Eye of the Flame

You've kindled a tealight
cupped in the pupil
of jasper candleholder,
a present one winter solstice
from a longtime friend.
The convex gem
with sixteen facets
reminds me of your sunflowers.
I love the dense heft
and cool, smooth surface,
the way it feels incongruent
yet in harmony with
the feather of ephemeral fire.
I love how, recessed
in sturdy stone,
the delicate light dances,
glows from burnished
colors of blood and earth
veined with quartz sand
patterns, a blended blessing
of infinite responsibility.

Bruce Lader

About the poet: Bruce Lader is the author of Discovering Mortality. A second full-length collection, Landscapes of Longing, is on the way from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Roanoke Review, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, New York Quarterly, Confrontation, Margie, and other journals and anthologies. A former writer-in-residence at the Wurlitzer Colony, he is the founding director of Bridges Tutoring, an organization educating multicultural students.