03 May 2011
If I could change, like you,
Any element ,
With a flash of powdered flame,
Into the dense, yellow roundness
Of heavy gold coins,
I would find better use for my wizardry.
If I were a transmogrifier of metal
I wouldn’t bother
To transform strings of tinny wire
Into silver-braided neck strands.
Or brass bands
Into rings of priceless platinum.
I would turn swords into spoons.
If I could conjure concoctions
To control men’s souls
Or reign down on my enemies
An apocalypse of pestilence,
I’d point my sorcerer’s finger at you.
I’d change your potions
To something caustic.
I’d watch it
Corrode through your cauldron
Dousing the blue flames beneath.
I would mix an elixir
To reveal your false magic.
Your stolen wizard’s robe would
Fall away. Your purse of gold
Would soften into yellow mud.
And ooze from torn seams.
I’d change you spellbook to lead.
It’s cover too heavy to open.
Your magic would be trapped inside
By the weight of its own deceit.
No one would help you
Open your book of lies.
If I were like you
I wouldn’t be like you at all.
Ummm... First I think this poem came from the fact that I think alchemy is a cool word, and a kind of cool profession. Alchemy gave us the discovery of phosphorus-some pee was involved too. Anyway, I'm also reading a book to my students now by the acclaimed children's author, Avi (though he's not really one of my favorites). The book has an evil alchemist who can make false gold that turns to dust after time. Enough talk!