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old willow May 18
clang. clang.
The metal sung joyfully each strikes.
Passion is a dancing flame.
The greatest passion can churn
the sea.
Yet it can also fade like flickering embers.
A passion, can leave behind lasting debris.
The Forge
by Michael R. Burch

To at last be indestructible, a poem
must first glow, almost flammable, upon
a thing inert, as gray, as dull as stone,

then bend this way and that, and slowly cool
at arm’s-length, something irreducible
drawn out with caution, toughened in a pool

of water so contrary just a hiss
escapes it—water instantly a mist.
It writhes, a thing of senseless shapelessness ...

And then the driven hammer falls and falls.
The horses ***** their ears in nearby stalls.
A soldier on his cot leans back and smiles.

A sound of ancient import, with the ring
of honest labor, sings of fashioning.

Published by The Chariton Review, The Eclectic Muse, Trinacria, Poetry Life & Times, and  Famous Poets and Poems

NOTE: This is a sonnet about forging sonnets. The gray "anvil" is the human brain. The fiery "glow" is the poetic imagination. The cooling and shaping are the process of revision. The hammer is the poet's pen, producing order out of chaos. Keywords/Tags: Sonnet, poem, indestructible, irreducible, hammer, anvil, forge, labor, fashioning, shape, smithy, blacksmith, ironworker, sword, pen
Anya Jan 12
The ring of iron songs
Like hammer and tongs
Speaks words of each page
With knowledge of every age
The birthplace of weapons.
The backbone of wars.
No sound but the throes of steel.
In fires that burn, unending.

Shaped by the beating of the blacksmith.
Each stroke, manifesting his will.
To forge the weapon of prophecy;
The sword to lead us to victory.
Bathed in the blood of its enemies.
My pain, my oath
The life I define as a growth
To battle heart with yours
Is to sink and pour
A feeling, melded in meaning
Struggle to see and believe
The life of yours I perceive
To be other than my own
Is a hollow stretch I have sown
Itch of the blacksmith to earn it as whole
To forge a love in nothing but coal
Burn it in my furnace
And power my machines
Knowing your fire is nothing but mean

The cold of hard iron
You build the spire of which I admire
A cold influx of emotion
And a career where you found devotion
Chill the metal and make yourself periodic
And I will craft you into something more sporadic
A metal meant for war
Passion of the sheathe you wore
To do nothing but settle a score
Of who's love bore
The scandalous prize of more
Or more.

My life is in iron
Forged in the heart of the pyre
I am the one who builds this nightmare
The weapons that do nothing but fare as a weaponized liar
A battle I perpetuate
And a soul I can not consulate
But to make up for with a payment
I will ignore you persistent ailment
And follow my own path
As the blacksmith, ignorant of your goals
Fought under oath it do help the sociopath
But rather show the animosity of it's written scrolls
Admittedly, I wasn't even sober for this one. Creativity is wonderful when uninhibited.
Brittany Hall Aug 2018
The sun has barely risen.
The birds; already signing.
Today is the day I must forget the fact that you've been missing.
I am the queen, I do this on my own.
Never will a peasant tread near my royal throne.
My princess lost her father, but he would never lose his daughter.
We share an unbreakable bond, yours was temporary and weak like solder.
You melt away, never to be seen,
When the temperature rises; we could never be a team.
Send me the blacksmith, a real, strong man.
One who's not afraid to burn his hands.  
Surely he'd know, I can heal his wounds.
How would you though? You left so soon.
To you, the queen will always be Mother.
You have no need for me, a more than significant other.
Today is the day I let it all go.
You'll never forget, that this is my show.
The dust will gather on beaten forge
which crafted hardened steel.
Even hardest blade it gorged,
but all forget the Blacksmith.

Rooted deep in township’s yore
with a trade of kings and conquest.
Upon him once relied your lore,
but all forget the Blacksmith.

