Thursday, May 3, 2018

Joy V. Sheridan writes

The Smithy 

Oh come, you barterer,  

Come to peddle your wares – 
And are those eyes which scan, 
Seeking for something rare?

Oh come, oh you smith 

Straight from your world 
Curling the horse-hoof 
With a flower, a curl, 
Your signature is red 
And amber sparks to be seen 
And you would fit a seat, fit indeed for a queen

And that is the page boy 

Who peeps from beneath 
A roof of laughter and grace

Now to the smithy 

You turn your back 
Hack, hack! Goes your anvil 
And roar – like a lion the noise 
As you fashion 
Little negro boys 
What of their sisters? 
Why, see they dance 
Over the cobbles, caught in the swoon 
A trance

Bright scarlet flames, thrown continuously, display 

Pyrotechnics, Catherine wheels minus the clay 
Now smith, as you stretch to catch 
Your hair you wear 
With a cottager’s thatch, 
Work you now from dawn to dusk
Inside the hut there is no husk. 

Come now, o craftsman – 
One final swing!

And down comes a weight of arcs and rings 

Deep in the even, your smithy lays 
Waiting for tomorrow’s promised day. 
Sleep you tightly, kind sir, 
Lift from your apron the kernel of a burr 
Go to collecting like a piper in a dream 
Sleep tight is the given allotted scene. 
Image result for smithy paintings

Smithy -- Olga Rozanova


  1. The Catherine wheel (pinwheel) is a firework consisting of a powder-filled spiral tube or an angled rocket mounted with a pin through its center. When ignited, it rotates quickly, producing a display of sparks and colored flame. It takes its name from a torture device that broke the victim's bones or bludgeoned the victim to death. It was usually a wooden wagon wheel with many radial spokes; the condemned were lashed to the wheel and their limbs beaten with a club or iron cudgel, with the gaps in the wheel allowing the limbs to give way and break. Or they were spreadeagled and broken on a saltire, a cross consisting of two wooden beams nailed in an "X" shape, and then their mangled bodies were kept on display on the wheel. St. Aikaterina (from the Greek word for "ever clean") was the daughter of governor onstus of Alexandria. She converted to Christianity when she was 14 and was sentenced by emperor Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius Augustus to be executed on the breaking wheel at 18, but it shattered at her touch. So she was beheaded, a milk-like substance flowed from her severed neck, and angels took her corpse to Gabal Katrine in Egypt. Soon afterwards, in 312, Maxentius was defeated and killed by Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus, who ascribed his victory to Jesus and later legalized Christianity.

  2. Among the relevant definitions of "Burr":

    a rough edge or ridge left on an object (especially of metal) by the action of a tool or machine.

    a small rotary cutting tool with a shaped end.

    to form a rough edge on metal.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?