Mana Magic / for Nathan
(Part of Living Poem)
This poem is based on a Magic: The Gathering deck that Nathan Neufeld created using artifact type cards; and which is able, 1 out of 5 deals, to defeat an opponent before that player can make a move. “Mana” is the currency that customarily builds up slowly to enable a player to overcome an opponent in several moves.
What if mana could magically double
As with starlight sifted through a halo’s bubble;
Or triple through a streamlined process
That funnels power to a narrowed purpose?
There’s a crypt that, if you break its clasp,
Expels energy-yielding pyroclasts
Before it busts out in swords of light,
But that won’t happen this goodnight.
A stop at the vault enclosed by the crypt
Circumvents its normal cost in scrip
As the vault, like the crypt, emits a release
That can be milked to make mana increase.
In this way, you purchase an ironworks,
Which converts crypts, vaults and other artifacts
Into mana; and buy with this wealth a battle chamber
That twins new recruits with doppelgängers.
Ornithoptor floats onto the field, a splendid
Nothing that nonetheless is attended
By its shadow. Alas! Both parties are destined
For skull clamps and the recycling engine,
Which turn sacrifice into propaganda
To incite troops on a sped-up agenda.
Pawns and their sidekicks march double-quick
To feed Psychosis Crawler, a giant tick.
It’s the tick that deals the final blow,
Zapping and sapping its opponent to show
That its killing cancer is the Creator’s fault.
It could have only begun with starlight or a vault.
But is that dark path something to explore?
Yes. Horror’s a thing to avoid, not ignore,
And what better place than a fantasy or game
To imagine a path along an alternate plane?
Following an anomaly is a beautiful thing
Like the dream-flumes that thought-streams bring.
In the world of all-time, in which we’re all blind,
Design shows its glory to a beautiful mind.