glory in your eyes.

    81. burrhead says:

      what is the matter with my leg?

      When I was a kid
      I didn’t know any better
      I put a rag in my pocket

      I was soon to learn
      About lacquer thinner
      And chemical burns

    82. PressOn says:

      YULE LOG

      On Father’s land there stood a chestnut tree
      that was already old when he was small;
      it seemed to me to stand so proud and tall
      that nothing could betray its majesty.
      But Father died, and time betrayed the tree:
      its branches fell, and here and there a gall
      displaced the bark; before each autumn’s fall,
      its crown, once lush, descended utterly.
      I cut the tree. I cleared death’s breath, and then
      I sawed the wood. I saved the straightest limb
      to burn at Christmas times, when I shall tire
      of plastic trees and yearn to feel again
      the warmth of Father’s grin, and chat with him
      and long-forgotten faces in the fire.

    83. Two Types of People

      Ones who toast their marshmallows golden
      And ones who burn them black

      The toasters dare not get too close to the fire
      Barely touching the surface to the flame
      Timid, tentative, tenuous
      Turning the marshmallow around
      Until the light brown is even
      Then chew on the morsel that has changed little

      The burners plunge the marshmallow into the fire
      Until it catches and engulfs like a torch
      Making sure fiery tongues lick every bit black
      Sliding it off the stick despite dark residue and burnt fingers
      Popping the whole thing into their mouth
      Savoring acrid ashes as well as warm gooey centers

    84. A Burn Poem

      I wonder what hell looks like
      to a newly received resident.

      Does the absolute darkness
      disorient him?
      Does the smell of sulfur
      burn his nostrils?
      Do the screams of demons
      throw him into panic?

      Has he yet discovered
      there are no waiting virgins;
      only a forever
      separated from any hope,
      light, or comfort?

    85. CLAY

      Before they found a name
      for what was strange about him,
      and put him on meds to fix it,

      he was a small red-brown horse
      galloping circles around us, raising
      dust. He was a crazy potter’s

      hand of clay in bright colors
      smearing the playroom, he was a sun
      plunging over concrete city

      and fallow fields. You asked if he
      had the flu, and gave him pills.

      I thought he was Van Gogh
      with two good ears and a fever.

      He said, “My hair’s on fire.”

    86. Burn

      So relaxing
      In my beach chair
      Soaking in the Spring sun
      The first time out for the season
      The cool breeze put me right to sleep

      In a rush
      Cooking frenzy
      It’s Thanksgiving Day
      Everyone awaiting the feast
      Oops, forgot the rolls in the oven

      So much fun
      Sunday night games
      “Uno!” Shouted our son
      Then his wife drops a Draw Four

    87. priyajane says:

      Pain keep burning long after
      The Tempest Act
      Wounded flesh caused by friction
      Has spread the infection beyond tissue
      Charred eschars, like parasites
      Are scalding slowly at the remains.
      They say it will heal slowly-
      What do they know?
      Ashes of healing, like tasers
      flicker dark neon lights
      Worse than the poison of the burn—

    88. mlcastejon says:

      Hi there,

      Have a nice Friday!

      Here you have my burned haiku

      A firefly breaks dawn
      Bringing over new colors
      This wound never heals

    89. Never2L8 says:

      A Quote Acrostic:
      Forward into Life

      Better to light a candle at both ends than
      to never light a candle at all. Better to
      burn your bridges and do with
      out what’s left behind
      than to endure
      rust and corrosion that reams
      out your heart and soul.

      “Better to burn out than to rust out.” Neil Young

    90. I’ve been burned before
      And I’m guilty of burning
      I apologize

    91. JRSimmang says:

      Sometimes, at night, when the air is just biting enough, I like to sit outside in our Adirondak chairs
      and wait in silence until the dew covers my legs.
      It doesn’t take that long, especially since the days are so warm
      and the nights are so cold,
      like adolescent love or driving a car on empty.

