Controlled Burn

I am thrilled to be able to share a haunting composition by the incredible Stacy Fahrion (Colorado’s own Whimsically Macabre). Written to accompany my poem Controlled Burn, the song also features talented musicians Maddie Ashman and Daisy Press. I am so grateful to be the inspiration for this work!

Click Here to listen — and prepare to be spellbound.

When you’re done, please check out Whimsically Macabre’s other work on and dive into a “fantastically offbeat world” (which is a familiar, everyday skin for some of us).

Controlled Burn
from “The Nature of the Mother”

When advised to torch
My life’s dry brush
I never thought to find this—
Me up to my knees in the dead.

Acres of decay, and quick to kindle.
I embrace the flames, drive away
Everything that could never be.
Thirsty for the fire. Hungry to let go.

So I burn the dead and any left alive.
Burn wild morning glory, flowers
Tangling and strangling me. Burn the pennyroyal,
Mint-sweet poison, jealously uprooting all others.

Burn it all. The smoke will pass
Soon, I’m told. The ash will settle.
I’ll be able to grow something better
In stronger soil. And so I wait.

But until this desolation clears,
With every breath
I breathe in every mistake I made
And choke.


Composed by Stacy Fahrion in July 2020 for the Arts Letters & Numbers Creative Music Online program.

Daisy Press, improvised voice
Maddie Ashman, cello
Stacy Fahrion, piano

Find out more about Stacy Fahrion here:
View her sheet music here:
Find out more about Daisy Press, a New York-based vocalist, here:
Find out more about Maddie Ashman, a London-based cellist, singer, and guitarist, here:

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