Of Their Crafts

I still recall the dazzling shops of Turkey,

in which, through open walls facing the square,

the jolliest of craftsmen sell their wares –

choice items of exquisite handiwork.

A lathe’s bow travels as a sharp tool sends

wood shavings loose with a peculiar song:

a mouthpiece for a pipe – fine, thin, and strong –

emerges, ball of amber at one end.

I’ve been where steel is smelted – fiery hells –

as well as glass-bead workshops on Capri,

seeking the dream of labor’s poetry…

But beaded straps, marble with tales to tell,

a pauper’s mangal like a golden urn:

a school of beauty where we pass and learn.