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Master Craftsman

Master Craftsman
by Shelly Braynt


Nobody has blinded me.
Wide-eyed and eager,
I take my tools in hand
and turn to face the flames.

I am a man of vision;
nobody has blinded me.
In my mind’s eye I espy
that which as yet is not

but one day will be.
Their bodies dance, and since
nobody has blinded me,
I see their every move

and marvel at their grace.
These ethereal shapes will I
bring to life. You see,
nobody has blinded me.

* * *

Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, researcher, and translator. She is the author of two volumes of poetry, Cyborg Chimera and Under the Ash, and a travel guide to the city of Suzhou entitled Suzhou Basics. Her third volume of poetry, Voices of the Elders, is slated for release in 2012. Her most recent projects include writing an updated guide to the city of Shanghai for Urbanatomy and translating Sheng Keyi's novel 《北妹》 (Northern Girls) for Penguin Books.

Shelly's poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and websites around the world, as well as in several art exhibitions, including dark 'til dawn, Things Disappear, and Studio White • Exhibition 2011. You can visit her website at