Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Judy Sorum Brown: "Fire"

makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are
able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only
need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

"Fire" by Judy Sorum Brown, from Leading from Within: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Lead, edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner. © Jossey-Bass, 2007.

Photography credit: One image from the "Campfire Series" by Danielle Foushee, 2012 (originally color).


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