Pig Iron

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I will serve you well

but please be patient with me,

take great care because I’m brittle.

Have your finest blacksmith

forge me with precision, fold and fold

until I hold an edge that slices through armor

Like a scythe through long grass,

I am purpose-built.

Then have craftsmen

pour their hearts out

ornamenting, doting on and refining me

so that I’m form meets function.

I’m impure, but that’s not to say

that I’m not worth it.

The discipline it took to make me pales in comparison

to what it takes to wield me.

Keep me polished, oiled and sharpened.

Hold me tight,

and swing lightly,

I will do the rest.

When you sleep,

keep me on the wall,

so no harm comes to me.

If you bring me with you,

young samurai,

keep me sheathed

unless I’m absolutely needed,

so I can’t harm a soul.

Keep me safe,

and I’ll do the same.

I’m a little rough around the edges,

but if you’re looking for a fine sword,

I will serve you well.

Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

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Paper tigers are

saber rattlers,

neighbor tattlers,

favored whiners and

major prattlers that

savor decline,

yet cannot fight.

To do away

with a roaring beast

only to find a

fragile fraidy cat

in its place

should not be surprising.

Sometimes stripes are earned,

sometimes they are merely projected.

Straw dogs are routinely discarded,

after their special day,

not because they deserve this,

but because this is their purpose.

Dressed to the nines,

blessed and

lest we forget

left in the street

once their mission is complete.

No matter how many times,

they are thrown away,

straw dogs return another day,

to be a display,

that cannot stay.

You’d be Surprised

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At the open-air bazaar of ideas hangs

A smog of apocrypha,

So thick,

You could bottle it,

For any one eager and gullible enough,

To buy.

Yet filtering the miasma,

Of misinformation,

For its kernels of truth,

Shows how easy it is,

For certainty to be crowded-out

by lies.

It covers your face,

With thick soot,

The smell lingers

And stains your clothes-

The gasses

will burn your eyes.

But just because the truth is scarce,

Does not mean it’s not worth the trouble,

Of uncovering-

Keep your hazmat suit handy,

And your goggles on.

Prospecting is a hard days work,

For little pay,

But, nevertheless,

You will find it enriching

If you see it through.

Tulip Mania

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You’ve heard of that old saying, right?

“One man’s trash,

Is another man’s,

Economic crash,”

You know?

The humble tulip,

A discovery from the new world,

Became a Dutch sensation,

Overnight.

With this bulb-market,

Came speculation,

Large amounts of liquidity,

And rising valuation,

That sowed a coming disaster.

As quickly as it came,

POP! went the bubble,

Consumers, cultivators,

Merchants, kings and peasants,

All came tumbling down.

Player Piano

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A musician never acts alone,

Unless, of course,

they happen to be a drone.

Pay no attention,

To the fact that,

There is no one in front of the curtain.

Études are meant to showcase one’s skill,

But with the amputation,

Of middlemen,

There is no risk,

No drama,

In such a piece.

Chopin’s Opus 25 Number 11,

“Winter Wind”

Played with ruthless calculation,

Feels like little more,

Than a brisk,

Cakewalk.

Corrosion

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Hello old limestone sculpture,

Of an ancient, armored,

Sword-toting,

Roman soldier-

Meet acid rain.

Your chiseled face,

Buffed away,

Until the once completed visage,

Looks like modeling clay.

Slowly, but surely, we return to square one,

That marvelous, marble base,

Laid bare,

Then swiss-cheesed,

By sizzle drizzle.

Behold the disappearing monument,

Matter cannot be created,

Nor destroyed,

But that’s neither here nor there,

Until we put real effort toward conservation,

Of the curated.

Kowloon Walled City

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I’ve built you up quite a bit,

And I’m finding it harder and harder,

To leave than ever before.

If I could see in here,

I’d find unwound wires,

That cross-cross the cracks,

In the concrete,

And trickles of tap water,

That run down your façade.

But being off-the-grid,

Has it’s own advantages-

If walls could talk,

They’d tell you that,

We reach high here,

In spite of what we’re missing.

No sunrise goes unseen,

People stand on their balconies,

With nothing,

And also everything they need.