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The girl with a raised glass

will never really know

the bowl, the stem,

the foot, tapped free

by journeymen

who blew and dripped

all day in the heat,


brewed tea

on the furnace roof,

talked horses and money

while shovels of cullet

were shaken into its throat.

She hasn’t heard

the crucible;


the hum, the roar, the twist,

the roll, the melting song

of sand and lead –

the white-hot honey

swarming on a wand.

Or seen the sorcerer lift a bulb

of liquid light,


summon from his breath a shape

and work it with the pipe,

the jacks, the shears, the iron,

the block, the paddle, the punty.

She’ll never think

about the slow anneal,

the lathe, the cut, the mop, the buff


or the beauty in a bird

before it’s plucked

to make her feathered hat, or how

the effervesce of youth

and chilled champagne

bubble up,

and for a moment, chime.



© Michael Ray

Picture 10083167,  illustration on a postcard, 1907, image copyright Mary Evans



Michael Ray is a prizewinning poet and glass artist living in Cork, Ireland. His poems have been anthologised and have appeared in many journals including The Moth, The Shop, Cyphers, Southword, The Stinging Fly, Magma, Numero Cinq, The Well Review, The North and New Coin. His glass can be seen at