The Burning Hearth May 2020

Gather around the hearth

Welcome to The Burning Hearth. In these ongoing days of social distancing, I hope you and your families are staying safe and well. Thank you for stopping by The Burning Hearth. I know you will enjoy this month’s post. The theme for the April/May pairing is motherhood. Last month, I posted “Flesh Is Memory, a poem I wrote years ago, inspired by the nightly visits I made to my daughter’s crib. This month my guest author, and dear friend, Emily Blaser, has contributed a poem titled “Sifted.”

My small children lift dirt
                      with tiny spades
                            coffee-black grains,
                            sometimes dry, but
They pile it in a pail, and
                  their spackled fingers show me
                                            treasures upturned: 
                  half a walnut shell,
                     a chewed bit of buckeye,
                         a triangular sliver of rock,
                              light on my son’s palm, 
                a “caveman tooth,” they declare, 
They mix their spoils 
                    with mud again, my son
                                 skipping around the 
                                  blue bucket of loamy soup, as 
           my daughter proudly shouts, 
                                               and stirs 
                                                    the dregs with a stick.
Later, at dusk, after a long soak in 
                                      soapy water, I trim my son’s
                                                  fingernails, watching the
                                                        thin moon clippings fall
                                                                      in the basin,
                                   black-peppered commas,
                                               sifting down, sliding with 
                                                                          the stream, 
                                                                             from the tap,
                                                                                  to the drain, and

Emily Blaser was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She studied English at the University of Kentucky and Marquette University, where she earned a doctorate in English in 2014. She now lives, writes, and parents in Milwaukee, WI, with her mathematician husband, their eight-year-old daughter, and four-year-old son.

I hope you enjoy The Burning Hearth. If you do, please share it with the story lovers in your life. The most wonderful thing about a cyber hearth is that an unlimited number of people can gather together to share its warmth.

The Burning Hearth has an open submission for the month of October. Theme: dreams. (It can be about anything with dreams as the main theme.) If interested, please submit a poem no longer than a page, or a creative nonfiction, fiction, or personal essay less than 1000 words to Please, include a brief cover letter and embed your submission in the body of the email. Sorry, I will not open attachments. Deadline for entry is July 1, 2020. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “The Burning Hearth May 2020

  1. I don’t hear any audio. Sorry!!
    Hope all is well. Miriam


  2. Thanks, Miriam.

    For all my email subscribers, you need to go to my website in order to hear the audio.



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