Poem by Robert Gibbons


The Tailor of Gloucester by the Fire. Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)




The Fireplace Tongs



On occasion, the fact that something gets lost

forces one to value it all the more. Tongs I found

in ashes of fireplace in ruins of the cottage,

grandfather’s birthplace, in Ballyhaunis. Asked

his last remaining sister, Margaret Lyons, & two

daughters, Bridie & Noreen, if I could take the tool

back home. Made of iron, simple, ancient contraption

with single hinge at top to open & close, while end tips

flattened to better grasp the log. Put them to good use in Salem,

Gloucester, even Winchester & Scituate, where I lose track of them,

when moving to Portland, down-sizing to three-room apartment, what

with no fireplace. Yet, until lost never once imagined heat & ingenuity

of the forge & clever blacksmith combining to form such a fine implement,

better etched in mind, here & now, than back then held in hand.


Robert Gibbons




Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons, a former Gloucester resident, is the author of nine books of poetry. In 2013, in addition to completing a Trilogy of prose poems with Nine Point Publishing,  he published Olson/Still: Crossroad, a brief study concerning the similarities in approach to art by Olson in words, and Clyfford Still in paint.



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