Appearing cold as death, I gasp for air.
A breeze gives me the kiss of life, I flare
and once revived, I dance like Fred Astaire,
my flying steps, a pistol-crack of sound.

Content to be alive, I dance my fill,
then hunger strikes, a gnawing need to kill;
to reach, to touch, devour, it’s such a thrill,
destroying every place where I am bound.

Gaze deep to see the pictures there, they taunt;
reflections of the world you humans haunt.
Aflame, my chorus line of death, I flaunt
or softly warm the lulled recumbent cat.

I can be warm and gentle, at my whim
that coaxes back to life the frozen limb
or heats the backside of the Master, him
who straddles, owner proud, astride the mat.

I broiled, imprisoned in Earth’s rugged crust,
erupting now and then before men’s lust
for knowledge caught a spark which freed and thrust
me central to his life and power beckoned.

If given pride of place, the centre-piece,
I condescend to dance, that’s my caprice.
Pay homage to my glow, but never cease
your vigilance, don’t trust me for a second.

© Marion Sharville

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