Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Making of a Wonderful Sculpture"

This poem is spillover from the September 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] curiosity, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, and [personal profile] gingicat. It also fills the "Metal" square in my 9-1-19 card for the Arts and Crafts Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] erulisse, and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. (I was meaning to post the one above it, but I am tired and this got posted early instead.) It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"The Making of a Wonderful Sculpture"

[Tuesday, October 6, 2015]

Shiv wandered idly through
the Raleigh Metalwork Show.

The fancy-dancy art stuff
was all inside a gallery tent, but
the biggest pieces stood outside
on pedestals or on the ground.

There were some pretty good fountains,
various people, owls and other birds,
a fantastic turtle, and some sort of
palm tree taller than Shiv himself.

Most of it was just junk, though,
big blobs of metal with no meaning.

When he said as much, Tolli shook his head.
"An enterprising person is one who comes across
a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of
a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person
is one who drives through an old decrepit part
of town and sees a new housing development.
An enterprising person is one who sees
opportunity in all areas of life."

"Yeah well, I see some opportunities
right over there," Shiv said, heading
for the row of weaponsmiths.

The sword vendor had
some very nice curved blades
that Shiv found tempting, but
they were out of his price range.

"Master Tullamore," the vendor said,
dipping his head as Tolli arrived.

That was interesting. Shiv had
seen people do that at Pennsic, too.

"What do you think of these blades?"
Tolli asked, waving a hand at them.

"You're better on straight blades,
but he's better than you on curves,"
Shiv said. "Neither of you come close
to what I can do with fancy edges."

"Show some respect!" the vendor hissed.

"Bite me," Shiv said, casually flipping him off
as he walked toward the nearest knife vendor.

Tolli just laughed and said, "Let it go, Nan,
I like Shiv just the way he is -- full of sass."

The knife vendors looked more promising.
Shiv looped through all of them, from
the modern kitchen knives to art knives,
but he kept circling back to a woman
with a table of Renaissance knives.

Along with the usual daggers, she
had several practical blades. There
were long bird's beak knives and
short eating knives with either
a shallow belly or a deep one.

All of the blades were made of
thick, springy Damascus steel
with subtle patterns that would
stand up to years of sharpening.

"See something you like?"
Tolli murmured, coming up
to stand behind Shiv.

"That one," Shiv said,
pointing out a knife with
a deep belly and a hilt
covered in dark walnut.
"Can I spend all of
my pocket money in
one place, though?"

"If that's what makes
you happy," Tolli said.

"Yeah," Shiv said. "I ain't
seen anything else I like."

So he bought the knife,
which really did wipe out
his budget for the show.

Totally worth it.

"I want to try the tent
again, if you don't mind,"
Tolli said as they left the table.

"I guess it doesn't hurt
to look," Shiv said.

It was just as crowded
as when they arrived,
though, and it made
Shiv jitter in place.

There were sculptures
of leaping foxes and
roadrunners and even
the head of a buffalo
standing on one hoof.

Shiv tried to pay attention,
really he did, but he kept
getting jostled and it was
hard not to snap at anyone
or turn around and stab them.

"Too many people?" Tolli said.

"Yeah," Shiv said. "Can we go?
Or least let me stand outside
while you stare at this stuff."

"We can go," Tolli said.
"It's not much fun for me if
you aren't enjoying yourself."

When they went outside,
they saw that Simon was back
with the food he'd left to get.

He had a whole lap tray
full of fragrant packages.

"Hey, look who I found!"
Simon said, tipping his head
toward the tall, elegant woman
who strode alongside him.

"Caroline, it's so good
to see you," Tolli said.
"Got any plans today?"

"No, when I saw Simon,
I hoped that I could come out
and borrow your workshop
for a bit," she replied.

Shiv was trying not to stare.
Caroline had loops of metal
enclosing all her fingers and
thumbs, under which lay
an absolute patchwork of
broken and healed bones.

"Shiv? You don't mind,
do you?" Tolli asked him.

"No, no, it's fine," Shiv said.
"What do we have for lunch?"

"Ten-bean soup with ham,
a whole skillet cornbread
to split, and baked apples
stuffed with maple pecans,"
Simon said. "Plus I've got
a gallon of apple cider
tucked in the Yeti jug."

One nice thing about
traveling with Simon was
that he liked to pack things.

Today he had a Black MOLLE
tactical backpack behind his chair,
full of goodies like the Yeti jug.

"Shall we pull up a picnic table
and eat lunch, then head out
to the workshop?" Tolli said.

"Works for me," Shiv said.
"Give me the food."

Caroline laughed.
"I like him," she said.

That was weird, but
Shiv was more interested
in digging into his soup than
arguing with Tolli's weird friends.

The cornbread was rich and delicious,
made with whole wheat and buttermilk.
It went great with the hearty bean soup.

The baked apples were crammed
with sticky, nutty filling and the cider
was more spicy than sweet.

Shiv listened to Tolli coaxing
Caroline to talk about her projects
and how she was trying to get
back to making things despite
the damage to her hands.

Swallowing the last of
his dessert, Shiv said,
"Lady, you made it this far,
don't give up and quit now!"

Caroline looked at Tolli.

"Nope, I didn't tell him
anything," Tolli said.
"Shiv notices things."

"Yeah well, sculpture is
all about starting with junk
and ending with art," Shiv said.
"Or weapons, whichever you like."

Caroline smiled. "And if it's both?"

"Then you're right up my alley,"
Shiv said with a smirk.

* * *


Caroline Paige -- She has fair skin, blue eyes, and long wavy brown hair. She is tall and elegant with a heart-shaped face. She is 22 years old. Caroline joined the army at 18 and served for two years. Then a bomb collapsed a building on her unit. Her injuries led to a medical discharge. Left with contractures on both hands, she wears swan neck ring splints on the middle knuckles of her fingers and thumbs. Most of the her scars don't show when she wears street clothes, but some of the ones on her chest are visible with a low neckline. Caroline lives in Emporia, Virginia. Sometimes she drives down to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit Simon and Tolliver Finn.
Qualities: Good (+2) Army Veteran, Good (+2) Beautiful, Good (+2) Crafts, Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Teamwork
Poor (-2) Dexterity

* * *

"An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person is one who drives through an old decrepit part of town and sees a new housing development. An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life."
-- Jim Rohn

The North Carolina Raleigh Metalwork Show includes a variety of sculptures, including these junk sculptures. There are sword and knife booths too. See inside the show tent.

Enjoy recipes for Southern 10-Bean Soup with Ham, Whole Wheat Cornbread, and Maple Pecan Baked Stuffed Apples. Carryout trays of cardboard are sturdy but compostable.

Check out the Yeti jug. Note that most beverage vendors in T-America will dispense beverages into containers brought by customers, and simply sell by volume. It saves the vendors money on disposable containers and reduces trash. Enjoy a recipe for Hot Apple Cider.

Wheelchair accessories for camping include some interesting tactical equipment.  You can find the Yukon gear here.  T-America adds black (and other colors) MOLLE Tactical Wheelchair Accessories made just for that purpose.
Tags: poem, poetry, reading, writing
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