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Hearts of Steel

We roll our hearts

like Damascus steel--

layers & compression,

the solid & unyielding

submitting itself to transformation.

It feels like Death,

this building up of a beautiful thing--

first the emptying of the dark earth,

(we were so sure we were the earth!)

the cracking & the melting

the distillation down to elements,

the alchemy of rock to metal.

But at last we know just what we are:

Steel!

Cold & hard & strong & true.

At last, we know!



But then the smith comes

with heat and hammer

with vision and precision

and we are folded, crushed, twisted

until there is no more

outside

no more inside,

until all that remains

of who we were

is a map by memory of lakes & islands,

ripples & ridges

that can't quite conjure up our origins,

our landscape,

our shearing glaciers

our smoothing winds &

persistent waters.

The map is not the terrain,

as every journey will reveal,

& so --at last-- we are the knife!



Do we never learn?

Or is this the task

--the joy--

of living?

To fully be One Thing Only

until, to our agony & our amazement,

we are revealed as something else?

(& something else, again)



We break apart.

We fold in upon our knowing.

The universe vanishes -- explodes --

begins

begins

begins.


 

(Check out the beautiful blades at WolfHeart IronWorks-- some inspiration for this poem).

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