On a broken lighter

A series of poems (circa 1999)

On a Broken, Worn Out, Cheap, Plastic, Cigarette Lighter.
( i )
Oil processed, metal mined,
Gas released, so refined;
Cog turning, flint burning;
Ergonomically designed.
( ii )
reflections on a cigarette lighter:
distorted – not much.
 ( iii )
Shall I compare it to a source of light?
Or shall I simply call it flaming junk?
When it was new it struck and lit all right.
But now it’s just a useless, lifeless hunk.
Of plastic, metal and of gas composed,
A man made thing to do the job of fire.
It might be clever if I juxtaposed,
The foundry’s rush and a heavenly choir.
Singing its song it lit up many nights,
But now it’s gone and ever will reside,
On the council tip with the other shite.
Silting the globe, why did it have to die?
Do not believe its life has been in vain,
‘Cos from the dump it will rise once again.
 ( iv )
The thing is like a stick of light.
It is a bite of frost.
Its lion’s roar, its breath so bright,
A broken beam, it’s lost.
( v )
Fruit of mans’ hand,
We don’t understand,
How much you demand.
 ( vi )
There was a young lighter from Spain,
Who sparked time and time again,
‘Til one day it fucked up;
No more gas it chucked up.
And now it’s a piece of useless non-degradable landfill.
( vii )
(The Sick Lighter)
O lighter you ail!
The invisible gas,
That seeps from the earth,
In barely a flash,
Has left for the good
Of emptiness;
And its secret power
Does no more caress.
 ( viii)
Translucent plastic
Without a spark,
You were fantastic,
We had a lark.
But now it’s all over;
And not before time.
Served like a lover;
Like a friend of mine.
 ( ix )
Fire breathing monster gone.
Plastic body all alone.
Lying on the kitchen floor.
I should have chucked you long ago.
( x )
A lighter you are;
A delicious tool,
Filled with flaméd gas.
A finite amount
Of breath to give;
To burn like the sun,
‘Til your job’s done.
Then what?
Return to the Earth.
Settle to rest,
Your exoskeleton.
And quietly de-compose.
But you’re not the body,
So empty, devoid;
You are the fuel,
Now re-deployed.
( xi )
Dearly beloved,
We are gathered here together,
To represent an artefact –
A useful tool,
Dug up from the earth,
Designed by the Maker.
Put together
The molecules,
Thank Newton,
Thank Bell,
Thank Socrates,
And you might as well
Thank God.
But now it’s time,
To begin the process
Of disassociation,
Of flying away,
Of re-emerging,
Re-Use,
Re-organisation.
Rest-in-Peace.

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