Prometheus Artificer

No prophet, self-driven, chose clay to mould,
enchant it. Judged by fancy and it seemed
to fall together. Suspecting happy accidents
he searched for flaws, soon found them:
seams of discontent stretched length to length,
a jagged rift rent head from heart, heart from him.
Hard handed, he squeezed the seeded clay
too late. The earth had set and would not ply.
Seal imperfections. He stuffed each crack
then smoothed to a shine. To no avail.
He whittled stolid stone and wedged it in.
It fell rejected. The breach grew great.
Plane down the scale, eliminate distortions.
Still saw beneath the crust the secret spider strike a smile.
What now to do? All craft he knew
and energy expended, he felt the fault in him
and he a god. But to rivet meant to split,
to split destroy, and thus, he knew, to lose
entirely. Bent on achievement, foresaw
recasting dream, no locked rock, bird’s beak,
flushed by selfish heaven’s purloined flame.

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About the Author

Daniel P. Stokes has published poetry widely in literary magazines in Ireland, Britain, the U.S.A. and Canada, and has won several poetry prizes. He has written three stage plays which have been professionally produced in Dublin, London and at the Edinburgh Festival.