The Silversmith (1969)

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Well, good thoughts aren’t miracles, and prayers not an art, belief’s for the living, who live in the dark. In silver’s a dross that falls into waste, on a sunny September the 9th, the stripes came.  With medals shiny, and grim faces wrought, they spoke of the timing his sweet Jimmy fought.  A flag they left folded, a flag he did not want, a silversmith crying, his future blocked.

It’s all about smithing with silver and heat, a raising hammer, the fire and the glow, the night time upon him, his inner soul.  A small set of tweezers, a soldering poke, rough hands bright eyesight, a scriber in tote.  His Tripoli Polish stands worn by its wear, seen many a scratch now worn without wear.  A wind from the high bluff that whispers and moans, and moves his old Hogan without any hope, his hope his main action his time to see clear, he’s finished inscribing what name he holds dear.  A light above cloud line the mesa away, the one he saw Jimmy riding that day.  His uniform dancing, his stripes so in play, from halls of the Aztecs to an African bay.  A sigh of strong memory, that swoops and it smokes, by now it’s a Chindi gone up in black smoke.  He turns his face away, the silversmith, he looks so gray.

In 1950 his smithing a prayer, a gift to the blessing of harmony’s care, a child of the river his Jimmy did cry, he built the wood Hogan, under blue sky.  By the San Juan, he worked and he played, his artisan silver, he sold every day, and when he was finished his son he would take, young Jimmy Nakai, in the river they played.  You should see the log hut, the hut of belief, the one on an island, near rapids and snares.  Their poles catching rainbow and brown to share.  There by moonlight a fire, trout to taste.  Albert Nakai, would teach his boy to place, a sliver of turquoise in silver lace, a line from the heaven in shiny grace, first man and first woman in times embrace.

What ways of a nation, disrupt peaceful souls, with laws about fighting on dangerous soil, a draft for the living when eighteen does come. A silversmith a poor man, he has his one son, so Jimmy is drafted to fight the Viet Con. The silversmith working, his art and his trade, molding miracles to help his boy save. Each day he walks down to the river to see, if his islands standing with the hut of belief, the circles still open, the bad spirit released. He turns his face away, the silversmith, he looks so gray.

Well, good thoughts aren’t miracles, and prayers not an art, belief’s for the living, who live in the dark.  In silver’s a dross that falls into waste, on a sunny September the 9th, the stripes came.  With medals shiny, and grim faces wrought, they spoke of the timing his sweet Jimmy fought.  A flag they left folded, a flag he did not want, a silversmith crying, his future blocked.

The moon over Burnham, the dark mesa near, the river it’s calling the spirit is near.  The silversmith breathing, his tools in his hands, he wades the swift water through dark churning sand.  The moon over darkness, the hole in the land, the ring of pure silver, the tools in the sand.  The fire of belief, it rises so high, the silversmith watches his eyes have grown dry.  He turns his face away, the silversmith, he looks so gray.

Jimmy Nakai, died on Saturday, September 6, 1969, in Operation Idaho Canyon, in Vietnam.  His father Albert Nakai, buried his silversmith tools, and a ring he had carefully made for Jimmy in a hole on an island in the San Juan River.  Although the story is real, I have changed the names for the above piece, the island and its location along the San Juan River are also real, but the exact location unrevealed. – 03.10.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

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11 thoughts on “The Silversmith (1969)

    • It is Anne Marie, part of the way it is I’m thinking, but not the way it will be. Anyway, this is the prologue to the next Jason and Danny story, “The Mystery of Cabin Island”, not all of it real of course, but I will leave it up to the reader to discern! 😉 As always thank you for your friendship and reading!

  1. Pingback: The Mystery of Cabin Island | Daniel Swearingen

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