Thursday, April 28, 2011

55 - 451 and climbing

i burn books
on cool mornings
to keep warm

flames lick the pages &
though the carcinogens
in the ink and your words
will probably kill me

i am pleased
the trees, folded
and bound to
your will and whim,
finally have their say

in smoke signals
climbing on the breeze
into the blue sky.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read moe, go see G-man.

Over at Friday Poetically today, we are having a bit of a Friday social, meeting new people, making new friends.

106 comments:

Dot-Com said...

Books as smoke signals. I'll remember that one!

David Allen Waters said...

great stuff my friend, as always :)

Titanium said...

When words simply won't articulate, one can always resort to making them sing through the smoke. You wrapped these fifty-five words right around your thoughts and sent them sling-shot high.

Daniel said...

Is this an endorsement of the iPad?

Suz said...

lordie!... a delight

Monkey Man said...

Speed reading to the point of combustion again? Ease back, Brian.

The Bug said...

I have definitely read some things that I thought were carcinogenic. This is really clever - I like it!

G-Man said...

Son...Why are you burning these books?
This is so Bradburyian!!
I'm sure you have your reasons, but I don't get it.
One of these days you are just going to write a story with a plot and a central character, and no Millerarian Symbolysim

Thanks for playing though, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

tera said...

I like this one a lot. Secret Agent Man and I were just talking about Fahrenheit 451 a couple days ago, how interesting.

Pat Hatt said...

Love then in smoke signals line
That just makes this damn fine
You rocked the few words one this time
I just hope your book pile I don't climb
When you set it on fire
As that just be dire

Heather said...

ooh, i really like this one! have a great night!

Maggie said...

Very cool Brian.As usual.:)

Betsy said...

Not your favorite book I'm guessing. lol...

emmettwheatfall.com said...

Oh man, very nice. From start to finish. Very tight and awefully nice. I love this one. Brian.

happygirl said...

My kindle started the fire, didn't it?

Margaret said...

Can't do that with a Kindle! :)

dustus said...

You book burner you! At first I was thinking, 55 minus 451? *scratches head* I'm not a math guy, but I appreciate great writing. Awesome

moondustwriter said...

trying to read the smoke signals
nice 55

Natasha said...

I worship moonlight and the written word. The mere thought of a burning book makes me cringe, and this piece instills a sadness within. This is an image painted in living, vibrant color...and I am off to my book room to make sure all is well... (Actually, I'm now off to chat with cat) Another awesom write, Rock Star Poet :)

Raven said...

Poor books. ;)

5thsister said...

Best not to burn books at all for the smoke can kill you!

Seriously though...you packed a punch in so few words.

hedgewitch said...

I like the line about the trees. This is an excellent poem, Brian, full of regret and a knowledge one might wish not to have.

Mama Zen said...

Marvelous imagery, Brian!

rosaria said...

Yes, there is a plot in them words, and no amount of smoke will melt them away.

lime said...

makes me think they are books containing meaning for a couple that is no more.

great imagery as always.

as an aside, i am sorry i don't get here every week that i have played and you have so faithfully commented on my offerings. please know it's generally because things have gotten out of control in my neck of the woods. but i appreciate that you take the time and i'm always struck by your words when i come to visit here.

Linda said...

You manage to say so much with so few words. Well done Brian!

Brian Miller said...

what am i trying to say tonight...hmm...honestly i really dont know...or maybe i do but...i am liking the interpretations so far...i emailed natasha and told her it was my nirvana poem...like teen spirit where you think you might get it but seriously...

451 is a refernce to bradbury, yes indeed.

C.M. Jackson said...

despite going up in smoke, the words are still heard and felt--well done-c

Me said...

Wow, very dystopian. I love this.

ed pilolla said...

you can make burning books a pretty image against a blue sky, man.

Barbara said...

Love the poem, and I think the idea of books as smoke signals is creative, but oh, I hate the image of books burning!! (Good job!)

KB said...

The trees have their revenge. They were killed so we could read and now they kill us from their smokey fire :)

TALON said...

Oh, I can soooo see the trees having their revenge!

Brian Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Hoyt said...

Very clever in only 55 words.

Millie said...

Amazing. Your words really could make a bonfire!

magiceye said...

wow! brilliant!

