Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Peter Schireson: Kindling

It was a long time ago, 

but I still fail to grasp

what can happen

to a child

in a moment, 

still smell 

the tang of alcohol 

on the driver’s breath.

First angry,

slowly numb,

even years later,

I still feel

nothing. 

Many mornings,

I sit hunched over in silence, 

meditating on nothing, 

waiting to combust.


Ed. Note:  If an alcoholic repeatedly goes through alcohol withdrawal, then over time the symptoms he or she experiences will become more severe. This is caused by a chemical process known as kindling which is comparable to a fire that starts with only a small amount of wood, but soon becomes uncontrollable.

Peter Schireson is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest and dharma lineage holder, having trained in both the U.S. and Japan.

Copyright 2020 Peter Schireson

2 comments on “Peter Schireson: Kindling

  1. Patricia A. Nugent
    August 4, 2020

    Thanks for linking to his bio. Amazing guy. Makes me want to know from where that poem sprang. Doesn’t every good poem make us want to do that? And that seems to be the very essence of poetry. Sometimes hard for this prose writer to grasp that a glimpse can be enough….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bosselaar Laure-Anne
    August 4, 2020

    How by saying so little one can say so much….

    Liked by 1 person

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