While we were corresponding about a promotional campaign for his new novel, The Conjure Man, author Peter Damian Bellis shared some of his evocative, earthy poems with me. He’s kindly given me permission to reprint “God’s Anvil” below. I loved the idea that God might do His transforming work through something more grounded and physical, and less glamorous, than the “sweltering winds of my beliefs”.
Today I am spread thin across God’s anvil,
my soul withering in the bellows of his breath,
my body melting, merging, the dust of
my purpose mixing with the desert of
my hope until I am one of the many
obsidian-like shards half-buried, hiltless,
in the blood-dry carcass of this once fertile,
crescent earth, mirror to the shimmering,
sweltering winds of my beliefs, yet also the dark-
heaving ripple of the camels as they settle
into the sand, indifferent, unimpatient,
unwashed, impervious; and the stench of their
dung-heavy breath washes clean this mirror,
leaving now a cloudless, distant, sheltering sky.
River Boat Books, publisher of The Conjure Man, is offering a contest with good-sized cash prizes for essays responding to Bellis’ novel. Check it out here.