      Used to be that the dew didn’t settle. Mainly it’s because I didn’t care to settle
      into a gentle recline and slowly let the flame in me die out until the sun came up
      and refresh the burn inside.

      The chiminea splits the chairs. It’s this behemoth of clay and smoke,
      but it’s flue is covered and it’s easy to light a fire in there.
      Sometimes, if I feel so inclined, and I often do, I’ll pretend
      I live in it. Barefoot among the ashes,
      I stare out the open maw into my backyard,
      counting the petals on the dahlia, trying to decide what color green
      the grass is today.

      On nights like these, when the dew settles on my legs,
      I scrounge around for some dry tinder.
      Sometimes, I light the fire inside the chiminea
      just to watch it burn something and devour
      the simple wooden core of a branch.
      It’s just enough light to drink wine to.

    92. Ouch!!

      When I was just a lad of five
      Gramp left me in the car
      While he ran in to buy some milk
      And get me a candy bar
      My curiosity took hold of me
      I pressed the cigarette lighter
      It popped, and I pulled it out
      Oh, look, it’s so much brighter

      I remember at the age of nine
      My favorite thing to do
      Was jump down from the running boards
      Of my Grandfather’s fifty-two
      I’d run ‘long side the pickup truck
      And jump back on and ride
      ‘Cept one day I jumped a little late
      Four stitches in my hide

      At fifteen I got my first bike
      A Kawasaki so pretty and red
      My boldness got the best of me
      I’m lucky I’m not dead
      The gravel pit was challenging
      Three trails, one very high
      I hit the bottom in second gear
      Was the day I learned to fly

      Now I’m nearing sixty years
      Looking back I have to smile
      The burns and scrapes and scars I have
      Collected along life’s miles
      Must be a reason I’m still around
      Guess God’s not done with me
      I’ll try and be more careful now
      Oh, look, a bob-tailed kitty

    93. vxl says:

      Burn It When I Go

      Kafka once said
      “Burn it when I go”
      and I agree.

      Stuff it in a tower,
      light it before a mirror
      and use it to tame the sea.

      I folded my words
      to push against the water
      so the tide and I could flow

      But when I die, it will
      become a bridge
      so burn it when I go.

      Thomas Aquinas once said:
      “Burn it all like straw”
      and I agree.

      I reaped enough
      to stay alive,
      but it fed only me.

      I lasted long enough
      to see the whole world
      and love everything I saw.

      So gather these things
      to my silent chest
      and burn it all like straw.

    94. ewdupler says:

      Listen, or You’ll Get Burned

      Barely touched it.
      Unusually sensitive and
      Really hurts.
      Never Again!
      Sorry, I didn’t listen.

    95. Maxie says:


      It happens when you’ve been rubbed the wrong way.
      It’s simple physics: building friction, harmful diction, sparks may fly.
      Tension and confrontation pound with the potential to be abstergents
      for your character, if you so chose.
      Baptism by fire fissures into a schism where you must decide
      who you are: burned and scarred, refined and cleansed, pained or marred.
      The flame lacks mercy, discernment, and phlegmatic disposition,
      but your burn carries the memory of hurt, healing, and action.
      Let it smart till your heart finds the salve it needs.
      Let it burn till the flame no longer breathes.

    96. JanetRuth says:

      They burn with mocking ruthlessness
      Somewhere inside my head
      Those hasty words of selfishness
      I never should have said

      What mighty fire the the tongue ignites
      How long the sad regret
      Of brief and thoughtless moment-spite
      I now cannot forget

    97. writing4joy says:


      To my beautiful lady Fern
      I love the way you swing and turn
      Strutting with pride I’m still concern
      I have been burned, I have been burned

      I know you want to be with me
      Seeing the world from sea to sea
      But can love last eternally
      Hell marry me! Hell marry me!

    98. Fire
      (Print of a line work
      by the late Tyren Laidlaw)

      The artist makes fire burn
      not only red and yellow,
      also blue and green
      and charred black.

      Her flames twirl and spread.
      Some at the heart are white-hot.
      Fire goes up and down
      and travels.

