21 June 2010

Magpie Tales #19...Knife's Story



He notices the blade is nicked as he runs his finger along it. Softly, slowly, so he doesn't get cut. It surprises him. This knife is his now, but before him it belonged to others, who were careful and would not have nicked it so carelessly.
He doesn't know its story, but the knife screams it to him. He cannot hear it.

Beechwood tells of green leaves blocking the sun. Dappled shadows across roots. Of axes and grunts, teetering, falling, thumping with a bounce. A fishtail, large calloused hands moved with care along it, smoothing it. Burning, leaving a rust coloured scar.
Steel tells of dark caves and chisels, booming explosions. Of melting pots and dripping like molasses. Being held against a stone while sparks flew. Fitting carefully to the beech.
Knife calls to beechmast, opened for bitter flavour, still food. It calls to oak and maple, and sycamore, carved and left on the mantle. It calls to the land of fir trees where it was born.
It longs for John the Baptist's fingers, slender and strong. It screams to stone and blood, where coffins rest forever. It shouts of death and pain, and graves. Where a woman died and a man sat with her. It screams of granite and scratches, and iron. Iron that dripped from it down the gravestone, and rusted when it was dry.
Knife reaches for missing piece. Evergreens have grown up around it where graves are unmarked and forgotten. It calls iron from arteries, bubbling up to the surface. Its pores soak up rust-coloured liquid.

He winces as the nick in the knife snags on his flesh. Blood dribbles down the blade, following the track of the past. He doesn't notice.

16 comments:

Helen said...

Your Magpie is so eloquent, so descriptive, so full of word stories ... wonderful!

RA said...

I liked the life seeping through the lines. Great write! :)

willow said...

I'm fascinated with John the Baptist's fingers. It's going to be rolling around in my head today. Wonderful piece.

Aoife.Troxel said...

Thank you Helen, RA and willow. The story behind the knife was quite fascinating, I found. I thought it deserved a personality as an animate object, quite capable of thinking and wishing.

Gabriela Abalo said...

Great take on the picture - an object story are really fascinating - if only they could tell....

great writing.

loveNlight
Gabi

Stafford Ray said...

The blade screamed but the timber whispered its history and its beauty... lovely poetry. (It may not be set out as poetry, but it is poetry). You have a way with words!

Paul C said...

I like the interplay of steel and wood and the rich sensory appeal.

Alexis said...

"It longs for John the Baptist's fingers, slender and strong."
The whole piece is awesome, but that is my favorite line.
I love how your blog pops with those bright colors.:)

Elaine of Kalilily said...

Down the rabbit hole of of mythic history. This piece catches hold of your gut and pulls you into the dream.

chiccoreal said...

Dear AT: Pure Poetry! Refined! Erudite! Love the history lesson too as you have inserted reference to John the Baptist (the Opinel has some relativity to the Holy Land Crusades I had read partially on Wiki?) and this is my favourite line brimming with religious/spiritual significance of the esoteric kind;
"It calls iron from arteries, bubbling up to the surface." Heavy. Meaningful. Thank-you dear.

Tumblewords: said...

A magical story, the interweaving of the parts is poetry. Well crafted. Delicious read.

Carrie Burtt said...

Love the beautiful description in this piece. It is captivating. :-)

Selma said...

There is a mythic, epic quality to this. Your use of imagery is quite striking. I think you are quite an outstanding writer.

Patience said...

This is so beautiful! I could feel, taste and smell every word, it was so full of imagery and emotion. Great Magpie!

brenda w said...

Beautiful clever Magpie! I love this, and agree with Selma, there is definitely a mythic quality about this piece. Well done! I love the piece about John the Baptist's fingers, and had done a search myself for that, after noticing the fingers on the blade.

~T~ said...

The knife tells its story well. What vivid impressions! Are you sure he couldn't hear it?