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Where the smell of a bonfire takes me

by Julie Adams

January 12, 2010

Wandering like a womble
I trudge through the fresh duvet of snow,
lens poised between red fingertips
wide-eyed and hungry, quiet hunter
on the hillsides I left behind;

my childwise eyes recall random minutia,
a bramblewood of this microcosm I knew—
all else memory sacrificed
to the flicker of the burning bonfire—
it’s scent still lures me, down any wooded path.

Familiarity is found in a neighboring village,
a brick-red berry cluster in the snow-draped holly bush,
every sweet shop, stone church, post box, and narrow lane
encased by frosted hedge-lined fields, wooly livestock grazing.

Like thr dark Guinness steeped woodwork of a farm pub,
like chip shops, curry houses, and cups of tea,
how they permeate in me. And for
dessert, I savor
each morsel of nostalgia,
like the tingle of a sugar-crusted cola cube

This sweet train—a vision of heritage—rumbles on
through the countryside, down into my child-side
where mossy hills of memory
one by one succumb to
. erosion . drought .
. chalk .
. dust .

like that white horse
carved upon the open hillside.


Author's Note: (revised 6/19)

Posted on 03/02/2011
Copyright © 2021 Julie Adams

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Tom Goss on 03/02/11 at 07:32 PM

First of all, don't change the title, you nailed it, because then the poem delivers on that promise in spades. I do enjoy savoring your finely-crafted verse. Wonderful use of form, especially the last stanza, which is superb, from "This sweet train.." to "drought, chalk, dust" to the image of the white horse - the culmination there is totally poemgasmic. ;)

Posted by Linda Fuller on 03/03/11 at 11:16 PM

I like this poem very much and think your working title is excellent. Smells are so very evocative, aren't they?

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 03/05/11 at 03:29 PM

Great reminder of how a smell can be so universal and personal at the same time in its evoking of memory and creating new ones. Congrats on hitting No. 1 jewels.

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 03/05/11 at 10:27 PM

You are a brilliant writer, Jewels....I enjoy reading all your work and this one especially. EXCELLENT!!!I LOVE your descriptive imagery-it is fantastic.

Posted by Britt Zimmerman on 03/06/11 at 04:13 AM

Wow! It has been forever since I have checked out poetry on this site and yours did not disappoint. Beautiful poem!

Posted by Joe Cramer on 03/06/11 at 08:48 PM

... excellent.....

Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 05/25/11 at 01:32 PM

this took me back to days of camping and the hikes that surrounded it. awesome.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 06/15/11 at 04:48 PM

Such fine writing - mesmerizing - I want to go to this place. There is the deep richness of images married to time's changes, all given to us in the photographer's eye, the poet's detail.

Posted by Uriel Tovar on 07/17/14 at 10:30 PM

congratulations on potd well deserved.

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