The Smelter

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February 13, 2014 by Matthew Vickery

The Smelter

(Poem originally published by The Cadaverine Magazine)



Where drops

are mined and mixed,

verified for their ripeness,

in the solitude of underground chambers,

full of wound-up springs,

hurdling and bouncing droplets in a water-logged echo,

to age-old conveyor belts groaning

under cumulative weights of cumulonimbus and spissatus undulatus,

rolling through cogs and gears grinding sluggishly the precipitations of tomorrows predictions.


“It’s a cloud machine, Mum!”


With the ground faintly pulsating,

with the humdrum of elevator shafts,

up and down and up,

easily mistaken for a rumbling car hastening,

like a machine which works day in and day out

and night in and night out

harbouring condensations of fearsome cumbersome accumulations,

and wistful translucent creations.


“It’s a cloud machine, Mum!”


Hydrologists mixing,

in their shining dew blue coats and welly boots,

crafting a habitual concoction for the mountain lochans of the Highlands of Scotland,

but also a special formation,

for Juba in South Sudan, Quetta in Balochistan,

while new test tubes shatter from globule ignitions in the serious weather department below.


“Clouds are made in the sky, pet.”


And below the vehicle’s spinning wheels,

strangulated corridors stretch and stretch,

beads of liquid flowing down the damp-ridden walls,

freed from pumps and tubes,

now destined to flow in purposeless sinews along crevice edges,

alongside gaping collection vats.


Worn out journeyed drops dripping in from the ground above,

a last brawl through dirt and stone and grit,

after a migration over ragged peaks and vacant pastures,

to an undignified splatter,

becoming again a ceaseless collective,

tumbling from the blue above.


While white wisps,

and dark mists,

and unwieldy masses squeeze through groaning pipes,

gravity against,

at least at first,

until finally released


into the air.


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Matthew Vickery

Matthew Vickery

Socialist, Feminist, Anti-Racist, Pro-Equality. Former journalist in the West Bank, and an infrequent writer published on unheard of, and frequently ignored, outlets.

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