Friday, May 16, 2014

Zeroes, eights and the lively wet

I've revised this poem substantially. I think the new version is much better. It can be found here.

Gazing out from the porch,
wind and leaves making low sounds,
scents and sights spilling down slope and up,
mountain spruce casually swaying,

he sits, chisel in his right hand,
a beer ready to his left,
a sharpening stone sits flat
on his blue-jeaned thigh.

The round stone lies,
lightly oiled, awaits the chisel’s beveled edge.
In a big hour,
or a short two,

the sun will set,
if it stays true,
maybe while he’s still lightly
tracing eights and zeroes

on the oiled stone, the
chisel edge angled just so.
He presses a thumb to the tip,
could be sharper, sips his beer,

back to the stone,
zeroes and eights,
circling slow,
a rolling wave of oil and grit

pushed here, there by the big hand
ruling this tiny universe.
Zero here, eight there, sip here,
another thumb test for sharp,

sharp, could be sharper,
soon to bite the door jamb easy,
watches a cloud scud across blue sky,
flatters singing birds with compliments,

sips, watches, heeds the sentinel pines,
tests for sharp, sun on his face,
zeroes and eights,
fallen into a rhythm

that will not break,
until the tip of his chisel,
covered with his peaceful blood,
calls him back with its lively wet.

He examines the thumb,
with its parallel grooves,
leaking blood,
carved by his fine chisel.

Sharp enough, he thinks,
sips his beer, shuts his eyes,
listens, catching up on what
he may have missed.

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