Lady Fi said...

So wonderfully poetic!

LeahJ.Lynn said...

Thank you ,it was nice meeting you and reading some of your work.

Alice Audrey said...

Must be a book you really hate.

libraryscene said...

Fab 55...I didn't read the title beyond 55..just started reading...and I'm thinking "it's Bradbury!" (duh, then read title) 451, great book! "in smoke signals..." is a killer last stanza ~

me_duress said...

though the carcinogens
in the ink and your words
will probably kill me

- Love it !

haikulovesongs said...

sometimes i worry about you, Brian. {smile} great 55. dani

Scott said...

Those opening lines...gotta love a nonchalant entrance like that.

blueviolet said...

I'd smack you if you were really burning books.

Ténèbres à la lumière... said...

"i burn books
on cool mornings
to keep warm

flames lick the pages &
though the carcinogens
in the ink and your words
will probably kill me..."


Hi! Brian...
My thoughts after reading the seven lines Of your 55 word poem...451 The Temp at which most books start to burn...My favorite author [Ray] Bradbury, who is now in his 90s and what a great use Of 55 words...Once again, well done!
Thanks for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

anthonynorth said...

Clever use of Bradbury there. And even when they burned the raw material, there was still communication.

Olivia said...

oooh!

Once again a very profound and yet a powerful 55..

Friday Hugs xox

trisha said...

an interesting one brian. reminded me of pirates of carribean :) using wine bottles as smoke signal.

MorningAJ said...

Interesting. Not sure that burning books is the best way for the trees to get their revenge.

My 55 are here.

ayala said...

Love it, Brian :)

Maggie May said...

Burning books????? Perish the thought.
Sacrilege!!!!!!!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

budh.aaah said...

Bound against their will - at least the trees finally have their say. Great 55 Brian.

repressedsoul said...

Life teaches you more than books lol...er! Well written Brian!

Akelamalu said...

Great words Brian. :)

Nessa said...

There are exactly 55 comments before mine.

Nessa said...

Would it be ok to burn books to keep warm? Wasn't that a scene in Dr. Zhivago?

TechnoBabe said...

"Smoke signals climbing on the breeze" is a great line.

Brian Miller said...

any one that knows me IRL would know i love books and would never burn them, unless a last resort of survival. i have boxes of them. for me it is metaphor, for that which has been oppressed...

Arts Web Show said...

All i can think about is all that culture lost in those burnt books.
I mean Wayne Roonies autobiography is a cornerstone of our society.
Ha ha ha

the walking man said...

Yeah man get rid of all that accumulated writing. Burn baby burn the ignorance can thrive easier then!

Lorraine said...

what you say always appeals to me in a giant hurt, or in beauty, necessity

rmpWritings said...

i wish i could read smoke signals, so i would know what the trees have to say. but maybe it is better i didn't 'cause i might be plagued by the whisperings of my giant library of books...

Brian Miller said...

heading to the zoo this morning with about 75+ kindergartners...if i survive i will return comments this afternoon...happy friday all!

Just Be Real said...

I remember when they burned the Beatles records back in the 60's when J. Lennon said they were bigger than Christ. Blessings to you Brian.

Ocean Girl said...

Will you crack and let us know the meaning of this one after the zoo trip? ;)

Vicki Lane said...

The thought of burning books is close to sacrilege . . .

tracy said...

Great poem, Brian!

kez said...

really liked this although books are like demi-gods to me ! thank you

Tara Miller said...

Is there a connection here to the sad fact that books may slowly become obsolete due to the newest technology wave? I see many different interpretations here in reading your comments....that makes it fun!

Try to keep your wild little animals as tame as possible while at the zoo...

PBJdreamer said...

really like this

and your writing style!



that is all

AmyLK said...

Love the analogy! Heart breaking for any book to be burned though.....

Matt Coughlan said...

The fire in this poem feels cathartic, especially with the escape into the blue sky at the end. While sometimes we chain words to our own devices, often the words enslave us, and in this case, the speaker seems to have gotten the upper hand.

Good work! :D

PattiKen said...

I like this a lot, Brian. I'm
not sure what it is, but there's something about it that strikes me as a delicacy. Nice.

drybottomgirl said...