Leathered hands, up night and day
with visage of steel and focus.
Sparks will reign and fly and spray,
but all forget the Blacksmith.

But when your steed wears down his hooves
or your gate-posts starts to splinter,
you’ll be found needing hardened grooves;
you won’t forget the Blacksmith.

For it is he who works all day
And keep the townsfolk working.
If you need hardship kept at bay,
Don’t forget the Blacksmith.
Seanathon Nov 2017
Descriptive that is you
Intensive that is me
Smithing you could be my steel
And I the bellowing breath beneath
To coax the coal until it bursts
And explodes into this
The burning flame
Because all words of fire are in some way...the same.
Having summoned an Uber I walked
Into the Remise to await for its arrival.
Unusual, the owners of this 1750’s building
Had refused to knock down the Remise
And as it was snowing and cold it sure was
A comforting place to wait out of the weather.

I imagined how it must of looked in its heyday
Full of fine coaches and horse tack.
For a moment I could smell a horse all bridled
And strapped with new leather – something which
Stirred up an agreeable sensation within me;
I could feel the churlish beast chomping at the bit.

Twiddling my thumbs as I waited I wondered if
There were anyone left to construct such an ancient
Horse drawn carriage or was there even anyone left
Who could ever think of using it.
But as oft I do I let my mind wander to
Those good old days, though not one of which I knew.

Closing my eyes, I swear that I could smell the oak fire
Of a blacksmith’s furnace and I could hear the
Gent solidly hammering out a new set of gaited horseshoes.
In my minds eye I could see the Remise all
Full of carriages, each hooked to a fine stead -
What a grand sight it must of truly been.

It was then that I felt a hand in mine and when I
Turned toward the hand – to my wandering eye -
I had a hold on the most intriguing creature that God
Had ever given a man to hold, I dared not open my eyes.
She looked into my soul and asked me,
“Sir, which carriage?”

At about 8 paces in front of us was what I suppose
Was the best equipped of the lot and as its driver
Stepped down and made his way toward me/us
I noticed the lady was as taken with it as myself.
So Monsieur De La Dessein – the driver – or at
Least that was how he introduced himself,

Then he asked me if we cared to take the Grand Tour.
He led us up to the door of the chaise and as he opened
The door I said, “This one will not do,
It is hardly big enough for one.”
The lady, without hesitation, pushed me toward the
Door whispering, “Get in.”

Upon her insistence I climbed aboard taking up
All but about 4 inches of the seat cushion
When the lady put her head and foot in the
Carriage saying, “Move over.”
With no place to move I tilted up on one cheek
With my legs – one atop of the other.

Now my lady was climbing in full bodied and all
To find that she too must sit on one cheek facing me
With our knees knocking against each other.
The driver shut the door as the lady said, “Abarth.”
The horse sprang to life as the “La Grand Tour” began.
Face to face, body to body this buggy ride was …

How should I say it ….

Wonderful….

And then I did the stupidest thing that I’d ever done.
I opened my eyes to find the Remise empty -
No carriages, no horses, no blacksmith and no ravishing beauty.
Just an empty place to get in out of the weather.
My heart sank lower than it had ever been before.
What mind is this that can wander so ****** far from reality?

A little tiny car whipped into the Remise and right in front of me
It turned a half moon pulling up to me.
I noticed the labeling on the front of the car – Fiat.
The back windows were all blacked out.
The driver got out coming toward me on the passenger side.
As he opened the back door I asked him what kind of car this was.

He said it was a Fiat Abarth and he hoped that
I didn’t mind sharing the ride.
As I bent over peering inside the driver said his name
“Monsieur De La Desein” and sitting on
One cheek in the back of this mutant automobile
Was – that intriguing creature that I had just dreamed about.

Carefully – more expertly this time – I crawled into
The back – on one cheek – face to face
As the Uber driver asked me, “Where to.”
In perfect unison – we in the back replied
“La Grand Tour please.”

God, please don't make me open my eyes...
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