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