Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stone and Steel


I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer
More woodsman's axe than surgeon's scalpel
Cleave by inertia more than intelligence

I know this
And accept it for what it is
My lot

But it need not mean I'm dull
A blunt tool
Good for nothing more than rude smashing
I'm more than that

I work hard
Keep my broad edge clean with stone and steel
And with this edge endeavor to strike with rudimentary precision
For effort and proximity can carry the day
If that's what you have

We can't all be scalpels

And axes are needed in this world
They build from the ground the platforms of the knife
There's dignity in their work
Though they're seldom celebrated for it
It's the scalpel that's revered

But blades, unattended, quickly tarnish and rust
Razor edge turns pointless
While axes, when whet, work untiringly, and long
Even when blunted by hard times

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer
More woodman's axe than surgeon's scalpel
I endure by the effort

Stone and steel



8 comments:

e.m.b. said...

"I endure by the sharpening"

Dignity in "their work" and well as your words, Mike. Beautifully done, as ever.

Ken G said...

I have that exact same hand ax. It has to be older than me. An object left lying around in my grandfathers garage after he died that nobody but me wanted.

Well honed, it still does an excellent job.

Mike said...

Thanks, Erin. There's not enough dignity accorded to, or pride taken in, hard work and preparation these days. It's sad. Your bamboo work speaks nicely to this as well, showing the beauty of old and simple ways. I'm enjoying it immensely.

You have a good eye, Ken. That hatchet was my father's, and quite possibly his father's before that. It's an elegant tool that is helping me through a cord of stringy hickory at the moment. Thanks for reminding me just where it came from.

Sanders said...

...we can't all be scalpels.

you're right, there isn't enough value in hard work anymore. really enjoyed the poem. keep em coming!

Cheers

Jay said...

Nice poem.
Nothing like a Mtn Dew to fuel some hard work.

Seth said...

Well said sir! Let's raise a pint to all of us axes!

Howard Levett said...

Nice Mike, I liked a lot. You're turning into quite a wordsmith.

AYearOnTheFly said...

Longfellow ain't got nothing on you. I like it!