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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: the woodworker
By Jim McWhinnie
01/09/10


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the woodworker

in the golden light of the lanterns,
in the savory scent of the sawdust mist,
on the carpet of wood shavings that soften his steps,
the old man,
in the quiet of the night,
works the wood,
as if a priest at prayer,
with hushed and holy care.

with reverent touch, the old man’s hands,
runs the blade of the plane,
back and forth,
over and over again,
shaping,
smoothing,
shaving away,
seducing to life,
the wood’s second life,
as if a priest at prayer,
with hushed and holy care.

with craft garnered by his many years,
the old man makes the fateful cuts,
cuts made once and only once,
mortise and tenon, they become as one.
the joint is strong,
they do belong,
the bond is sure,
a perfect fit, it will endure,
as if wed by a priest prayer,
with hushed holy care.

with patient time the old man works away the night,
first the chisel, then the sand,
first the shavings, then the dust,
closer, closer, ever closer,
finer, finer, finer, ever finer,
he gives the wood his loving touch,
sometimes a splinter is his return,
a painful “Ouch”,
but he will go on,
til morning’s dawn,
for he is a priest at humble prayer,
always with hushed and holy care,
working in the golden, sawdust air.


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This article has been read 439 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jackie Wilson01/14/10
Lovely word pictures, soft and gentle.
Virgil Youngblood 01/14/10
Beautifully written. I enjoy finding the beauty in wood and obviously, so do you. This is worthy of a good mitered frame.
Carol Penhorwood 01/15/10
Beautifully written, wonderfully worked, finely drawn!
Karen Pourbabaee 01/17/10
Obviously wriiten with holy care...the words flow as in song and paint a classic portrait! I really loved this
masterpiece!
Barbara Lynn Culler01/18/10
I think I heard gentle guitar playing in the background, Beautiful piece!
Karlene Jacobsen 01/18/10
Beautiful!
Lollie Hofer 01/18/10
My father-in-law was a carpenter who took pride in his work. While reading this lovely story, I could envision him as the carpenter painstakingly working through the night. Thanks for sharing this well written poem.
Colin Swann01/19/10
Wow, wonderful! - really enjoyed reading these lovely words. Colin
Ruth Brown 01/20/10
I could smell the wood shavings. So very well done.
Carol Slider 01/20/10
Your use of words is so skillful and beautiful. I loved reading this!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/21/10
"savory scent of the sawdust mist" Wow! I can hear the music of the saw all the way through this poem. I love it.