Two Poems by Richard Dinges, Jr.

Controlled Burn

Flames climb a hillside
just beyond my home,
with volunteer firemen
along inferno’s border,
priest to control
this burn, protect
me from this heat,
from being consumed
by flames they hold
back with their magic
while flames lick blue
sky and wave at me,
not in welcome, only
a wild glee that I
am so close, that I
recognize their taunt,
just beyond my home
where I feel safe
while the country burns.

Dry Winter

Snow shovel leans
against porch wall.
Tractor’s plow blade
lingers in barn
shadows. I prepare
my tools each season,
and then wait
for burdens yet
to arrive. Each
year, a different
story bursts storms
I cannot foresee.
Yet shovel leans
idly, taking
root in the cold.

Richard Dinges, Jr. lives and works by a pond among trees and grassland, along with his wife, one dog, three cats, and five chickens. Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Journal, millers pond, Pulsar, and Southern Poetry Review most recently accepted his poems for their publications.