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Goretti Publications

The Fire Which Does Not Consume

Donald P. Goodman III

A fire will burn as long as fuel has not succomb'd to ash's rule, as flame will keep consuming till there's nothing left for it to burn; A fire will never cease to eat; like rage, it finds all targets sweet; and from the ravages of flame no creature ever can return.
Can there by flame which doesn't burn, which doesn't for destruction yearn, which kindles but does not reduce what it has lit to sulf'rous ash? Is there a wolf which doesn't kill? a valley which is still a hill? A thunderstorm with lightning which can neither boom nor crack nor flash?
For wolves must kill, and thunder crash, and stones when thrown in ponds must splash; so fire will always be a furnace, hot and painful to be near; Its heat must scorch the careless hand, its hunger swallow arid land when drought or reckless kindling fail the remnants of its fuel to clear.
But one great flame can persevere and burn, not making disappear, a fire which rages ever larger, but leaves neither pain nor scars; a fire which burns but won't consume, whose smoke will rise like sweet perfume, a fire which lights and guides the moon and sun and all the other stars.