The Old Man and The Fire

He felt drowned in his darkness

of cold willow shade and death.

He slouched on his rocking chair

with his big wrinkled fingers,

his rock cheeks, tree trunk forehead,

lazy Z’s sang lullabies.


Last year’s fire sang lullabies

filled the air with ash darkness.

Struggled to see past forehead

past charred remains of hot death,

drew symbols with ash fingers,

wiped them from wood on his chair.


Flames had encircled his chair,

licked his porch with lullabies,

caressed with amber fingers.

He thought of deep sleeps darkness,

if he had a place in death,

rubbed wrinkles on his forehead.


Those past Ash Wednesday foreheads,

Sunday teachers in their chairs,

a flood of life before death,

fragrant times lost lullabies.

His want to embrace darkness,

held on with tips of fingers.


He once held his son’s fingers,

moved hair from daughter’s forehead,

turned on the light in darkness,

his wife’s comfort, like his chair.

Sang family lullabies,

never about lonely death.


Flames removed thoughts of his death,

heat tried to smooth his fingers,

not an end a lullaby,

not an angel, a forehead,

a time past, sat on his chair,

middle of charcoal darkness.


Forgave death, wiped his forehead,

cleaned his fingers, rocked his chair,

flames lullabies, his darkness.



Jamie Lee Hamann
Latest posts by Jamie Lee Hamann (see all)

Jamie Lee Hamann

My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished seven collections of poetry and plans for more. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

6 thoughts on “The Old Man and The Fire

  • May 29, 2016 at 2:22 AM

    Wow, Jamie. This is much like Faulkner’s ‘stream of consciousness’ method of writing. Very interesting and tense. All the nostalgic thoughts that run through the old man’s mind is great, a nice touch. Well done!

    • June 19, 2016 at 5:52 PM

      Phyllis, what a great compliment. I love Faulkner and have dedicated many hours of my life journeying through his writing. Thank you.

  • May 29, 2016 at 3:19 AM

    Some really great phrasing here Jamie, nice work. Lovely expression with stark imagery and phrases to provoke much thought, of age of life and the inevitability of death. Excellent work.

    • June 19, 2016 at 5:50 PM

      Thank you Tony for your comment. Your words keep me motivated to write. A gift that requires much thanks.

  • May 29, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    An Old Man’s Lament. When the time comes we old men have a burning desire to repent. Vast memories stored away in our heads. So we can draw upon them at will, to solace our burning souls. The funeral procession not wanted as our ashes slowly burn and dust we become once more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Our cookie settings are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. By continuing to browse this website you are accepting our cookie policy.