9.6 Editor's Pick
October 3, 2019

My Waters need a Container, but my Fire needs Fuel. {Poem}

Look at my body and all you will see are mounds and lumps of flesh-clay.

It is true, my body is a topographical wonder, but what you don’t know is the violence that created these badlands.

What you don’t see are how my tectonic plates crashed together.

Volcanoes of fear over a few centuries of days formed this landscape.


It matters not to me that you know why I look the way I look, because I know what it took to escape.

Only I know how it feels after the dust and ash settle and the waters return.

And if you wish to enter this garden, you must sit at my gate for a long time.

My ripening bounty grows more juicy and delicious with your time and patience.


When you finally finger-walk your way through peaks and valleys to find a camping spot,

Do not drink from my steam, for you will find it evaporates like the morning mists under the midday sun.

Instead leave me just as you found me and wait for the moon’s rise.

Only under cover of darkness do the tender creatures emerge,

Like the unfurling of night-blooming jasmine perfuming the air, dripping with nectar.


It is then that I wonder if I’ll be too much for you.

If I melt and run like the spring flood, over-flowing my banks, will you be swept out to sea?

Can you weather the storm of my release?

Or might this ravaged landscape erode into mud slides and I will be the one lost to the tides ?


Could I survive another natural disaster?

And what of your past? Do you not have triggers from trauma?

If you contained all of me, I would explode, but if you merely occupied a part of me, I would consume you.

You see, my waters need a container, but my fire needs fuel.


Too long have I curled sightless in caves of the spirit.

But these flightless wings are still damp and the risk of injury great.

Perhaps I could fly to your planet—is it habitable?

Have you built shelter or planted soul-food?


I don’t need much—the dragon of my heart is an easy-keeper: fierce, but content with the basics.

Do you really know subtlety and patience or are you just another dragon tamer?

Could you sleep in stillness and still rise to roar at the morning light?

Would you dance on the winds with me like an unmoored kite?

Get Our Podcast:

Read 8 Comments and Reply

Read 8 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Augustine Colebrook  |  Contribution: 2,315

author: Augustine Colebrook

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Relephant Reads:

See relevant Elephant Video