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A fall poem: Columbus’ Discovery

THE EARLY AFTERNOON sun casts a shadow across a neatly stacked pile of wood in Cornwall.

My woodpile ain’t pretty,
bent, forked, not sawn square
short, long, fat and gnarly
like an old wizard’s hair.
 
Stacked cut colors aren’t even
ends dapple the rack
tan, red and yellow
and old cuts are black.
 
My firewood looks like me
dry, wrinkled and crochety
bad joints and old bumps
and a certain obstinacy.
 
When the dead tree is standing
and the bark gone for good
that old, light, dry timber
Roger called “Biscuit Wood.”
 
Attacking big chunks
when wielding a maul
Roger said yell “Wenh!”
and give it your all.
 
Apple is crooked, but it smells so sweet
Beech is smooth and clean and neat
Knotty is naughty, puts you in a rut
Ash you can bet on, if only your butt
 
My firewood ain’t pretty
but don’t let that daunt
cause come April one
what fool’d know it waan’t
 
How much wood can a Woodchuck chuck?
more than a Flatlander, I’ll bet you a buck.
Flatlanders rail my pile’s not of form,
all I want is it keep me warm.
 
Poplar ain’t popular
cuts and splits like a charm,
but on cold winter nights
it won’t keep me warm.
 
Dry cherry is cherry
and fantastic red oak,
when it comes to splitting
elm is a bad joke.
 
When I’ve sawn Sugar Maple
from old Vermont maps
down at the butt end
I’ve nicked age-old taps.
 
If you get soft wood
don’t cry in your cup
just pine or balsam
then spruce up.
 
I’m confused about poetry,
have trouble understanding,
tho I’ve had fried chicken
and turkey Thanksgiving.
 
My logger loves a lager
she radiates good cheer
she claims that she loves firewood
but really only beer.
 
Chopping an old hickory
a divot from my shin went.
My vet who stitched it up said
“You had an Axident.”
 
My firewood ain’t pretty,
but it’s dry and it’s good
and I am most happy
when I can burn wood
 
The north wind is sleeting
I’ve no reason to cry
my woodshed is full
Cut, split, stacked and dry.
 
My fire isn’t picky
once the coals glow deep red
my cabin stays warm
as I jump into bed.
 
My firewood ain’t pretty,
but that’s where it’s at,
as old Chris discovered
the real world ain’t flat!
 
— Dwight W. Dunning, Cornwall

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