Volume 3 Number 4


Autumn 2005

The Starkindler

by Elizabeth Barrette

Illustrated by Vincent Van Gogh

God crouches on the floor of night,
hoary bearded, brown hair streaked with gray,
thick fingers flexing,
knees dimpling the soft dark dust.

Between His hands he spins a sliver
of gravity, pressing its point firmly
against the plane.

A wisp of smoke spirals up.

God presses harder, twirls faster.
His breath comes in quick pants.
He has been at this for a while.
He is getting a little tired now.

presses harder,
twirls faster.

At last, a spark!
Springing up at the point,
a single bead of light becomes
a beacon in the silty dark.

God leans close and breathes upon it –
carefully, carefully! –
the breath of life.

The spark flickers, flares, fades …
will it go out?
… no, flares again,
a tiny fire gaining confidence
in its time.

God breathes again,
and the spark
grows stronger.

Delicately, He tips the quickening coal
into a ready-made nest of tinder,
where it gleams and gleams
with a sweet hot light.

God smiles at the new-made star.

Then He takes a step to one side,
stretching His long long legs,
sets point to plane …

and begins again.