and the wood-smoke rolls
in a soft tumble from the roof.
Outside in the meagre sunshine,
it smells of home and warmth,
of our own small circle of firelight.

How does the meaning of a smell change so much?

Two summers ago,
smoke was the smell of fear
filling the air,
permeating every waking moment
penetrating our sleep
turning dreams to nightmares.

Two summers of rain have washed the fear away.
I know in time it will come again,
but for now
I am choosing
to let the smoke tumbling from the chimney
remind me of the warmth inside.


Filed under poem

10 responses to “woodsmoke

  1. M

    would love to see that rain here in the western US, where smoke still instills fear ~

    • 😦 I hope you get some soon. When the drought here broke in Feb 2020 it was just such a relief to feel safe again. Since then other parts of Aus have had flooding, but we’re south of that, and on a hill.

  2. On a cold, dull day the red light of a flickering fire is warm and secure. Sitting by it becomes a sanctuary of lazy, cosy pleasure. Watching the fire, monitoring the burn, the smell of woodsmoke, handling the wood, all bring comfort. Maybe this is partly ancestral memory? It appears to have an irresistible and universal appeal. I for one certainly cannot resist. And yet the fear and the paradox of burning wood are both more real than ever.

    • It is lovely. πŸ™‚ Ancestral memory makes sense – something that keeps you warm and scares the large carnivores away was a good thing.
      The paradox of burning wood when we care about climate change seems a strange one, but it’s wood that would go in controlled burns for fire protection anyway. This way it saves electricity as well.

  3. Wow, amazing writing. You bring out the contrasting moods beautifully.

  4. Pingback: lost and found/2022 beginnings | anotherKate

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