Rosemary Badcoe


The rapid oxidation of material is fire.
Slow processes like rust or digestion are not fire.

Rumour is a spark and gossip is a flame.
I search in the sound and the smoke for the fire.

A confrontation is a shout, is a fist, is a fight.
A conflagration heats the air, is a blaze, forms a fire.

I’m pointing at conclusions, stepping on hot coals.
I’m shooting from the hip; not waiting for the ‘Fire!’

Bioluminescence during twilight is a sign –
glowing like a firefly I’m alight, I’m on fire.

Cold fire, like cold fusion, is a thermogenic myth.
Touch me and you’ll burn in exothermic fire.

I’m a fool, I have run too far into the pyre.
You combust. I am fuel. I am scandal poured on fire.


Rosemary Badcoe is designer and editor of the online poetry journal Antiphon, Her first collection, Drawing a Diagram, was published Aldrich Press in 2017