Gathering Wood For The Hearth

It wasn’t really John’s saw
that carved the branch into fire logs -
its blade severing rings of time.
The saw was mine but just like his.

Resting for a spell I thought of John:
clearing his spread by the Williamson Road,
building fences, raising his barn,
or, like me, cutting wood for the hearth.

But perhaps I didn’t “think” of John at all
since he lives in each cell that I am
He may have just stirred a little within
to recall pioneer paths we once had walked.

The long branch shortened
as John and I pistoned our arms
in unison across centuries
slicing through time and space -
stacking fuel to warm a cold winter’s night.

by Robert Charles Howard

Comments (5)

'slicing through rings of time' is great. I know well the feeling of someone 'inside', sort of joining one...
A lovely expression - 'severing rings of time'. Wish I'd thought of that! -chuck
There's comfort in this kind of companionship/kinship and this simple and necessary way to it, but translating it into a form of words and connections that allows us to feel it takes a very special talent. Being at one with your nature and the legacy you were 'living' is hard enough on its own!
This is a fabulous poem. The feel is one one innocence and nostagia. The manner of the piece is constructed so well, with an ability, on the part of the reader, to savour the words.
The past casts a long shadow on the landscape of this wonderful winter poem.. Great atmosphere in this one, Robert. Regards, Sandra