Bonfire Night

Here’s a poem I wrote about bonfire night. For those of you who don’t know, bonfire night happens in Ireland (and most European countries) on the 23rd of June every year. Basically it involves building a massive pyre and setting it on fire as parents and kids from the neighbourhood look on. Where I came from every road had its own bonfire and sometimes there was trouble usually involving theft or attempted theft of material from the heap.


Bonfire Night

By David Jordan


Bonfire night was always a special occasion on our road.

The heap had to be watched as rival gangs would try to

Steal from it or set it on fire prematurely.

One year we made a wigwam out of it for two or three of

Us natives to sit inside: our innocuous wickerman.


On the night

Our parents would join us

And watch the fire grow and die

Like a Greek tragedy.

For there is something primal

In watching those flames dance.

There is something fascinating

In the conflagration,

Awesome in its destructive power

As the pyre falls to pieces

Sending smoke up to the stars.


Yes, bonfire night was a special occasion for us.

Each year, for one night only,

The flames would dance and destroy.


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