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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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Poems about a dagger
Something else that came out of the poetry master class I took last year. There was piece on WAMU's "Metro Connection" about this item recently, so I thought I'd post them:

Meteoric Iron Dagger of Mughal Emperor Jahangir
[“Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas,” Freer Gallery]


Least of the three blades in its case, but
I feel a compass-needle pull
And return, reluctant, to it-
Forged from fallen fire yet
Water-marked; cloud patterned
Yet held in earth-won metal:
Elements merge and birth,
Quintessent, a mystery.
Falling stars have marked
The night watches and long
Dark drives of my life,
And so the glitter here carves
A place in me for sympathy
With an emperor.


Dawn birthed fire and fear
With the thunder of stone falling.
Then roar echoed into light
As something fell. Awe shockwaved
Before it, trailed behind, faded
As it fled from spark to cinder.
The char-dark visitor, sky-splinter,
Still held danger. Smith’s art
Might shape it, noble gold and
Mere earth-iron cage it,
But its starshine ripple called
A royal hand to tame it. Marked
Now with imperial inlay, it served,
Fine as the sharpest swords.
Did it ever slip and nick
His finger? Did he wonder whether
Sky fire could ever be his slave?

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