The fire discusses everything,
Not just the heat and the cold;
To pyres entrusts the severing
Of homilies and growing old.
The eyes, unwilling to rest on
Mere sifting of ashes and coal,
Hear strike the posing of a question,
Not merely the knell and the toll.
Some dialect, its humor drier,
In timbres with a flickering stammer
Stokes an unintelligible grammar
For deliberations by the fire.
A case oblique, vocative without names,
They parry in, and soft or harsh sing
As phrases perish in the parsing:
The antic dialectic of the flames.
The brick hearth, no longer sentimental,
And the stone proscenium frame a drama
Where lucid impulses and shifting trauma
Rise in a discourse cumulous and elemental.