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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)

TITLE: Fire Dance
By Pat Guy


Step one.

Confident fingers cradling,
nestling the hollow of this ancient tool,
this pathway of iron,
ready to impart
breath … soul’s sweet breath.
the right moment
for this curious mixture of sand,
ash and fire.
Pure, transforming fire.
Molten orange deep and beautiful of hue!
A glorious vision in the eyes
of the wise
Born of his heart – this vessel to be.

Step two.

Fruitwood ready! Soaked, protected.
The roar of the furnace
that of a thousand flames!
Molten orb twirling, swirling,
soothed upon cool marble receiving
form and beauty.
Master and vision … one.
time and time again to
the blazing touch of
yielding to perfection.
Until clearly …
it is finished.

Step three.

Delicate balance tempered,
in radiant warmth of glowing embers,
until the moment the master knows;
when he knows … his creation
of intricate design. His creation of
glorious beauty,
to please the master’s will,
to hold the master’s light,
born of his heart.
And he will sit upon his bench to watch
flickering tongues of fire
upon The Ancient Book of Life.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/15/07
This is beautiful, and my soul understood it even if my head wasn't positive, if you know what I mean! ;-) I caught a lot of Biblical references there like us being clay in the Potter's hand, being refind with fire, iron sharpening iron, us being made of dust, Jesus's birth... Am I close?
Karen Deikun02/16/07
This was beautifully done, I loved the images and words. I am a bit confused about the meaning though - but perhaps that is my own lack. In any case it was a pleasure to read.
Leigh MacKelvey02/16/07
A matery of free verse!
I knew it , too, in my soul, and it left enough mystery to provoke deeper thinking! I love seeing different forms of poetry being presented on FW! This one was beautifully done. Keep "being different!"
Laurie Glass 02/16/07
I like the form of this poem. I also like to see a bit of rhyming in a free verse poem and you had that as well. This touched me and yet I know it's a rich piece with even more meaning than I've grasped.
Myrna Noyes02/17/07
Intriguing title and intriguing piece! Beautiful imagery that helped me see the creative process taking place! I'm not sure I totally understood the last line, but I have an idea...
Mariane Holbrook 02/17/07
Extraordinary free verse. Meticulous, lovely imagery.
Every word was a feast.
Beaucoup kudos. I loved it!
Joanne Sher 02/17/07
Beautiful but I too am unclear of what excactly you are describing. The images are wonderful, though. (I like it! really! It made me happy! Ponderous, but happy!)
Sally Hanan02/21/07
I think you are describing how God made man... and I ditto all of the other comments on how beautiful the writing descriptions are.
Donna Powers 02/21/07
Very nice images here and although I've never done glassblowing I could picture the process here. I enjoyed reading this. Good title, too. Thanks for sharing this.
Tabiatha Tallent02/21/07
I love this! I 'got' it, but maybe it would help others to add this last stanza. I don't see how it would take away from the piece, it will only add more beauty.
Jacquelyn Horne02/21/07
I'm not a good one to critique poetry. I write some myself, but never free verse or prose. I'm just not good at it, so I won't try to comment. I do think I understood the meaning though.
Jan Ackerson 02/21/07
Pat, your images, your word choice, your format--all contributed to a lovely creation. Add the final stanza, I think--it's just more loveliness, and it does help to clarify.

Very good--I can almost feel the heat.
Joanne Malley02/21/07
Pat, I feel like I have a delicious, decadent piece of chocolate in my grasp but it's being kept from my lips where I can really savor it. I am not a writer of free verse and due to my own lack don't always grasp the meanings of them. I do know, however, that once you share your vision/meaning for this poem I'm sure to want more. I do love your word choices; the obviou seduction this poem and your talent always. Blessings, Jo
Beth Muehlhausen02/21/07
What a masterful work, Pat.....this one sears the heart deeply no matter the level of interpretation. And that's no small achievement. :-)

Early on I caught this: "this curious mixture of sand, ash and fire. Pure, transforming fire." At that point I wondered if you were talking about glass! But then your development is so melodious and involved that it seems to take the reader to depths beyond that image - as other have possibly suggested, into the creative process itself.

An amazing work. You go girl!
Betty Castleberry02/21/07
Every words in this is meaningful and lovely, and appears to be well thought out. I *think* I understand what you are saying.
I personally like free verse a great deal, but I'm not very good at it. You are.
Myrna Noyes02/21/07
I loved your new last stanza and feel it does clarify what is happening! So beautiful! So rich! :)
Julie Arduini02/21/07
I loved this! The last stanza is wonderful but the entire imagery, the flickering tongues of fire, the oranges, I just loved it. I was raised in the "Glass Capital of the World" and to see glass used in relation to Our Creator versus pottery set this apart. Well done!!
Sara Harricharan 02/21/07
I think this flowed very well for being 'free verse'. The descriptions of fire and the use of the word 'Ancient' said a lot to me. There's a great deal of emotion here. Wonderful writing-and I love the title-it fits perfectly! ^_^
william price02/21/07
You continue to amaze me, girl! You keep pushing the boundaries, stretching and challenging your talents; and doing so, so expertly. You're an inspiration. I appreciate you and your gift. God bless.
Laurie Glass 02/22/07
The added stanza would have tied everything together nicely, but you made it into the top 15/40 without it! This is truly a special piece, Pat. :)
Suzanne R02/24/07
Is this poetry or a symphony? It is magnificent. Wow!!!!!
Linda Watson Owen03/05/07
Pat, I thought I had commented on this poem! Can't believe I didn't...the phone must have rung and got me off track! LOL! I love this now just as I did the first time I read it. I caught on immediately what it is about and was mesmerized with your treatment of the subject the glassblower. It is just wonderful, dear poet friend! My favorite lines are actually these: "Returning
time and time again to
the blazing touch of
yielding to perfection.
Until clearly …
it is finished." Beautiful!!