Finest Fire

The finest fire
I’d ever made
Was tonight a pyre
For the sending-off

It hap­pened with­out rhyme or cause –
Sweet obsid­i­an-eyed creature,
Snow-white coat and soft­est paws

Then the ruin of harms unknown,
And its own­er final­ly com­ing forth,
But too late alas,
For I can bring no life to the dying.

Fate steels me to watch, kiss and cuddle
As his soft breath of life departs

The young man who owned him did not understand …
He’d been through too many win­ters in just twelve,
Our world’s bosom had been naught there but cold,
And tonight more ice grows deep in that heart.

Will he e’er understand … ?

To avail the helplessness
To cleanse this guilt
[For I feel tru­ly helpless]

This pyre is my gift to you, innocent:
So hot it burns that noth­ing is left;
The per­fec­tion of my aged craft
Lives as your per­fect final flight,

For after all that has happened,
This is what I know to be right.

Young man, seek your solace
For I can only lend hope,
In the knowl­edge that your friend
Is now safe from all pain

He will dance and spin, gleam and jig
Among shim­mer­ing starfields in gold­en joy

And per­haps his spir­it returns to watch,
Or per­haps he returns from whence he came
To dance in the starfields
And blaze a trail.

Fire, your wings work great deeds tonight.

Twelve feet high in fury-wrought plumes,
You sig­nal all the night to our friend’s return
With a flash of the earth no one will forget.

We release this body to flight
In the clar­i­on-call of sparks.

Embers, car­ry my last whispers,
As the dis­mal evening dies,
Of a friend who we loved
With kind wish­es on high.

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