The Burning Man
The burning man sat still and calm.
Soaked in gasoline and enflamed,
he nevertheless remained calm.
He blazed like a flaming torch, but
within the inferno he was composed
as he watched the fire devour his body.
The beekeeper watched the man burn.
Understanding nothing, he watched the
flames lick the man’s flesh from the
startling whiteness of bone. Once the
burning was over, he donned his mask
and went outside to care for the bees.
Song of the First Bird
The first bird chirps. He sings, in solo voice
his own particular theme, his early morning
song, sung once or more, repeating in its
small and tuneful way his message to the world.
And then that mighty avian choir picks up and
decorates his theme with rising gusto, repeats
and amplifies his anthem to the sun. I often
hear that causal bird, the first to call on some
bright morning, though other days I fail to recognize
the song for what it is, perhaps too sleepy,
or elsewise distracted. I should make time — it’s
worth the strain to hear that scant and tenuous
song. To hear the pure thematic beauty,
simply stated by a solo voice, before that too
emphatic choir picks up the melody and takes
its turn, pouring out from every tiny fluttering
breast the daily serenade, that blithesome sound.
Paul Ilechko was born in England but has lived much of his life in the USA. He currently lives in Lambertville, NJ with his girlfriend and a cat. Paul has had poetry published recently by Dash Literary Journal, Gravel Magazine, Gloom Cupboard, MockingHeart Review and Slag Review, among others.