Monday, November 21, 2022

Magnetism

Magnetic lines of force arc from pole to equator,
equator to pole so that the calendar sticks to the fridge.
In the junkyard, a giant crane lifts iron

with the ease of a white-gloved magician.
The salmon and the whale fantail the ocean’s foam
so as to mate where the metal dart hits the map

with impossible precision, like finding the pearl
of great price in the chaos of a Byzantine bazaar.
Such is the magic and mystery of the meant-to-be

I do not know the substrate of why or the collusion of when,
only that a woman in a white lace gown serves tea.
The ritual simply exists, and the teacups are Zen.

The tea was harvested in a far-off land by two lovers
who were drawn together by the simple song of a wren,
by magnetic lines of force where destiny always hovers.

~William Hammett


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Friday, November 11, 2022

Artisan

He works with weathered hand, spins a mandala
to fashion wet clay into a vase, a teacup,
a mountain molded by the pure artistic matter
of sinew and muscle and manifest mind.
His work is miniscule yet vauntingly vast,
glazed with caramel coats of conscience
pondering the reality of the true maker of memes.
He wears jeans or robes or nothing at all
if it suits his craft to remove what clouds the eye.
He is a xylophone of beneficent bones
or the inspiration of Promethean fire.
He is the claims adjuster who sets things right
with a bit of leather strap or a length of copper wire.

~William Hammett


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Friday, November 4, 2022

Migrations

When I was four, ten thousand birds would fly
over uptown New Orleans on variegated fall afternoons,
the sky closing down faster in its pantomime of purple.

Cool October evenings know when it is time to surrender.
I wanted only to float into this chevron migration
and beat my wings in iambic pentameter to swell a scene or two.

Wise in the ways of equinox, they knew that Ecclesiastes
had nothing to say about this time between times.
A different October canopy spreads above me now,

but I do not seek the escape of a childhood sparrow rhyme.
I sit on a bench and roll into brush strokes on the horizon,
marveling at the broad parameters of dusk.

And yet it is not time to surrender to the cool change
tapping on my bones or seeking closure for my brain.
There are many skies to travel yet, many hills to climb.

~William Hammett


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