Slender pillar burning bright,
remarkably distinguished.
I wish that you could stay the night
but you must be extinguished.

Your wick shall be collapsed between
my thumb and foremost finger.
Apologies for hours hence
that you had thought to linger.

Yet even as I snuff you out,
fear not, dismantled flame –
for night again shall doubtless come
and day go whence it came.


C.M. Rivers’ poems have appeared in Badlands, Spoon River, The Wayfarer, Soundings, and elsewhere in print and online.  Nominated once for the Pushcart Prize, you can read more of his writing at  A native of the Pacific Northwest, he currently lives in California. 

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4 Responses

  1. Monty

    Without the title, C.M. (and maybe without the word ‘wick’); the above piece wouldn’t have looked incongruous in the current SCP Rhyming Riddle competition.

  2. C.B. Anderson


    This is “slight” verse, no big deal. I’ve written much of it myself.

  3. Mark Stone


    1. The first line, of course, made me think of “Tyger Tyger, burning bright.” 2. I would make the rhyme scheme consist. To do this, here are two ideas for L7&8:

    I’m sorry for your hours unseen
    when you had hoped to linger.

    Regret I had to intervene
    when you had hoped to linger.

    And here is an idea for L11: “for night will come without a doubt”

    3. I very much like this poem.


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