‘Burning and Stillness’ by Yves Saint-Pierre

This log lies
up high on dry sand.
Washed up decades ago,
it is bleached and desiccated.
Its surface is fissured
like rough bark,
the edge of each flake
curled away from the break.

Last night, before turning in,
I placed a green log
on the fire.
This morning it lay
fissured and flaked,
perfect black echo to this
that is white.

This kinetic time warp,
fire over weather-worn,
startles to sadness
of memory and loss,
of choices,
of burning and stillness.


YVES SAINT-PIERRE recently retired as chair of the English department at John Abbott College. Unlike many other poets, he is guessing, has killed two bears–one years ago for bounty and one more recently, in self-defense. Often he reads and sometimes he plays golf.

Copyright © 2019 by Yves Saint-Pierre. All rights reserved.