The Fire

Contributor, Kealan McAllister’s first poem for the Inkpot. Photo Source: Fresh Eye Solutions.

Kealan McAllister, Contributor.


A traveler walked alone through the woods of his despair 

He knew not how long he walked, where he went he did not care 

He’d only heard of the thing he yearned to find 

The voices of lost souls seemed to echo in his mind  

And without a light to guide him he was blind 


The heavy burden that he carried would force him daily to his knees 

And his mind would often urge him to lay down his head and freeze 

For who will really miss him when he’s gone 

Just when he’d given up, his will to carry on withdrawn 

Through the trees he saw a clear from whence it shone 


He stumbled to the fire, he warmed himself by her flame 

To his cheeks returned some colour, to his extremes some feeling came 

In him welled joy and wonder as he looked at what he’d found 

As the wailing voices he heard, to which he was seemingly bound 

Fell away, to give yet any, but little sound 


She had relieved him of his loneliness, but her light began to wane 

This filled him with anguish and torment, not for himself but at her pain 

Desperately he gathered fuel for her to burn 

Out of wood, he gave part of himself, and too late he would learn 

He’d never get it back, never would it return 


Never before in his life had he seen a blaze so bright 

A kaleidoscope of colour, a mirage of shimmering light 

Drawn closer to the fire he could see 

Himself within the flames, a phantom, fulfilled, content and free 

He was aware of their delusion, but he longed for it to be 



So naïve and full of yearning he would later wish he weren’t 

For he danced too close to the fire 

And he got badly burnt 

Reeling from the pain, he let his wrath prevail 

Through waves of rage and misery, he rashly filled a pail 

And doused the fire, and with a hiss her light and love did fail 


When the darkness descended, and the cold chilled him to the bone 

Only then did he realise that he was again alone 

Apart from the moaning voices in his head 

Which had returned with more fervor, filling him with dread 

He wept; it was he who they’d misled 


Alone although he was, he would endeavor on to go 

For she’d given him a part of her, a little lantern all aglow 

Although the light it cast was faint, and the warmth it gave was weak, 

It reminded him of what he’d lost, and of the thing he did now seek, 

Not to receive the love he had, but to be the warmth and light 

For others trudging through the dark like him, a beacon in the night. 





Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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