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The Inferno - Chapters 1 - 3 -- Poetry by Elise Chen

The Inferno - Chapter 1: Firestorm

A maiden

With lush green hair

And eyes that hold

A world 

Of their 


Mother to all

Birds and monkeys

Tapirs and jaguars

Her children find


In her protecting



The sky turns dark

As her hair 

Is dyed black

The red silk

Licks her feet

Like an anaconda

Wrapping around

Its prey

It goes for

The strike

Shooting its fiery venom

At everything in sight

Spitting flames

Left and right

The maiden trips

A glossy coat 

Of tears encases her eyes

As she sits

In the eye

Of the firestorm


The Inferno - Chapter 2: Cinder

With rich brown hair

And golden, honey eyes

She basks in the sun

In her arms

She lifts up 

Her children

Wallabies and dingos

Koalas and kookaburras

They rest 

In her spacious plains

A set of teeth

Waiting behind her back

Going for the kill

Like a Tasmanian devil

The embers they bring

Come straight from Hell

A lone hunter

Picking off her children

One by one

Grabbed by the throat

Her children choke

On the smoke

In a ring of fire

Their trapped

And their situation

Has become dire

6 moons later

Still trapped in the circle

The woman remains silent

Covered in cinder


The Inferno - Chapter 3: Fire Fighters

Hovering over us all

sits a warrior

With a long flowing gown

And atop her head, a crown

The torch in her hands

Lights a flame

To spread across the plains

across the concrete jungle

across the bleak barren skies

Bringing color

To a monochrome world

The flames flicker and run

swallowing up the cold metal

booming through the streets

the blaring sirens sing their song

as the danger turns 3D

with the red and blue lights

as the sirens run 

coated in steel armor

cold to the touch

a wall of ice

divides the land

and from the torch

The flames start sprinting

to each corner of the land

enveloping the warrior’s children

in a comforting warmth

sparking the blaze 

in their hearts

and their hands

and from the oil spilt from their hands

The slick sliver spreads across the plains

Creating the very veins

in which the embers follow

like a free flowing river

Surrounding the heart 

of the fire

where her people and children

can all fill their buckets with scorching sparks

the searing splashes slosh around

guiding the children to safety

together they are warm

protected from the frigid cold

Together they march

Together they stand

each brimmed bucket

is another heart

Set on fire

The burning buckets buckled 

In the seats of their cars

In the grips of their fingers

Are tossed onto the steel stakes

melting away the chains

as the fire fighters burn away

the ice surrounding the hearts 

Of the guards 

with their buckets and hoses

out spew the life bringing flames

melting away the icy metal

that coldly clamps around its victim

and from the melted remains 

of the ice prison

Rises another person

with their heart burning

another person to fill their bucket

and free the people 

another person

to join the march

and earn their badge

As a fire fighter


Elise Siregar Chen is currently a 11th grader. She loves English literature and enjoys writing poems and short stories. Elise also likes to draw: her favorite contemporary artist is Yayoi Kusama. She is an ambassador for Girls Helping Girls Period, where she helps and raises awareness for girls who do not have the means or access to personal hygiene products. She has published poetry in Euphamism, and Poetry Quarterly.

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