The Anvil

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Poems about life

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On the knee-high block of 'bod-ark'

Stands the Anvil, cold and dark

Railroad spikes hold it secure

Ensuring every abuse it will endure.


Forged in metal works, long silented.

The roaring furnaces flames quenched,

Workers, resting in their graves,

The Anvil remains a testament to their ways.


When Wesley had young guest

They sooner or later became pest,

No matter what their age it seems

They had to test the anvil's rings.


Wesley would draw out from under his bed

His hammer with the eight-pound head.

It would be passed around.

For them to see how heavy was eight pound(s) .


The hammer head, like the anvil

Was forged in Vulcan's temple.

Suspended on a cubit length

Oaken handle, worn smooth.


Impossible to raise as intended,

By choking up on the head, in air's suspended.

Then striking the Anvil with a blow

Produced no music notes that we know.


To Wesley, is passed the sledge

He, the acknowledged ruler of the forge.

With what looked to be

A great deal of difficulty,

He raised the eight pounds of iron

A foot or so above the anvil's horn,

And in anticipation of the blow

Silence on all would be bestow(ed) .


Then, the hammer, suspended,

Would move on the path, intended.

Dropping slowly downward

In an arc, of the forearm toward

The anvil waiting dumb, for the shock,

On the bois d'arc wooden block


Wesley made no apparent effort.

Only guiding the hammer's direction to impart

A first blow

On the horn below.


And strike the anvil it would.

Producing a clear ringing sound

Not unlike a church's bell;

A single clear note, a peal.

That came forth as directed by

The maestro's baton on the fly.


The hammer rebounded, higher than before

For sure, more music was in store.

Again it would from it's apex come slowly down,

Then striking the anvil, producing a new sound.

And again it would rebound upward.

Over and over, each stroke, a new reward.

With every rise and falling movement

As a musician tuning his instrument.


Then, Wesley played on the horn's nose,

Called by him in Blacksmith prose.

To the back of the anvil's flattened plate

Then by where the wedging holes were shaped

Onto the sides, and in the center

Each produced a note of different tenor.

The anvils web, and even on the base

No part of the iron escaped his embrace.


His movements –  effortless

As he played his solo - anvil chorus.

Unlike Gene Kruppa on the drums.

There was no forced movements,

No rush to combine sound(s) .

Strokes dependent on th' hammer's rebound

Giving a clear sound only capable

Of being produced by his hammer and anvil 'table.'


And then almost as he had begun,

The hammer with each strike would lose momemtum.

Until on the last note, it stopped in mid-air.

And was momentarily suspended there.

Then Wesley would pass

The hammer to a waiting accompanist

Who would try to reproduce the sounds

That came from strikes and rebounds.


Finally when all were through,

The smaller children had their due.

They would approach the anvil

And seeing another use of this iron devil.

Such a mysterious device,

Would be mounted in a trice,

Facing the horn, nose or called some other name

It became a magic steed of mystic fame.

Capable of carrying them far away

From the dirt roads and red clay,

Summer heat and biting bugs,

Alcohol and other drugs.


Sometimes two or even three

Would take their place and flee.

With arms waving and legs pumping

The air filled with their shouting.

Then they would return to where they began

Wesley's place and the old man.


Then as in times past, all would go

And sit on the porch steps and 'flo'

Waiting for Wesley to begin a story

Of how it was in times past, in his glory.

When he and his dogs hunted muskrats,

Bears and tigers (some called them bobcats) ,

Caught alligator gar that were bigger than a man

And barrels of catfish for the frying pan.


Today the anvil stands silent as never before

Wesley's gone.  There will be no stories.  Never more.

Neighbors will take the anvil away

To another resting place to stay

And it never more will ring and resound

To Wesley and the children's joyous sound(s) .




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