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Brian K. Olson

Honorable Mention : 2008 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
Brian K. Olson was born in 1983 in the small town of Star, Idaho where he still resides. He was recently married to his wonderful wife Heather and the couple is expecting their first child in the fall of 2008. Brian began writing shortly after he entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ and considers himself a writer ultimately by grace. He published two creative non-fiction essays at the age of 16. He currently works in construction, as well as pursuing a degree in fire science and will soon begin a career as a firefighter.

About this Poem:
The process of fire is seen through this poem and in scripture fire is shown as both destructive and refining. We can either be consumed by it or we can be in the refining fire. It comes down to repentance. God's grace is there if we are willing to give not only ourselves but our sin over to Him. If we are willing to do that then the fire will not consume us beyond repair, yes we "fall to ash" but ultimately that is where God does His best work, He makes all things new.

Repentance

This is where I spark.

A red hawk holds down the road, as I
eye the almost electric work
of the Amish man who brushes to the bone
his spotted horse.

This is where I break in flame.

It burns methodically, almost a digestion. the Bluestem
and Brome reduce to the basics. Soil all that's left.
They burn the prairies so they can start fresh
in beginnings that is what they tell me,
my body understands.

This is where I ember.

Crows pepper the sky with a scattered Van Gogh
precision, mottled but stark. I understand their burden,
carrying the weight of unheard Truth. Nature's bad musical,
their voices laugh in the distance, cracked and alarming.
I alternate hearing and listening.

This is where I smolder.

The sky pregnant with precipitation. I wait for it
to burst, wash me clean, make me new
but the world is an absent father. I have long tried to understand
weather, everything I know is overhead.

This is where I turn to smoke.

I reach with two hands. One comes back empty, the other
full of grace. The world is my hunger, renewal of pleasure.
Choice is my burden, a battle of wills, His or mine.
There is fire twisting in my bones. Smoke billows from my mouth.

Smoke, smoke.

I wait for redemption. The ground now wears its charred
black dress. Fall from grace to full of grace. I lay my heart
on the ground, as I buiild fire in my hands, realizing my mistake of friction.

This is where I fall to ash.

Copyright ©2008 by Brian K. Olson