“I crave the pyre,” the winter witch sighed

“I crave the pyre,” the winter witch sighed December 6, 2018


I crave the pyre

because I am 



My hearths are 


And my bones 


I need life

back in these joints

Strike the flint 

   Reignite what I lost 

Toss me onto the flames

        then, I’ll be one with them again 

My bones will crack once my scorched flesh reveal them 

 You’ll know my fortune then

It spans far beyond 

 the scattering of my ashes to the four winds 

I have an eternity in my waking eyes 

Staring past you through the haze of smoke and crackling fire 

You grant me your power,

through that gaze 

I saw you there, I realize bitterly—I saw you there, in that dusk

I was not invited under that star

yet I showed there, anyway, 

gazing through the thatch of hay and mud 

To thirst and gasp for a light brighter than my own 

He was smiling—I didn’t know gods smiled 

When no one saw, 

I left a bundle of pine and holly and dried lavender, tied with my last bit of twine

I think of that infant as I blink through the snow and my firelight,

The last light to tend me onto my great beyond 

I am cold, I think again mutely, the chains binding my wrists far colder than I 

The flames at last lap up around my ankles, my waist, my chest 

I scream, and smile, shrieking into the night because there’s no one to stop me

And I think of Him again, that child weeping in the night

And I weep aloud with Him 

      waiting for the embrace 

           of my own mother 

      to rub the cold away





Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/wood-explosion-fire-hot-8504/

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  • Ken Cullen

    Thank you Jen…a poem not unlike T.S. but also reminding me of Jeanne d’ Arc. The Infant’s birth and the consummation of fire by fire. as T.S writes;
    The dove descending breaks the air
    With flame of incandescent terror
    Of which the tongues declare
    The one discharge from sin and error.
    The only hope, or else despair
    Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—
    To be redeemed from fire by fire.