Saturday, December 21, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Elf Smith

I could have sworn I wrote, typed and posted this. But I can't find any trace of it. So I've rewritten it, as best I can for number 356. It is an elf-poem, and one of the first two I came up with after writing the original ten. This is of course the 'terrible black smith' from this one. It worked better in my head.

Our treaty with the mortal men
Asks us to deliver one hundred swords.
I undertake to fulfill the obligation.
I ask their captain to see the men they're for.
He laughs and walks away as I watch.
For ten days and nights I labour
Snatching food and sleep as metal cools.
On the afternoon of the tenth day I deliver.
The captain is pleased with the quality.
'Wait' I tell him and hand him the hundred and first.
It leaps from the sheath. easy in his grip,
Well matched to his size, reach and strength.
I watch as he goes through his exercises.
He says it is the finest sword he has ever held.
'I can do better,' I tell him.

A year and a day pass as they do.
I go to visit the captain's camp.
He takes me to watch his company practice.
I smile and promise to return with the new moon
Then hand him another sword.
It is difficult to see where man ends and blade begins
They dance together like partners of centuries.
He tells me this is the finest sword ever made.
'I can do better,' I tell him.


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