Gather it all
All the ash and dust
The cobwebs in the corner of your Mind

Haul together all the sticks tossed
The stones thrown
Scrape them across the scars
Left by broken promises and barbed words

Open, Bleeding
Strike a match
Like a Phoenix rising
Stand anew
Among the ruins of your past

Then walk away

Stronger for the fight

Follow the un-trodden road

And don’t look back


7 thoughts on “Burn

  1. As a rule I do not like poetry with pictures because, overwhelmingly, the pictures are misused. They tend to be used as a quick hook to get someone to look at the piece, at that point more evocative than the piece itself, or they are set up to explain part (or the whole) of the piece and, yet again, at that point the picture is more evocative than the piece itself. And there’s very, very rarely any adequate bibliographical information (title, author) so it’s not clear if the picture is supposed to be part of the piece or is what I’ve said above.

    That is why I really do not like poetry with pictures. However, in this case you’ve really nailed it.* The narrative progression is good, the imagery is evocative without being overwhelming and the bit of wordplay with ‘sticks and stones’ is a really nice touch.

    My only point of contention is the last four one-line stanzas. I wasn’t sure if this was a formatting error -and WordPress is just not good when it comes to formatting, so do be aware of this when you post you work in the future- or if this was intended. Given narrative progression it looks like these one-line stanzas are intended for emphasis, one after the other, however ‘Blind’ shows a piece where every line is followed by a line break and one-line stanzas aren’t intended.

    Whatever the case, this piece is either good (if the formatting issues are real) or very good (if there are no such issues here) and I’d just like you to be aware of the potential issue with WordPress and to call your attention to your own work. Poetry is different from poetic expression, as art is not catharsis however cathartic it can be, and we owe it to our art to pay attention to it. ‘Blind’ is quite amateurish but ‘Burn’ is the exact opposite. I wish you the best of luck with your work and genuinely hope that it continues in the same vein as ‘Burn’.

    *I take it the picture is yours? In ‘Hello!’ you mention your photography but do not say that all the pictures are yours.


    1. Hi! Thanks for the thoughts, I really appreciate it. I just like attaching pictures with the pieces to showcase my photography as well, so yes, they are all my photos. Blind is something I wrote quite a few years ago, and as a writer, I’ve definitely changed a lot. However, it’s always been one of my favorites because I have a personal connection to it, even if it’s probably not my best work.

      Regarding the last four lines, I was having formatting issues there, but decided that I like the emphasis on each line, so left it that way. I will pay attention to formatting issues in all future posts.

      Again, thank you for the thoughts. Much appreciated. 🙂


      1. You’re welcome, Laura, and I’m glad to see that ‘Blind’ is not representative of where your work is now and that ‘Burn’ is, at least now, intended to look that way. The emphasis works really well.

        When I’m structuring my own work I regularly come across bits of text that I have to fundamentally alter or cut away. This leads to different structures than I first envisioned and various versions of a piece to choose from. From 2012, when I can say that my work really came into its full maturity, I’ve never been disappointed by these changes.

        With all of that said, if there’s ever anything that you’d like to have critiqued or looked at please feel free to send it my way (that[dot]bitter[dot]voice[at]gmail). I’m not at all interesting in ‘likes’, ‘follows’ or all that other stuff that comes with blogging. What I’m very interested in is building (or joining) community with people that take their art seriously, care about people (broadly construe) and are interested in improving their work.

        Once more, you’re welcome and here’s to the rest of your work following after ‘Burn’.


      2. Blind was something I wrote years ago, when the writer in me was still quite hidden. The more you write (and learn) the better you get, at least, that’s what I’ve always thought. Starting a novel has drastically changed the writer in me. I used to write with little care for editing or revision, but no longer. 🙂

        I am nearing the end of the first draft of my novel, so if that’s something you’d be open to reading, even if just a few chapters, please let me know. A friend of mine who is a published YA author suggested that one of the best ways to get your work polished is to find fellow writers (and avid readers) online to help critique your work.

        So, one last time, thank you for the comments. Also, love the title of your blog.


      3. Yes, I’d be glad to read for you. I’d like to offer two options for that.

        First, if you are open to not just a critical reading but also potential editing/revision, please send a .docx file (MS Word). Second, if you are only open to a critical reading, please send a .pdf file (Adobe Reader, et al.).

        Whether you’d like me to just read or not is entirely up to you and I respect that. All of what I call potential revisions/alterations are notated at the end of the file, with a different file name (i.e. X [with revisions].docx) after a page break (the Edit feature in MS Word is too cumbersome) to explain why I think this or that alteration is a better fit. They are also highlighted to call attention to the area in question, allowing for easy comparison when looking back to the original draft/file.


      4. Hi. I was wondering if you’d mind (to start) reading the post that’s my novel intro. I’ve already spoken with an editor, and will be making some minor changes to it (namely surrounding narrative changes), but am curious to see how you critique and such. I most definitely need someone else with a more critical eye. It’s very important to me to continue growing as a writer, but I want to make sure I’m going in the right direction with who I partner with to help me.

        So if you’re open to reading that post (Rusted Faith: Intro), please e-mail direct thoughts to laura.parkes286@gmail.com

        Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon.


      5. I will send return the Introduction with notation to you early morning on 12 April. It will be a ‘.docx’ file with end notes serving as notation.


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