Saturday, April 4, 2015

Zeroes, eights and the lively wet

This is a revised version of the poem published here earlier. I like this version much better. If anyone wants to compare the two, here's the earlier version.

The porch in summer,
wind muttering low sounds,
Aspen leaves fussing attention,
scents and sights spilling
down slope and up,
mountain spruce bend sway bend.

Chisel in his right,
beer ready to the left,
a sharpening stone sits flatly
on blue-jeaned thigh.

Lightly oiled, the round stone
lies, waiting for the beveled edge.
In a big hour,
or a shorter two,
the sun will set,
true, as always.

Entranced, he’ll still be lightly
tracing eights and zeroes on stone,
chisel edge angled just so.
Sipping at the can to his left,
sliding thumb to tip,
contemplating sharp and sharper,

Back to the beer.
Back to the stone.
Zeroes and eights,
rolling wave of oil
and grit pushed here,
there by the big hand
of this universe.

Zero, eight, sipping,
thumb test for sharp,
sharp, could be sharper to bite
the door jamb easy.
A cloud scuds blue sky.
He flatters singing birds
with compliments,

sips, watches, heeds the sentinel pines
bend crouch bend,
tests for sharp,
sun and face and trance,
zeroes and eights,
rhythm and rhythm
until the chisel’s tip,
covered with his peaceful
blood, calls him back
to its lively wet.

The thumb,
now parallel grooved, leaks blood.
Sharp. Enough.
Shuts his eyes,
low sounds and high,
catching up on what
the junipers have been saying
to the well flattered birds

and to him.

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