Some people do write with a poison pen in mind. I agree that some books should be burned but I could never do it. No matter how bad. Hoping you have a great weekend....

Penny said...

I don't know about carcinogenic ink, this blogging and writing larks certainly kills a lot of time. (lol)
A lovely pithy piece.

Aquarius63 said...

Thought provoking words Brian, nicely done.

Anita.

RNSANE said...

Well, I've read some pretty yucky books that I could send you for fuel..though, even bad, it seems difficult to burn books. I ususally give mine to Goodwill, figuring that, out there, someone's tastes may differ from mine!

My 55 is at:

http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2011/04/friday-flash-55-sealed-with-kiss-april.html

Belinda said...

Love how you articulate complexities in 55 words. And the Bradbury reference is great.

Kerry O'Connor said...

What an exceptional image, Brian, so startlingly original.

Sue said...

Oh I love this, Brian!

=)

flaubert said...

Brian, love this and it reminds me in some ways of Fahrenheit 451. I have missed your writing and that of others over at the One Stop. I have been doing the crazy 30 in 30, also.
Along with a busy work schedule, here in Mexico private teachers don't 2 weeks for Easter vacation.
I am feeling a bit toasty at this point.

Cheers,
Pamela

Claudia said...

there is so much in these 55 words - the comfort of books, keeping us warm on cool mornings..great image...the breaking free and let the "roots" have their way...really love this one..and the title is smart..

C Rose said...

You have an absolute way with metaphor and melody in poetry. Loved this piece ~ Rose

liv2write2day said...

You're amazing, Brian. I hug my books to keep warm (although it's in the 90's right now in Palm Desert! Off to golf.

Joe Hesch said...

I really liked "carcinogens in the ink and your words will probably kill me." Everyone on this page knows the power of words--they can hurt as much, if not more, than they heal.
Very nice piece, Brian.

jaytale said...

Love the 'smoke signal' idea.

Shanae Branham said...

Smoke signals...very interesting. You have a powerful way with words.

Magpie said...

Good luck at the zoo! I'm sure you'll have lots of funny stories to tell about the experience.
I was wandering through the local Barnes and Noble with my friend Wednesday and lamenting the future of books. I'm so afraid some one will, in their infinitely misguided wisdom, convince the world we're better off without them. What a sad, sad place the world will become.

Elaine said...

Oooo...love the smoke signals... but never burn a book, even a bad one. Yard sale!!!

Lulda Casadaga said...

I hope the smoke signals register happier words..:) Great as always!

Patricia Caspers said...

I read Farenheit 451 for the first time not too long ago. Bradbury imagined headphones before they existed (and the way they would disconnect us from the world). Scary stuff.

Steve Isaak said...

Good, multlilayered work.

signed...bkm said...

beautiful..."smoke signals climbing on the breeze"....bkm

Henry Clemmons said...

AWESOME. But I'm tellin' bout the book burnin'. Loved it, Brian. Great, smooth, mature voice, skilled. AND extremely creative. ENjoyed it tremendously.

-Henry Clemmons

Don't Want A Real Job said...

Your words will probablly kill me...enjoyed this one Brian...thanks for sharing.

kkrige said...

Aren't you witty today. Kudos to G-Man for picking it out first. I am reading "The Book Thief" right now and one of the central themes is about Nazi Germany and the burning of books.

hmmm

I am keeping all my precious away from you!

Sally J said...

my first thought was that no book deserves to be burnt...but then the idea of trees being wasted on bad books turned it around - I love it when a poem makes me change my mind. that is a powerful thing for words to do.

Eileen said...

Great take on Bradbury, Brian. Love it!

secret agent woman said...

Farenheit 451! (Read in HS)

lori said...

Just when I think you can't do any better, you surprise me again. I love this, and I didn't take it literally. I really felt the power in your words. Love this.

unmitigated me said...

Followed you here from Tara's illustration. Does somebody pay you for these? Because this is amazing. You are up there with Taylor Mali. And now you are in my reader, too. Looking forward to more.

Linda said...

So sad to have to burn books, but glad they are having their say via smoke signals.

Goofball said...

book burning....that's very sad

Syd said...

A good one Brian. Licking those carcinogens--wonder how many I have licked.

Pastor Sharon said...

I'm with Daniel. . .