Match Man

One stick,

then another

taken away

from the Match Man.

Piling up his pyre,

one and only fire

is his destination.

There’s no hope,

no desire.

They won’t burn him

as he stands;

take him down

to build the flames higher.

The tangled effigy

of the Match Man.


Could have lit the flame,

could have burned brighter,

banishing the night

with a wave of his hand.

He saw the world

in terms of combustion,

what reacts with what

and what feeds from the land.

He’ll raze cities,

forests fall always.

Everything he sees,

is destroyed

and renewed again.

Ready to strike at an instant,

so they did away

with the Match Man.


Take his bones,

put them in a pile.

Burn him in a place

where he can’t hurt a friend,

can’t burn a forest,

can’t save a soul.

No more banishing the night

and the cold.

He’s been nothing but trouble,

something we can’t control,

so we take him stick by stick,

burn him down to his coals,

until he’s gone.


We’ll be safe on the land,

when we do away

with the Match Man.


HG – 2017

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