Fire and Opposites

The excitement in the belly – sizzle –
of existence in the body is burning.
Put an ear to a belly
hear the belly juices jizzle.
There’s a fire in there
fizzing up a warming in there.
And it’s a comforting warm
like a cool, cool warm.
It’s a soothing cool fire and that’s the kind
warm it is; a living warm.

It is alive and it knows it and it’s thoughtless too
this knowledge of living
in this knowledge of fire
and it’s almost senseless
but every belly feels it
and that’s the kind of knowledge it is
in the temple.
So, keep the body in the temple,
Keep the fire in the belly,
Keep the tempo cool when the body beats,
be beating fast
and be beating still.
The body is warm when the body is still –
contemplative still.

But the bodies in the world
be beaten down by the world
be beaten down
be beaten
and be burnt, be burned out
be burned up.
And then the cool, cool fire that warms chars
and cinders and scars
and that’s the kind of burning it becomes.

This being human is so much like being confused.

And that is why some gods cry
we can’t be in heaven here
it’s cold in here
cold as…………
god bless gesundheit.
praise be hallelujah.
a cat called Buddha got treed
on his way to Calvary.
Moses muttered his mantra
then remembered his meeting
on the mountain
namaste to the nomads
in the desert
that burning bush is returning to nirvana.

Yeah! it’s crazy hot this crazy heat
and it makes you do crazy things……
like trying to forget that homeless woman
on NPR radio during the frigid cold wave
that homeless, homeless woman who wouldn’t go to the shelter
that homeless, homeless, homeless woman who couldn’t remember her name
that homeless woman
about to lose in a bottle of booze three frostbitten toes
and what else who knows.

Sometimes the fire that can burn with a cool, cool warm
burns instead like ice
on naked meat.

Sometimes cold as homelessness.
Sometimes cold as loneliness.
Sometimes cold as………..

Ah but satan never said he was a stranger
and satan never has been a stranger

So, let’s think about this…
if fire is hot
and if good and evil are opposites
and if hades is an inferno
then heaven must be cold as………
cold as………
that cold.


Artwork © TJ Edson

Artwork © TJ Edson


Ken Delano is one-half of the poetry performance team Kenadine Delano, The Poetry Company. Before retiring from touring two years ago they traveled both across the USA and to countries like Venezuela, So. Korea, Japan and Turkey performing poems of well-known poets (available to the students in textbooks) for grades K-12. Now they have the time to perform their own poems.

TJ Edson: “I have the tendency to funnel the chaos and madness of my own mind’s intent into digestible artistic forms. The value of documenting the journey that this entails is becoming more and more important to me. Through this practice, I am able to better understand and grapple with a manic chemistry that drives me to create and to destroy.”