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Smoke and Fire

The deepest hue blue Longwyspill,

vase - that serves yet - as ornament,

blooms with deep toned taper shafts,

brittle, gaudy in Edwardian.

And Grandpa, also short, selects,

stoops to grate, bell-push aside,

and makes a meal of pipe-lighting,

a leisurely affair for him,

for me, professional at work.

In his chamber, first packed then tamped,

over dottle, stummel caressed,

while ring of fire, floats round above,

will-o’-the-wisp, that glow about.

A low rite muse, reflection now,

a retrospective, curling smoke.


Then the lifeboat siren sounds

and wailing straight unsettles Mum -

the Blitz she knew has reappeared.

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