A glimpse of harakiri

Written by: Thvia Stein

The task commissioned,
the black sand tested,
deemed worthy
of hard use.

A sword-smith's prayer
lifts aloft to the Shinto shrine
requesting his soul be captured
in the mirrored grain
of this, his finest blade.

An earthen furnace raging,
flames licking the entrance.
To smelt, to cleanse,
charcoal carbon to mix,
breathing strength
into raw tamahagane.

Shingane, kawagane,
one brick of each.
feeding the mouth
of a greedy forge.
Regurgitating and melting,
making pliable these.

Leathered craftsman hands
drive out flaws and sparks,
hammering, bending,
meticulously folding
thirty-thousand times.

Tired and spent,
black eyes linger
over the polished steel,
to inspect and examine,
acknowledging a masterpiece.

Now, commission completed,
his motive revealed.
with an unthinkable descent;
momentum for a sickening plunge,
as his own life force
runs red the reflective hada.