This week’s poem, Ben Boegehold’s “Promethean,” offers us a mythically pitched paean to firewood. I love this poem’s delicious use of sensory imagery as it describes the timeless scents, sounds and tactile delights of splitting the logs that warm us.

A recent graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program, Boegehold is an English teacher and poet. When he’s not writing poems, he can be found wandering in the woods with young daughter strapped to his chest, contemplating the trees and the wonder of it all. He lives in Portland.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, Indigenous writers, LGBTQ writers and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

By Ben Boegehold

if I had known beforehand I would have
stolen it long ago had I foreseen
the brawny joy of separating grain
from grain the splintering of pith heartwood
and bark and the clean sharp scent of pine sap

tarred hands sticking to the maul handle
and the irregular staccato of breath
of impact steel on stump the thud of split
wood in the wheelbarrow a hollow bell
a body following gravity’s call

and the careful construction of the wood
pile ends crosshatched columns supporting
the loose green logs in between a wall built
to be taken down piece by piece and burned

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Promethean,” copyright 2022 by Ben Boegehold, appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: