The Soothsmith's Song by Joe Dees


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And I shall blast the bellows of hours past
Smelting ores of pain and joy, belief and desire
Of both baser and rarer mettle
And work to craft my hammer songs.
Clarity is a kilnpane
To be seen through, not seen.
The white hot moments when shapes are beaten
Illumine by their intensity
The subtly wrought point stings like serpent's truth.
And I shall be the soothsmith
And forge facsimile lives
And drive my spikes deep, that
Cleaving to contrary hooves
They may yet hold fast my intentions.

Mine is not the alchemist's art.
I do not blend, but bind and bend
A weighty matter with clumsy tools.
Quicksilver flees the casting pour
Forsaking pig slag should the solve lack fervour.
Then should one rather render anew
Than palm dross arcs riven at a glance.
Still the pure issue must be fashioned.
A handcramp of anvilling follows
With heat and hammer precisely applied
As clear eye and caring ear
Seek cleaner line and truer ring.
Neglect is measured in a stricken gait:
The misshapen shoe curses its maker.