“Burnt” by Scott Madoulet

Scott Madoulet


To change the way I felt,
I burnt myself today.
Fire cleanses, doesn’t it?
Arson led me astray.
(I thought) I hated the life I led,
Myself, and others, too.
So, I lit the match, I set the fire,
But Arson wasn’t through.
The thing with Arson is,
You should always check the wind.
’Cause Arson burns both ways,
Burns twice those that sin.
Everything I’d worked for
In a life that I once strolled,
Up in flames, it all burnt.
Arson turned it into coals.
Everyone I loved and knew,
And those few I really hated,
Screaming, burning, along with me,
But Arson wasn’t sated.
The thing about Arson is,
You better check the wind.
’Cause Arson burns everything,
Burns hot once it begins.
I can’t glue ashes together
To get back what I have lost
Or breathe life back into
At whom the match was tossed,
So I will till my soul
That’s barren, burnt, and black
To prepare the soil of my heart
And grow a better me back. 
The truth of Arson is
That you’ll never ever win.
’Cause Arson burns all you love
It always burns who sins.
I’ve committed Arson.
Will the truth set me free?
With what’s left I’ll cultivate
And plant the seeds of me.
To change the way I felt,
I burnt myself away
But water, love, light from above
Now keep the flames at bay. 
The lie of Arson is
That change is fueled by fire,
But it’s honesty and humility
Which grant the change I now desire.

from Rattle #76, Summer 2022
Tribute to Prisoner Express


Scott Madoulet: “Once I got to prison there was literally no one to talk with about my feelings of depression and remorse, so I turned to writing. Poetry became a way to safely and concisely express myself, a way to work through my emotional pain, and a means to practice the introspection needed for personal growth. I’ve since found writing poetry to be personally fulfilling, and I am always honored, and a bit surprised, when others enjoy what I have written.”

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