Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Dawn

Though The Almanac would disagree, it's dawn.
Fully an hour before that sage would announce it
The lesser blue on the horizon
Visible through the bare trees
Is measure enough
for me.

The air is solid on the truck window
Though the winter devil is not so close
That a brief touch of warmth
Dispels its touch; clear vision
for what is ahead.

To the north, six lamps ,
bobble down a cut in the wood
with hushed curses.
Tip tops tangle
And roots grasp
Cleated boots
Downhill, river bound

Shadows stomp and pace
At the inside of the bend.
Lights are now out.
The forge is lit
Bellows build the fire
The hammer, the tongs, the switch
of our trade, of our passion,
Leaded and run deep,
To work the Steel.

With a keen vision
That old eyes haven't known
Since the days of our wee youth
We see, feel, sense,
In the cool, gray light
The minor tug of unseen lips
On a morsel of deception.

A line zips through the water.
No war cry, but maybe a grunt,
Perhaps a quiet recognition,
Of what we've all been waiting for.
Heads turn in unison to the sound
All hearts beating a few steps quicker.
Reel in, with urging and envious eyes,
Step back, give room,
willing the fight to be a good one.

And it is.

No log to be beached
But a bright, shiny, nickel-
plated demon with the strength
Of its namesake
It runs
It runs
And so does the smith
Reeling, praying, cursing
It runs.

And it is over.
Ambushed on the beach
By a Scotsman and his kerchief.

The records books will not record
This Steel
But it is real and solid
And satisfying to the smith and his peers
In ways that confound words
And emotions and everything. 
But that look in the eyes and 
the murmured accolades
A handshake, the recognition
That satisfy almost as much
As this Steel.

The smile, the outward joy
Expressed during
The trip's first days
Is gone.
Tired, haunted eyes
Dull expressions from days of casting
Satisfied. Content.
Ready for another go.
And another,
After that.

Steel is at hand.


  1. Dude, you got it bad. Steelhead fever. It makes you break out in verse.


  2. I don't feel sick; but perhaps I am.

  3. I liked that quite a bit. But I'm similarly stricken, so no judge at all.

  4. Sometimes you don't know you're sick until you're dead. ;)

    Very much enjoyed are quite the poet, sir.

  5. E.J.: Thx, it was one of those stream of consciousness things. I'm not much of a poet, but it just seemed appropriate.

    E: Yeah, that's what scares me.

    JJP & Dustin: Thx, much.