The scent of fiery crumbs

A poem for Jilly’s Jim Harrison bonanza. Don’t ask me why the words inspired this reaction, they just did.

“I love the tracks left by hundreds of species of birds that remain in the air like we do.”


You say you watch me sleeping,

but do you see the colour of my dreams,

and feel the wind rush through my pinions?

Would you follow me just because?

On waking you are there with breakfast and projects,

And the smile you bestow on all the world,

on me, the postman, or next door’s cat.

I stare at my toast,

for you, the most solid, real thing

in this spring morning of racing cloud

and torrents of wind, drenching the wild branches.

You stroke my hand, somewhere in another galaxy,

luxuriating in the aroma of your coffee,

the dancing treetops, whisking the clouds to creamed butter,

a peripheral distraction—

a hail of meteorites,

a cloud of midges.

I leave my toast and fly with the gusty wind,

In my wake, a trail of fiery crumbs

and the scent of boiled coffee,

And you will never know,

that when I said I would bring you back a star,

I meant it.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

10 thoughts on “The scent of fiery crumbs”

      1. It felt like there were ellipses but we were meant to fill them in and we were guided, I don’t know if I am explaining what I mean very well. But I loved it.

      2. No, that’s a good way of describing the breaking off from a thought and letting it go. Where it goes is anybody’s guess. I don’t think we always know where our thoughts are taking us, and sometimes, when we do, we stop before we get there, because it’s unhappy or unpleasant. I see it as a flock of startled birds scattering.

      3. Yes. Sometimes there is that “don’t go there” I say to myself, and redirect into some other line, while the first thoughts just sit there, tossed out of the car on the side of the road and I speed away…

      4. Most of what’s in the past is beyond help. Best leave it alone. And the speculation of ‘what if’ is so like the whingy ‘if only’ I refuse to go there either.

  1. Sometimes the Harrison lines, or any other prompt, takes me to an unexplained poem. No questions asked; few answers would there be. This poem sparkles with fantasy and flight. Upon standing back and looking at this painting, I am most captivated by the treetops whisking clouds into butter, the smell of coffee, those midges, and the hand being stroked. Love what Harrison does in your world!

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