James B. Nicola

But Poetry Is Metal Work, In Fine

Is the legacy the bowl or its contents, particularly
what it contains when empty? That’s the thing
with literature, it isn’t what it is,
but what it is not, and evokes, that is the legacy.
The jewel-laden bowl looks different
to every century, every generation, and to each
dazzled glance or focused pair of eyes,
the ears that hear the echo of the hammering
in Byzantium, Drumcliffe, or up and down my hall.

James B. Nicola © 2010