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Small Blaze in a Roaring Fire

by Amalou Ouassou (Morocco)

April 2022

Write the World Review

Audio: "Small Blaze in a Roaring Fire," read by Amalou Ouassou

My grandpa’s house rose up
in smoke that domed like psychedelic
mushrooms or dark hot air balloons
towards the horizon, pink as the flames.
It used to be at the edge of the forest.
We think it was a lit cigarette
flicked off the wrist of a driver, racing past,
coughing up puffs from engine and mouth.
It must have fallen on the crisp yellow
grass and dry December weeds
that have seen few drops of rain
since the month of July.
Must have set it ablaze like a witch’s burning
at the stake, after a countdown
of crackling grass blades that inflated
into the roar of witnessing branches.
Witness the cries of the woods and the house.

The walls turned to ash.
The furniture turned to ash.
My grandpa’s only picture from when he was a lad
is somewhere on the ground, turned to ash.
The cold distance that stretched
like melting Antarctica between my house
in Rabat, and Australian woods,
and Californian hells rose like mountains of ash,
flung into my mouth with the weight
of years churning with fuel that
darkened the clouds. The clouds now loom like acid
threats. And even the acid drops
won’t deign to fall on the branch
that the pheasant lost,
on the glade that the toad and cactus lost,
on the voice-filled house, now voiceless
and dead and lost,
on tomorrow's parched up tongue
hanging for a lick of the sky’s offering
like a weary dog waiting for its bad ending.

Amalou Ouassou, 19, is a poet and writer from Rabat, Morocco. He was a part of the 2021 Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience program.

#Climate Change         #Environment        #Home        #Nature

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5/17/22, 4:27 PM



5/16/22, 11:40 AM

I am waiting with anxiety what does she doesto fight back these things which are very complicate to handle for a teenager...... I am Very anxious because I am in the same situation..... So I want to know what will she do.....


5/15/22, 3:16 PM

This is such a wonderful piece. I love it so much!

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5/13/22, 10:46 AM

You are really good at writing. And at such a young age! If you don't mind me saying so, your writing style is warm and cozy. And also at the same time, very deep, meaningful and relatable. I especially loved the "The Reflection" part.


5/13/22, 9:28 AM

I really wanna know what does she does to fight back these things which are hard to handle for a teenager.


5/11/22, 2:37 PM

I loved every word of this. Maybe because I am relating too hard. I hardly possess any of the love or filial piety I am expected to have towards my family. I am dubious of anything my grandmother says to me and have long learned to just swallow it all with a smile though I question how much I know. And. Just. Knowing. That you will be forgotten by your extended family for the rest of the year but still held up to their expectations. Thank you for writing this! I'll always remember a beautiful #ownvoices story :).

Srishti Roy

5/10/22, 6:57 AM

I really am curious about how she is gonna fight this situation and will she be able to fulfill her dreams which she once had


5/6/22, 2:03 PM

Ooh I really love this! What a great ending too. Fellow students, we've got this!


5/6/22, 1:53 PM

I love this piece so much. Novels and writing rarely makes me cry, but this was just too relatable.


5/6/22, 1:51 PM

This was so beautiful, and created such a detailed image in my mind!


5/6/22, 11:35 AM

I thought that was a truly insightful piece. As a teen writer myself, your words were a refreshing reminder of the meaning behind adolescence. Thank you for bringing your writing into the world, and hope to see more of it soon.