Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief
The secret public life of an author

Man in the Fire

Man-in-the-fireRAYMOND SIGIMET

Once I heard the fire talk
He talked in my lifetime
This grand man in the fire
That coughed and crackled

His voice lit up the dark
While embers danced the night
His voice in the leaping flames
That could be seen from afar

I listened into the night
For I was mesmerised
I put in more tinder wood
And I sat there and listened

Awash in the golden light
That night, in silent respect,
I listened to the flames
I truly listened

I wanted to hear his wisdom
I wanted to look at his face
I stared so long I forgot
I was staring too hard

I was blinded by the fiery glow
Of my past and my present
The arrows of my future.
The fire coughed and crackled

Then the embers danced
And I heard the flame talk
His voice so strong and calm
Yes, I heard him speak

He spoke of peace
And of forgiveness
And of our traditions
He spoke of unity

And continuity
I heard his voice
I heard his wisdom
I heard the fire talk

I wanted to look at his face
I tried so hard, so hard
And I only heard the silence
It was then that I realised

I had come only to listen
And I heard the man talk
The embers danced into the night
And his words drummed and sang


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