New Year’s Day – Poetry by William Littlejohn-Oram

Fire, Full Moon – Paul Klee

Have you ever thrown a pile of dried leaves
and dead grasshoppers

into a dwindling fire pit, marshmallows
blackened and charring in the flame, color
rushing out of the burning logs,

then, in an instant, the fire pops
softly like a heartbeat and licks
at the bones of your wrist?

With the January wind heavy as it was,
the smoke nested in every thread
on my body, stung the back of my throat.

See this. Beauty is the ribbon
of flame and ash lifting—

its own living crisis—
flailing up into the branches
of the two drooping cedar elms

past the burnt, glass bulbs dotting
the old strings of Christmas lights.

Just as I know the glow of the fire
to again be growing soft, there is,
propped against the shed, the dry tree,

recently decorated with vintage bird ornaments
and the clay handprints of my sisters.

About the Poet

William received a degree in Fiction from the University of Houston and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Poetry from Texas Tech University. He can currently be found in Lubbock, TX, wearing brightly colored shoes. His work is forthcoming in Inkwell Journal, Amethyst Review, and Ancient Paths.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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