The crucible never goes out of style (a poem)

Inspired by the fiery explosions in Twin Peaks.

No one ever explained the fascination with fire
in its most explosive form

As an American, I know that blowing shit up is fun
but that always happens outdoors

The chamber was a new twist
inside, flame charging flame
fighting for dominance
while all around
the world fell apart

Only back then
the world falling apart
was a positive change
the gloves coming off
because the fight was over

Fire was no longer the sign of our destruction
but the desperate last act
of a despot determined to hold on
or destroy what was left
before he was gone

It’s different now

The old despots have gone
the new ones run the conquering lands
which are themselves burning
conflagrations fuelled by tempests
while hopefuls line up
for their turn to govern the ashes

Where flames do not yet burn
temperatures are rising
steam teases the corners of the ceiling
papers curl at the edges

Outside the chamber
the sound of boots
men with flame-throwers

(3 August 2018)