Brown and burgundy; the leaves wave
From the trees like hands
In the darkness, the
Orange grins of pumpkins are
Parents light bonfires
Sparklers spell names, draw pictures
Cold toes, hot coffee
The contents of the overcrowded minibus spilled out onto the sand.
After being cooped up for hours in that sweaty tin-can bus, the teenagers exploded.
For hours, the golden sun gazed at the crazy teenagers in wonder
Watching as they ran and screamed and slid and clambered over the endless sand dunes
They chased, and raced, and tumbled, and played games until the sun began to sink
Then, as one, they collapsed at the bottom of a dune, exhausted
Sand caked every inch of their sticky suncream skin
They lay sprawled on the sand, using each other as pillows
When they recovered their breath, they struggled to their feet and slowly stumbled off
Searching the golden sand for driftwood
By the time the heap of wood was big enough, the sun had sunk out of sight
Leaving only the very tops of the dunes blazing with gold
They lit the fire and the dancing red flames shot up into the dark sky
With the last traces of energy they possessed, the teenagers leapt to their feet
And danced, and sang, and ran around the bonfire as the night fell
Holding hands, making an untidy ring around the roaring bonfire
Dancing to the left, to the right, faster and faster, stamping their feet on the sand
Singing all the campfire songs they knew, as loudly as they could
Until they ran out of songs and had to sing them all twice
All caught up in the wild stomping rhythm
When the flames died down, they collapsed around the ring of glowing coals
Marshmallows were passed around and soon everyone was eating and chatting and talking
The fire popping and crackling merrily in the centre
The stars began to prick through the heavens and shine
A yellow moon peered over a dune, then raised its dented head and climbed into the star scattered sky
The teenagers lay on their stomachs around the fire, watching the gleaming ashes with heavy eyelids
The wind gusted now and then, sending sparks like red fireflies floating through the air
The conversations grew quieter, laughter still breaking out now and then
The fire was little more than embers but the heat it gave off was cosy and comforting
Slowly, their heads drooped and the conversation faded away
With their heads resting on someone else’s stomach, they sleepily stared up at the stars
Then, one by one, they drifted away
Their dreams full of running and dancing and the stamping of feet
Until all that was left at the bottom of the moon washed dune
Were the still warm ashes of a fire
And the sticky sandy bodies of many exhausted teenagers.
A bonfire is the badass elder brother of a candle flame. He swaggers and swears and spits sparks ten feet high, watching in satisfied contempt as people gasp and cry and brush the red-hot ash off their sensitive skin. A bonfire swears with words so foul that the pure night air turns to deadly, smothering smoke. He is untameable, unstoppable; if he where able, a bonfire would spread its fiery arms out and set whole fields, whole forests alight. A bonfire is greedy. To feed him, you need to keep giving and giving. But he’ll give you nothing; just turn on you when you cease to deliver and devour you instead. A bonfire has no mercy and never hesitates. So watch out; have a great evening, but remember: a bonfire is dangerous, unpredictable and can be… deadly.
Credit for image to HelenShroom
It’s that time of year again. The Autumn Bonfire approaches.
The mornings are frosty, the sun weaker and yellow.
The leaves turning red and orange and brown like a child’s painting, falling like burnt snow from naked trees.
Shivering on the way to school. Breath like a dragon’s steam.
The bonfire being made again, piled up high as a house. Growing larger as the town’s people come and contribute with wood and leaves from their back yards.
Growing, feed by their love and hope and anticipation.
The bonfire- their symbol of Autumn. Their symbol of hope.
Because even during that terrible month of flooding and storms, the Bonfire still burnt. The people still came out of their houses and let the heat melt away their worries.
Soon, now, it will burn: the huge inferno, so hot your face seems to melt. Then the Fair will come to town, and the mighty Tar Barrels.
All of this is ahead of us. We have only to wait, and watch, and look foward to.
Bonfire Night approaches. The leaves fall, yellowed by age, to be raked up and added to the bonfire.
Watch as it grows. Children, smile and hold your mothers hand- do you know why?
Because it’s that time of year again. It’s the Autumn Bonfire.