Adolescent Tongue

Photo of the Eagle Creek Fire provided by Oregon Live

Haze is in our voice,

Wraps the air in orange

Our mouths taste of ash

From heat and dryness

Encircling our throats

We speak through filters

We become speechless


 Our voice is smoke

As the sun turns colors

A Pumpkin glow, fluttering

Our talk is like cinders

Composed of dark cumulus

Layers bound inside bark

Released…we become confused


We seek the onshore flow

The lucid linear spoken spell

That quells our child tongue

Who claims immortality

Even if just for a second.

To deny the child

That sparks within us…for

It is us who light the dark.

The moth is eaten by flame….gone

31 Comments on “Adolescent Tongue

  1. Your poem is exquisite. Every word and image of fire and its attributes creates a tight-woven tapestry. I loved the colors of the fire in the picture. I thought the golfers were young boys. “All in the eye of the beholder.”


  2. The moth… It’s driven to light. Like a guide….

    Last line… that guidance is gone. We’re left kind of mindless.

    I love your writing. I love that the mind of your eyes can transport us. I love that you can do the same with words.



  3. Very appropriate considering the fires that have been ravaging the West Coast lately. Just WHAT are those golfers doing?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful poem, Elan. You described the air, sky and red sun perfectly, as it was here this week. Ash has stopped falling now in SW Wash. and air quality has improved for the moment. No rain though. Need it to wash away the ash! 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In Victoria here, we have many a bush fire, and at their worst they are definitely the most scariest events that can happen, and day turns into ashen darkness…


  6. I responded too quickly. During a break at. I usually read your pieces more than once. I always let it soak in first.

    Now as for the golfers… It’s just that. I see them first. If I close my eyes and listen to your poem… I can see children playing. The golfers throw me off for some reason. But… that’s the point. Right.

    Talk more tonight.



  7. Yes! A haze and then some. Had actual ash falling for quite a few days in a row. Hope we are both in for cooler weather soon.


  8. Another artfully oblique mirror of the human / nature condition. All the planet has to do is sneeze and what we are and what we know is gone. Wind, water, fire. Life and Death. Art and the obvious bliss of ignorance in the infallibility of the ‘system’. The irony is in the seams. “Can’t buy me love, no…everybody tells me so.” But Henry sure loved his new putter.


  9. I guess your poetry is loud and robust. Usually it matches my brain. It just took me a while for this one.


    I’m comming back to one of your older posts later. I understand now why I didn’t know how I felt about it at the time.

    Takes me a while to catch up to your speed babe!



  10. Yes, there have been more than a few smokey moments in Portland this summer. Plus, it’s been hotter than usual. It’s put people in a “haze”.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderfully written poem. Here in Washington we have had more hazy, ashy days than not from distant fires that seem too close. They actually closed the Western Washington State Fair for two days this week due to poor air quality.


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