Plowshares

what am I getting at? what am I getting at?

repetition and iteration

will these save our nation?

can’t doubt, can’t stammer

got to put both hands on the hammer

what we are, we are – for One and Zero

in the rudiment parliament each of us can be the Hero

heat up the forge, I remember the way

coal still burns and metal bends when the words of Power stay

this summertime tune won’t hold up in winter’s tomb

got to reinvent the moment and rewire the golden loom

pull down your iron, the shovels and rakes

melt all the horseshoes, the copper and tin mistakes.

Want to know my mettle can hold an edge

want to be sure that this wizard is more than hedge

the battle is coming and dog-blood has its own stench

I can see the lightning but can I call it down in a trench?

Am I better on the sidelines, distracting with my bylines

pester like a jester, and checking real combatant’s tie-lines?

I can make toys and I can make shelves

and when the wind is right I can make Twelves

Elevens, Sixes, and Nines

Not all that’s gold is glittering but even the rudest ruby shines.

pull off the forge door, melt it down with the iron store

i’m burning up the shapes interlaced verbs to thee implore

sentences are sentinels that march on the beat,

can’t keep them straight enough to out-fox the darkened feat

when its all gone, and melted and gold

bring down the hammer and beat out the shape foretold

we need blades and blades and blades and the hammer

edges of light that won’t chip in the clamor

my words aren’t elf-made, Moria-born none

no gleaming Glamdring when this kid’s work is done.

but i’m hoping that the blood and lies in my cauldron

can make a bane to hold back a few of the Darkest-son.

Can’t even remember when I laid my words like cobblestones

now I rattle and tattle like a ghost moaning through ship-wreck bones.

Regardless and markless and the path grows darker still

no rhymes left but rubble, echo again like whippoorwill

don’t sleep at the forge, even dross can’t be ignored

these syllables will serve and beat every drop of ink into a sword.

Thief of August

 

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William Faulkner – Light in August

take a look, take a long look and come running back for summer

wrapping atoms of madams and bricks made of wonder

already i stumble i grumble and trundle and pray for the glass to be thinner and humble

because i am the thief , sacks full of stolen light, heart full of borrowed grief

and no matter the cage, no matter the masquerade,

I keep on checking windows for the latch that is broken

sometimes meter doesn’t matter when the clockwork king has spoken

as often I slide down in the slush and the mire

as often the city guards hound and holler around the cobalt spire

my fingers are sure, until they are only bones

lock up your words, this thief has been in all your homes

craven-heart wish made on a nine-day fish,

i let that wide-mouth go and now this kid’s come to dish

not for me the farm or the plow

not for me the milk and the cow

i’m stealing the patter of rain on the sedge grass

fast dealing the cards and hoping for a queen’s pass

some skill, some fire, but unwilling to retire

i’ll reach inside your heart and rip loose the golden lyre

so don’t show me the cash box, don’t show me the vault

others may kneel but this kid was born in a circle of salt

as long as i breathe I can undo the bolts

grease up the hinges and slip in revolts

olympus is grand but looking bare by the year

this thief will release every spin of thunder’s peal

can’t keep me out

can’t stop me now

i know it’s a lie but the thief in me can never bow

two daggers in the sharp night

black cloak on my shoulder right

pockets full of poems and sacks full of syntax

don’t let me inside because i’ll pull up the carpet tacks

no power but the moment, no wit that isn’t stolen

through grime and grease keep praying my lantern’s golden

i am nothing but Now unravelling Then

too scared to part the waters that hold back When

this is about me, the two button-bandit

it’s always about me, check the feet as you scan this

don’t know won’t learn, but the ember still burns

nose against the glass and waiting for the three moons to turn

then i’m out again and hands in your wallet

nowhere to land so perhaps time to call it

dance in the east, bleed in the west

sleep in the south, northern lights only by request.