Campfire trajectories around a fire ring, South Wallowas . . .
On the road in the American Northwest.

  1. Fire, our dependence there on and use there of, is one of the
    defining characteristics of our species. There is perhaps no better
    place to come back in contact with one's primal man or woman
    than around the archetypal campfire and its ur-traditional ring of

    Here is a little set of three 37-step poems which dances
    around this theme:

. . . FIRE RING . . .


A circle of stones,
silent, sure sign that others have
slept here, built a fire, before me,

a shared sense

of safe stars under
night skies, high trees, one bright clear flame.


A circle of stones,
not square, but round, flat level ground
for sleep, offerings found for warmth,

water, for

that timeless crackling
sound of fire, fires past, future, now.


A circle of stones,
burned black as night, as crows, those
empty centers filled with bright sparks,—

stories told

by old men, young eyes
wake up with the light of life's learning.

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2007
(created: X.21.2007)