Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Flames burst from the magician's heart
and onlookers stare in shock,
mesmerized by the whirling wheel.

Flames spin above the magician's head
and they crackle, hiss and whisper: you think
you can make out words like handle, abandon,
landau, almond, sandalwood,

No-one thinks to call
a fire engine or an ambulance
because it's clearly meant to be,
this unselfconscious miracle that will consume
a magician by morning
and leave a pile of ashes.

Image by bradlyolin via Read Write Poem
Collection available! Knocking from Inside


Dave said...

Lovely poem, Tiel. Like a moment when you're watching something and you're not sure if what's happening on stage is accidental or by design. Also, it brings up notions of "can't separate the dancer from the dance." Here, the magician becomes the magic.

Thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

Magic's not without a price.
That's a beautiful string of "a" (n,d,l) words, but then the whole poem's full of good sounds.

Anonymous said...

I also love the sounds in this piece - I think that second stanza with the fire whispering is very strong.

Amulya Rajan said...

How very rare to see an 'unselfconscious miracle':) Love the phrase.

Julie Larios said...

"...handle, abandon,/ landau, almond, sandalwood,/mandala." Wow, that is masterful & a pleasure to say aloud!

Anonymous said...

I love how in the second and third stanzas you move away from the spectacle. The second conjures the neat word associations, "verbalizing" the photograph and the performer literally but obliquely. The third is so effectively and ironically matter-of-fact.


Paul Oakley said...

I love the "unselfconscious miracle" wording. Very nice.

Will a phoenix rise from those ashes?

Mary Lee said...

Simply lovely!

laurasalas said...

Oh, this is wonderful! That opening line is stunning, and that list of words appearing. And then the ending line--wow. Thanks for sharing this!