Theodore Roethke





The Unextinguished

Clouds glow like coals just fresh from fire, a flare
Of western light leaps with intenser blaze
To conflagration in the upper air.
All distant shapes turn brighter to the gaze.

The fire of heaven dies; a fire unseen
Wanes to the febrile smoldering of sleep;
Deep-hidden embers, smothered by the screen
Of flesh, burn backward to a blackened heap.

But morning light comes tapping at the lid,
Breaks up the crust of cinders that remain,
And pokes the crumbled coal the ashes hid,
Until thought crackles white across the brain.


spoken = David Juda