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Keeper of the Flame

Dusk descends,

Bathing the bushland

In suggestive shadows.

The fire crackles beside me,

Intruding into the avian symphony

That embraces the small clearing.

As I stand here,

Staring into the evening mists,

I let my eyelids drop

And I see … so many things.

The vista of my life

Opens up before me

Like a movie trailer.

Stormy seas threaten my survival,

Placid lakes reflect back my thoughtfulness,

Mysterious forests offer intrigue and adventure,

Implacable mountains block my path,

Endless plains draw me onwards.

People appear,

Young and old, familiar and unfamiliar,

People I need to love and to be loved by,

People who need me and who need my care,

People who threaten me and mean to do me harm,

People whose hate needs to be loved away,

People who will abandon me in my time of trouble,

People who will stand by me through thick and through thin.

I see myself amongst them,

Sometimes stumbling,

Sometimes walking tall.

In my mind's eye I see it all unfold …

Times of celebration … and times of heartache,

Times of rapture … and times of remorse,

Times of patient effort … and times of impatient frustration,

Times of frenzied activity … and times to just sit back and stare,

Times to lose myself in a crowd … and times to find myself in solitude;

And I wonder

How I will fare.

I'm hoping

That I'll be prepared.


About the author

Ian Robinson is a former head of Professional Writing and Editing at Chisholm TAFE. He has conducted many workshops at writing conferences. He has been an actor in or directed plays at La Mama and the Pram Factory and been the Melbourne theatre critic for the National Times. He is the author of two prize-winning one-act-plays; two full-length plays recently had successful seasons at La Mama; and his writing has been anthologised in Footy’s Greatest Players, Best Australian Sports Writing 2004 and Dream Weavers, an anthology of Australian science fiction and fantasy.

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