By: Joshua Nichols
Winner of the 2015 Poetic Forms Contest: Elegy

I stared into the red fire

as the flames began to dwindle.

Reduced to embers, the charred logs

released ashes carried off by the wind

and I watched them flitter in the air.

A faith once strong and bright

reduced to nothing but endless questions

and faint glimmers of hope; ashes in the breeze.

A memory consumed by the passing of time

of once before, when I was

sure and strong and a light on a hill

for all to see.

I used to gather with others,

the smell of burnt marshmallows

ever present in my nostrils

and the sounds of joyous laughter

to lift my heart, and

an occasional revelation reached through

the sharing of testimony.

The warmth of brotherhood and

faith no longer lives inside,

replaced by the spirit of the skeptic.

I turn away from the now silent fire

and hold my head high

only to be brought back to the same place

in my mind where my thoughts

weigh me down.


Joshua Nichols is a Computer Information Systems major with a love for science fiction and an interest in NASA’s space programs. His favorite book is The Hobbit and he is an avid follower of American politics.