Pick-a-Poem: “Making Sparks”


Welcome, blog readers, to another “Pick-a-Poem” post! In case you haven’t read one of these before, our “Pick-a-Poem” posts feature a new poem each week for you to read, enjoy, and discover. We hope that you’ll read a poem here and go on to discover more work by that author. All of our poems come from Poetry Daily, which is a great website that features a new poem every day. This week we’re featuring Making Sparks by Kita Shantiris.

According to her bio page, Kita Shantiris‘ work has appeared in several different publications, including Ambit, Poetry, The Fish Anthology, Wisconsin Review, and others. Her work was featured in an anthology called The Border (Bombshelter Press, 1984). In 2012, she won second prize in the Ballymaloe International Poetry Contest and has twice been the runner-up in Fish Publishing’s contest.

Making Sparks by Kita Shantiris

No fire was ever made so—
not from two sticks
just rubbing.
There’s no magic
in saplings.

It takes a hearth,
dry but not brittle,
soft for a notch
where the drill fits.
Even poison oak will catch.

Dig a moat at right angles
to the hearth’s inlet.
Line it with lichen, thistledown,
the innerbark of a willow.
Concentration is the secret.

Only so can the arm twirl
long enough and fast enough
to heat rivers of sawdust.
First brown, then brighter,
something red ignites in the tinder.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s poem! For more posts like this one, click here.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


2 thoughts on “Pick-a-Poem: “Making Sparks”

  1. Kita Shantiris Curry October 28, 2015 / 1:05 am

    Thank you Mary Egan for choosing “Making Sparks” from my first full-length collection–“What Snakes Want.” When I’m not writing poetry, which I stopped doing for more than 20 years, I run Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles where I go by Kita S Curry, PhD. Forgive me if I posted this twice. Trying to get the hang of this site.

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