axeman: a philosophy of the woodpile

like life
a round of sawn firewood
is too damn hard

will it be
the axe
or the splitter

perhaps the wedge
and a hammer

there is no way
to cut through that knot

if you take the round
at the outer
you can slice
after slice
it apart

and what about the gnarl
that tangling of fiddleback
lying right across
your path

can you
smite your way
like a god
wielding his hammer

when the wood holds on
despite you

will that crack
lead you through
the centre

or is it a trap
to tempt you away
from the tried and true journey
around the sides

you could smash it
to splinters
determined in your rage

or should you just move on

throw the ugliness
of mauling
to the discard pile
with all the other failures

truth holds

truth holds

whether you can find it
or no
it’s in the rings
packed tight and hard around
around the heartwood

and it will bathe you
like a swimmer
in a bucket
of your own sweat

that’s the lesson that’s taught you
through the hard thin edge
and long smooth handle
of your splitter

© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #27: a visit home

7 thoughts on “axeman: a philosophy of the woodpile

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