The Shine Journal

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Building a Fire by the Baptism River


Gary Bloom

I’ve wound down the spiral
of highway 61
coming at last to this stretch of pine and brush,
a few burned stumps from a fire years ago,
land that is my own.
A quick stream brings messages
to Lake Superior, baptizing it
with holy water.

I’ve built my teepee fire so close
the flame bites the water. At night
the thin water over rocks burns white
and in the wet fog I look for wood
beneath boughs and rocks.
The darkness crowds in quickly.
I feel the shadow
of a pine touch me
lightly on the head.

Bio: Gary Bloom has been writing articles, poetry, and short stories for more than 20 years, with credits in many magazines, websites, and newspapers.  He grew up in Minneapolis and has Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Mankato (Minnesota) State University. After working for many years as a computer programmer and database administrator he
now writes and fishes full time in Pass Christian, MS.

Motivation: Nature inspired this poem during a camping trip to northern Minnesota.

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