Fireside Chats – A Cascade Poem

He said, “Wicked!”

“Chill,” she said

“It’s a slow burn. Wait for the flames to gather.”

It was a Radical Idea at the time

“Face to face?”

He said, “Wicked!”

They tried it, taking turns

Taking breaths when it got too hard

“Chill,” she said

Yet their fervor created a spark

Embers spread via mouth to mouth with tea times and tupperware

“It’s a slow burn. Wait for the flames to gather.”

This post is a “two-fer”! At the Go Dog Go Cafe, their Tuesday Writing Prompt, Devereaux and Beth Amanda requested: Use the words “wicked chill” in any form of poetry or prose. While Victoria over at dVerse Poetics, thoughtful of the catastrophic wildfires in California, asked us to think aboutthe many other possibilities that apply to fire, and bring us the results of your burning creativity“.

Despite the seemingly conflicting mandates, my little poem seeks to illustrates how one spark – an idea, a change in behavior or outlook – can create a fire, a fervor for that change. There are many things I would like to change right now. My flame may flickering , but it will not go out!


Seventeen years ago, September 11, 2001, was a cloudless, bright blue Tuesday morning. This year, it was a cloudy, humid Tuesday morning. Still, we remember.

In Patrick Jennings’s Pic and a Word Challenge #152 – Fire, his poem for this prompt evokes a warning from a toxic threat. The Tuesday Prompt at Go Dog Go Cafe, inspired by the events of 9/11, requested: “Write about a time that you were challenged by an outside force, and talk about what you did to overcome it? More importantly, how did it change your view of yourself and/or the world around you?” Lastly, I was introduced by Linda Lee Lyberg at Charmed Chaos to a poetry structure called the “reverse Nonet”. This is a poem whose syllable count is: 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9.

Read on for a poem inspired by past and current fiery events, written in reverse nonet. The picture is an oil painting by Dante Gabriel Rosetti depicting Pandora and her infamous box (he also wrote a sonnet to accompany this painting). In the painting, the words on the box state “Nescitur Ignescitur” meaning “unknown it burns”.


Pandora’s Fire Box



In tears I watched my world burning down

Like twin towers of faith and hope

Rumors about That Woman

Hatred for That Black Man

I am still held down

My disbelief






Loss of voice

World view shattered

Land of the “what now”

Home of the “not our job”

Reclaim the tiki torches

Be a beacon to light the way

Dried tears fuel the fire of freedom

(“Pandora”, Oil painting by Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Public Domain)

©️iido 2018