by Steven Kenworthy

there once was a boy who carried with him everywhere he went
a 25 pound torch in his right hand
because his heart was very heavy and he yearned for balance.

he set it down only to sleep.

both sides of his body felt very warm
though one was quite cold.

he would roam from city to city being careful with his flame
“please watch out, not to burn things down” the snowcaps,
wooden village locals and trees would ask nicely the same.

he traveled the states.

during the summer he often felt too hot swelter with the suns rays beating on him
in addition to
his fiery addition and would seek the coldest climates desolate places
caves and north poles and such locations
which made healing difficult, with no doctors around.

during the winter, fooled he would find fake friends the homeless and hungry
pretending about smiles showing teeth and trust,
wanting to be close to him so as not to fall at the hands of jack frost or his nasty
too surrounded nearly suffocated by the needy & newspaper wearing,
there were no doctors around. if they called, he could not hear their answer as
newspaper in the wind makes a great deal of sound.

the spring and fall seemed most opportune as the people were plenty, though april’s showers kept him inside
and falling leaves proved dangerous all things falling all the time
slippery risky
he could not lose or sacrifice his balance
he had no substitute for his torch he wanted balance.

heading east because he’d accidentally scorched the west
there was nothing left
passing through to the coast to put out his flame, he met a girl named virginia
who loved animals in pairs, los angeles, the golden gate & the olympics

she wore a necklace the size of
an intersection. flying thru the zoo tunnels careful not to run him too fast and put out his flame,
she showed him the flamingos.

wearing a bleach pink shirt and replicating their ways
standing on one foot he decided that indeed it was the ground beneath him
that was not sturdy
and that if mother earth was not still, then perhaps his heart should seek a new


Author's Note: you carve out the forest and i'll flex my telescope on your mouth

Posted on 02/06/2009
Copyright © 2020 Steven Kenworthy

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Anita Mac on 02/06/09 at 05:04 AM

Yeah... you're a little bit brilliant. Nice tale.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 02/06/09 at 03:25 PM

...s.k., when i was reading this the first time someone called, they talked about something--whatever?--my eyes/mind was transfixed w/ this pome...even glancing to finally getting to give it it's due...and it was something that makes this one heavier than the metaphoric heart of that kid[mankind]and his torch...all together! a wonderfully heavy write.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 02/06/09 at 03:55 PM

I'm a sucker for "there was once" story beginnings and I ponder this way and that the torch the boy carries - it is a hot item, for sure. Loved the newspaper wearing and its sound in the wind - the homeless latching onto him for his torch's warmth. I can see Virginia loving a guy with a torch, being an Olympics fan and all. ;) Her necklace the size of an intersection - clever and hugely visual. The flamingos fit into this allegory(?) perfectly and I think your boy may have found a new way. I think this poem has an appeal for almost all ages.

Posted by A. Paige White on 02/06/09 at 07:00 PM

You just make me sigh all over the place. What a wonderful tale... and the author's note made me laugh and laugh. I'll span some flex into a coat for the chilly whethers in wont of a torch, too, just in your honor and die it in your green... Love it Worthy
;-D I think I wont balance too!

Posted by Eric Hinkle on 02/06/09 at 11:01 PM

This is amazing. That is all.

Posted by Anne Engelen on 02/07/09 at 09:55 AM

What a fantastic story. It felt like I was in a movie, the story coming alive around me. Amazing visuals. I'm such a fan of yours, Mr.Diesel.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 02/07/09 at 09:22 PM

this is a completely different form for you. and even though the style is unique, it is still definitely your voice and a very interesting way of telling a story. some classic lines in here. nicely done. carry that torch and rekindle some madness.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 03/22/09 at 02:41 AM

I found this gem. I can't believe I hadn't looked here again lately. Where have we been?
As my friend Kristina has said of you, I've had my Kenworthy fix for the day. This one, -well, this one will last waaaay longer than a day.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 03/22/09 at 02:43 AM

Consider me your glued fan. Kiss your pen. Kiss the hand that wrote this. I cannot imagine how wonderful it is to be inside your mind.

Posted by Christina Bruno on 04/27/09 at 01:46 AM

very c0ol sk

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