      It is burning the air,
      it is crackling
      up off the still page,
      it is saying, ‘Life!’

    99. The Burn

      Push so hard ‘til you feel the burn
      deep in the thighs

      Cry so hard ‘till you feel the burn
      stinging your eyes

      Pray so hard for you fear to burn
      deep in the fires

      Live life to the full ‘til you burn
      high on your pyres

      Forget the toast and let it burn
      sirens wailing

      Stoop and stagger with joints that burn
      the body failing

      Eat too much ‘til you feel the burn
      bursting your chest

      Keep all the junk you should burn
      your place is a mess

      Love so hard you feel the burn
      consuming your heart

      Think so much ‘til you burn
      your mind apart

      Stroll in the woods and leap the burn
      in pagan marriage

      Drive too fast until you burn
      the wheels from your carriage

      Speak venomous words that scythe and burn
      your enemy’s soul

      Light a candle forever to burn
      in a heart once whole


    100. JWLaviguer says:

      Things That Burn Part Deux

      I once had one drink too many
      with a girl whose looks were uncanny
      you know what comes next
      we had unprotected sex
      and now it all burns when I pee.

    101. JWLaviguer says:

      Happy Friday!

      Things That Burn

      There once was an old man once famous
      whose diet consisted of taycos (sic)
      he ate jalapenos
      and as everyone knows
      he shoots fire right out of his anus.

    102. RobHalpin says:

      Rug Burns

      an evening of
      wrestling on the carpet
      I get odd looks at work over
      rug burns

    103. Dear Moosehead,
      Tied in the 9th – lost in the 12th!
      Breaks my heart! I really thought we
      would burn ‘em up and sweep them clean.
      Ah well, onwards and upwards. When I say up
      I mean to Canada. 3 days in Toronto – time
      to grill us some Blue Jays. OK! So the burning
      question of your gainful employments is driving
      me nuts! You need to come clean! Anyway,
      speaking of grilling wildlife, we can watch the game
      at the sports bar & you cousin can stand us
      some hot wings, onion rings and a few cold ones.
      Pick ya up at 6.

      Yours looking forward to crispy burnt Canadian bacon,

      Ringo the Howler

    104. PowerUnit says:

      My thighs throb
      The fight against aging, rusting and degeneration, flabbiness
      I burn my lungs sprinting on the hill
      And douse them with cool morning rain on the long walk home
      A short battle to stem life’s onslaught
      It seems so pointless, wasteful of my precious fading hours
      When you are over fifty, you no longer think in years
      Months, weeks, and days make it sound longer to the finish line
      And hours make it seem a marathon
      I hope this pain is worth it, in the end
      I hope I finish well, in this unwinnable race

      • JanetRuth says:

        SO many great lines here! ‘A short battle to stem life’s onslaught’, ‘ hours make it seem a marathon’, ‘I hope I finish well, in this unwinnable race’…Im not quite fifty, but oh, close enough to begin feeling its breath:) BOY, this nails it…’My thighs throb
        The fight against aging, rusting and degeneration, flabbiness! ‘
        I’ve just begun doing yoga to try to get stronger…and wow! yes. throbbing toward the inevitable.

    105. Note: this is partly a found poem, pulled from the pages of the
      Kentucky Gazette and general advertiser, July 29, 1806, found
      at the digital public library of America (www.dp.la)


      My head aches
      from changes in pressure
      and my vision swims,
      replacing what I know is here
      with a vision
      I’ve only seen in history collections.
      I stand
      in front of
      T H E B U F F A L O E
      whose table
      is plentifully supplied
      with the best viands
      the season can afford,
      next door to
      Trotter & Tilford,
      newly stocked with
      M E R C H A N D I Z E
      received from Philadelphia:
      fancy callicoes and chintzes
      Longhorn and Dunstable bonnets
      for cash in hand,
      but my hands are empty
      and my pockets
      only hold plastic
      so I turn back,
      by what is lost
      along the road
      and burned
      from our collective

    Leave a Reply