As The Flames Dance Proud And Free

As The Flames Dance Proud and Free


Once there was a dark blue sky

That a fire burned beneath

The flames were born of

Magma bubbling underneath

The crust and stone of the rock

The cosmos did bequeath


The forming was slow and steady

Selections were rapidly made

Until once a man and woman

Sat one day alone in a glade

They made the choice to name themselves

To call their chosen pairing love

Upon a tree near to them

Perched a pure white dove

They called the dove a thing of peace

Then decorated the tree

With things strewn throughout the glade

As clouds approached from the sea

The cloud became snow in the sky

The tree covered in the coldest white

They light fires to warm them from the cold

Sitting up through the night

They were joined by others soon

To sit before the tree and flames

Soon the others before the fire

Choose to also take names


Still in the winter we sit before the fire

With our decorated tree

We ask for help to make it through the dark

As the flames dance proud and free

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Christmas 2012

To know the heart of the holiday

Is to know snow

And cold

As where it is dark

The worst is yet to come

Around fires

The bold sit

Drinking beer made in summer

The taste of wheat and citrus

Upon their tongues

Warming them

They gather

As they always have

Little was known of

The man behind the rock

In the cave

In the early times


No matter who the day

Was named for

People always gathered

When the shadows grew long

The cold is the thing

The dark is the thing

The reminder that summer

Is a blessing or aberration

And even winter

A warm exception to the rule

In late December

We acknowledge

How precarious

This all is

Gene G. McLaughlin 2012

Christmas 2005


Behind the house

Across the dirt road

It is a husk of its

Past self

Seeds scattered on

The ground before it

It is cold

It will grow colder

The sunflower will sway

In the wind

Be bitten by frost

Its death not the end

Of its decay

In the dust

Snow and frost

The seeds shall take shelter

For many

Things are born

On the cusp of deep winter

We know the seeds make a promise

Yet we cannot hear the promise

Drowned out by the winters howl

We wonder if winter and the sunflower

Have a covenant

Where its decay

Is only the beginning

Of the story

Gene G. McLaughlin 2005