In a House of Fire

Away from the scorched sky
In the entrails of this cave
Even the darkness is red
Jewels fade into bloodless flowers
And the strange stench of fathom-deep places and fear.

Tensing a calloused hand
The sense untouched
Tongue cleft and parched
Utters cursed penitence
For a cloudburst.

The acrid soil, I spill
The split seed tumbles yellow
Brittle dust scratches
Retinal fireflashes
Scours the sad skin
Withered and vacant

Dee Sunshine is the author of three poetry collections – The Bad Seed (Stride, 1998), Dropping Ecstasy With The Angels (Bluechrome, 2004), and Visions Of The Drowning Man (Skylight Press, 2012) – and one novel, Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God (Bluechrome, 2004).  He edited the charity poetry anthology, The Book Of Hopes And Dreams (Bluechrome, 2006).  He edited The AA Independent Press Guide (1998-2011).  His website is at  His audiobooks are available from

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.