The Lapidary

Title: The Lapidary

Author: Alun March

The colour of gold is the desire of dragons and sealed vaults
Of tribute seized by rude hands and of eyes lit by greed
To be owned by the only one who can stroke
the smooth, unsullied flesh of the earth

The colour of silver lies between the shadows under moonlight
that steal across the brow of the chaste goddess
She who turns down even the most fiery of lovers
It is cool but not unwilling, quiet but not to be undervalued

The colour of bronze is the kindling flame in the hearth
It is the warmth of the glow on a winter's eve
as we huddle around the coal fire in the back kitchen
It is the last glow as the sun dips his head behind the hills

The colour of brass is the colour of the yard
where working horses champ and haul
of the forge and of restless hammers and wagon wheels
Of barn and store and manís industry in the fields

The colour of iron is the colour of death
The glittering point of the bayonet thrust in and in, again
Of the flywheel that catches the unwary sleeve
Devouring the arm and crushing the bone like a mastiff at the marrow

I set garnets in the iron for the caked blood on a fallen body,
for the dying embers in the furnace and thick twist of smoke after smelting
I set polished flint in the brass for the skein of gravel that hisses like
the tide beneath the horse's hooves

I set amber in the bronze, reflecting the light in the faces of the children around the fire
of honey on seared toast and moths drawn to the dancing flames
I set sapphires in the silver for the deepest blue skies where she walks,
for the dark waters, reflecting her face and the darkness between the stars

I set rubies and diamonds in the gold that women may covet or display
and men may gift to boast their opulent wealth
I am the lapidary they will remember
Because the marriages I make, no man shall set asunder.

 Alun March 2009

 

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