Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Craftsman's Cause"

This poem came out of the May 1, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from siege -- actually a bit of whimsy on my part, since the free reading day came right before the fishbowl, and the Hero's Deck turned up Patience and the Craftsman for me.  Hee!  This poem has been sponsored by janetmiles.

The Craftsman's Cause

They come to his shop
in all weather, at all hours.
Heroes and villains alike
rub shoulders here,
glowering silently
at each other
on neutral ground.

The craftsman has
made it clear that there
is to be no fighting here.
The gear that he makes
is powerful enough
for them to put up with
his demands.

He watches the heroes
sort through sacred relics
on the right side of the shop.
He watches the villains
paw over cursed artifacts
on the left side of the shop.
The mixed blessings
lie in the middle,
a no-man's land of
sparse shelves and
nervous shoulders.

There is one fellow
in particular who has been
drifting back and forth
from left to center
for months now, trying
this weapon and that,
restless and unsatisfied.
He has exchanged
the bloodthirsty sword and
the tripping staff and
two different choke ropes.

The craftsman waits
until the shop clears
shortly before closing time.
He nudges the dark adventurer
toward the near edge
of the rightward side,
unwrapping a mace
of blued steel set with
cabochons of moonstone.
He holds it out, silently urging,
here, try this one.

Tentatively the black gloves
close around the handle
and -- there.
Thin lips curl
into half a smile,
and gold coins are offered.

The choke rope is returned
to its place in the center aisle,
quiescent as a sleeping snake,
awaiting a new owner.

The craftsman
is gentle and patient
with his customers,
heroes and villains alike.
He has to be.
He knows what it is like
to walk that tightrope,
for the whole spectrum
is his territory.

He will do whatever he can
to keep them all
from tumbling off
into chaos.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, writing

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