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The God of Chimneys

written by: T. L. Murphy


He is not the God of Fire
let’s be very clear about that
nor the God of Smoke
though he joins the banquet in black-face
after scrubbing the flue
and eats in the kitchen with the God of Moats.
But He is the one who sees first smoke.

He cradles the child born too soon
tucked in a shoebox beside warm stone.
He draws the first flame
through straw and tinder
to raise the bread
to heat the water
and if there is but one damp match
He sometimes decides
who lives and who dies.

The forest forgets
about porches and walls
and the place by the hearth
though He crumbles by day
by brick by stone
He will stand with oaks
to greet newcomers and tell the tale
of when he was young
and hot
and much taller.

T. L. Murphy

T. L. Murphy

T. L. Murphy grew up in North Carolina and attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He immigrated to Canada in 1977 where he worked briefly as a journalist before turning to carpentry as a career. He has been a home builder for nearly forty years and during that time has published a variety of poetry, fiction and non-fiction in various journals and anthologies. He is the current Poet Laureate of Canmore, Alberta and the author of one collection of poetry titled “Up Cape Fear” available at lulu.
T. L. Murphy

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