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The eternal judge,
with black cloak and heavy brow,
hangs as a thunder cloud around my head.
The sun has not the strength to shine
through such a shroud.
On verdicts diverse his gavel is swift
and I cannot whisper any plea but

The infernal smith,
with fire bright and anvil cold,
within his wretched forge did sculpt my bones.
The sun has not the heat to match
such raging flames.
By passions passed on his hammer is led
and the red-hot iron of my will must

© Ryan Burley 2013


A piece which brings up images of life, memory, guilt and the passing of time, this is a masterfully done, told in strong metaphor and complex layers of meaning. A short piece, which belies the depth of the symbolism and construction, “The Eternal Judge” is both striking and assured. Worth more than one read to truly appreciate the depth of effort and craft that has been poured into every word by Ryan Burley.

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