Weekly Poem #195

Whittler’s Hands


Worn and reddened, and as coarse as sand locked in time,

Chippings strewn across the lightly dusted wooden beams,

And cold, steamy breaths heaving outward, hurting, haunting.

Lines of creatures, of squeezed souls all signed and sorted,

A gallery of eternal life, gathered to observe the one-man show.

He himself a creature, so absorbed in craft that he forgets himself,

He comes the craft, he becomes a callous on a gnarled fingertip,

The blade of a knife presses down hard but no blood flows forth,

The skin just crackles and contorts, like a dead left drying in the sun.

So he carves, and whittles, and turns his trinkets to companions,

He stocks his tea party with harsh, ravening eyes, tapping on his skull,

Worrying at the base, trying to scratch right through to the spine

And see it it resonates all the way down, to see if his spirit will stir.


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