Wood Smoke


To-night I smelt the smoke of a woodland fire.

Sudden and bitter-sweet to me it came,

Acrid and pungent, pricking up the will,

Creating in my wistful breast desire

To make a like effect, kindle a flame

To burn the dead leaves of my past, to kill

Those clinging vain regrets on funeral pyre;

And waft the smoke to heav’n in wreaths of shame,

And all the air with contrite incense fill.

Because although to stars would we aspire

We have within what holds us down with ropes,

The mould and clay of unremembered hours,

The sodden mass of yesteryear’s fresh flowers,

And vapours that can poison all our hopes !


Weekly Times     18.11.60