When the Cold Wind Blows

fire and rain blk s

If you see fire, if
fire is spilled, smothered by rain,
stolen from the sun–

are bridges burned, rivers run
dry?  A cold flaming.  Unquenched.

James Taylor released his album “Sweet Baby James” in 1970, the year I graduated from high school.  It was a constant in my life for the next few years, and remains a touchstone for remembering that time.

When Colleen title her tanka challenge this week “Fire and Rain”, James Taylor’s song immediately began to play in my head.  Almost all the songs on “Sweet Baby James” talk about the sun, yet there’s a touch of melancholy in every word.  Colleen’s prompt photo, too, seems to reflect these contradictory feelings.  Endings, beginnings:  fire and rain.  My tanka is an imagined conversation with the album and the song.

fire and rain close up s

You can read the lyrics to “Fire and Rain” (the source of my tanka’s title) and listen to the song here.  James discusses some of his songs for Rolling Stone, with musical accompaniment, here.  (But you don’t need to explain yourself, James.  We understand these feelings only too well.)

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel :)

13 responses to “When the Cold Wind Blows”

  1. Colleen Chesebro says :

    I have goosebumps! This was a fabulous Tanka and I loved your commentary about the James Taylor song, Fire & Rain. I am in love with opposites and the idea of contrast in life. This is pure poetry. Well done my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. merrildsmith says :

    A wonderful response. The song came immediately to my mind, as well, and it took a while to banish it. I’m glad you went the other way and embraced it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rivrvlogr says :

    Well put, especially the burning bridges. Considering it as fire and rain, it makes me wonder about saving a bridge before it’s gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. davekingsbury says :

    These really work as a depiction of your fine poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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