Eastern OrthodoxPoetryTheology & Spirituality

Water and Fire

There’s water in everything
and everything is in water—
except fire.
Fire changes water completely:
too much fire makes steam,
which returns
back to water as it cools;
and too little fire makes ice,
which melts.

We are all steam engines:
mostly water, with a fire
in our bellies
making us do more or less
based on temperature
and control.
We can be hard to keep
stoked up and fed with
enough coal.

Jesus didn’t come to cleanse
the world with fire, but was
cleansed with water,
so that all the water could
be cleansed and be cleansing
all of us;
because this purifying fire
makes the water truly water,
and makes us burn.

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

A Northerner by upbringing, Kenneth has lived in the South since his (first) college days. After returning to college, he began to do more than just dabble with writing, and has self-published a children's picture book, a middle-reader's book, and several collections of poetry. Baptized in the Roman Catholic church, raised in the fundamentalist Baptist church, and having spent time in the Reformed Baptist church, Kenneth settled down in the Eastern Orthodox church in 2006.

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