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Poems

Papa said…

(or the splitting of the redwood tree)

In the sweate of thy face shalt thou eate bread, till thou returne vnto the ground: for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and vnto dust shalt thou returne.

Genesis 3:19 (Holy Bible 1611)

      ~~~~

Seven years old
a fallen tree
Just I, Myself,
and little Me
armed with Daddy’s tutelage
a six pound hammer
and a steel wedge

Choke up that handle, lad
shorten that length
harden your body, boy
foster that strength
sharpen your tools
keep your wits
blast that tree into little bits

Mind your lessons well, my son
at the end of the road
the work gets done
a tower begins with a single brick
a rooster grows from a tiny chick
arms of iron don’t mold in a day
Lord God ordained a different way
to grow a horse you feed it hay
to cast a bell you start with clay
from little to much
from weak to strong
swing that hammer
ring that gong
keep it up, boy
all life long

The duration, Son
Stay the course
a faulty nail
toppled the horse
Never stop. Never quit.
Fill your guts with gravel and grit
Do your duty with a song
but when times grow hard
just trudge along

Never let that iron cool, boy
or it might never shift again
Not’n without that brimstone fire
flames prepared for the king of Tyre
ain’t no warning half so dire
so, labor and sweat, lad
worthy of hire

Swing away
swing and sing
whop that iron
make it ring
swage it
wage it
make it cry
sweat them bullets
’til ye die

The law can’t be skirted, Son
them’s the rules
the sluggard’s way
is the path of fools
twelve judgement stones
the tenth one beryl
so, sow the seeds
or reap the peril
a milk-less saucer
makes the kitten go feral

Follow the sap
find the crack
place the wedge
tap tap tap
then drive that steel on down, boy
drive it down
to the ground

You’ve the makings, lad
first step on the road
but that don’t make it ripe to pluck
the egg comes before the chicken or the duck
it ain’t on the platter yet, boy
ain’t on the platter yet

Go forth, my son
you’ve well begun
you gotta work
you cannot shirk
deeds is deeds
talk is talk
them’s the rules God wrote in rock

So, bend your ear
to a word of truth
an eye for an eye
a tooth for a tooth
be ever faithful
then forsooth…
BEHOLD! PAUL BUNYAN!
in his youth

Atta boy, Son
the future is wax
master that sledge
then trade it for an axe


*Notes
-Yes. I really split up a redwood tree when eight years old

-Poem written in free verse inspired by Rankin and Bass productions
-My daughter’s artwork always exceeds my expectation. This one is conceptually brilliant, how the poem and the tree are one