Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

Flames


Smokey the Bear heads
into the autumn woods
with a red can of gasoline
and a box of wooden matches.

His ranger's hat is cocked
at a disturbing angle.

His brown fur gleams
under the high sun
as his paws, the size
of catcher's mitts,
crackle into the distance.

He is sick of dispensing
warnings to the careless,
the half-wit camper,
the dumbbell hiker.

He is going to show them
how a professional does it.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (Flames by Billy Collins )

  • Rookie - 22 Points Jon Lennon (9/25/2014 12:13:00 PM)

    You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Tom Hatch (4/8/2013 9:35:00 AM)

    Mr. Collins I love your work...I have dog eared all of your books that we have in my Wilton library. It ain't Alexandria but hasn't burnt down so if I see smokey in town I'll dial 911. Love this (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Dr. Eva L. Shaw (6/3/2010 11:23:00 PM)

    I always did like Smokey the Bear and now I like him more! Great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Krista Churchill (12/13/2008 2:23:00 AM)

    Funny and cute..... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nathan Markowitz (11/13/2007 9:14:00 PM)

    I think it's funny. I knew that smokey was a hipocrit. For all we know, he smokes. It just shows you what the world we live in is like. Oh well, we will figure out what to do with ourselves sooner or late.- Your critic, Nathan Markowitz (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Tired of Being Exploited (5/25/2007 1:03:00 PM)

    Good ol' Smokey, it was just a metter of time before he'd snap. I wonder if Woodsy the owl is going along with it? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Gale (3/18/2006 8:38:00 PM)

    It is a good story but i feel that there could have been more added to it. Best regards-Mike Gale. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

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