Stacking Logs

A winter sun

Glimmers pale

Through leafless branches

Alive with liquid dew buds,

And under a mackerel sky

I put myself to stacking wood.

From the store

I load an armful

And carry it to the pile beside my front door,

Savouring the woodsmoke air

Impregnated with birdsong.

Logs chime when they’re ready:

Knock two together and hear the clink

Of the summer’s drying maturation.

I stack the logs,

Throwing them together in a rough fit.

There’s the scent of twisting smoke again,

Sweet as warm-hearthed living.

I separate the smaller pieces for kindling,

Reworking the rest

Into a collage depiction of a fragmented trunk,

The grain of years encircling me.

A patch of light breaks through

And wets the leaves of an ornamental plant,

Unveiling the lingering touch

Of the vapour-breath night.

Once again, to the log pile

Where I find a hibernating wasp

Torpid in a fibrous crack.

I set its home aside,

Mindful of its sleeping potential.

Another load hugged,

Rough and calloused

To my fingertips.

Each piece

The perfect wholesome weight,

A measure of reality’s depth,

And warming my heart

Even before the spark has caught,

For the flame of life

Burns vigorous,

Ablaze in my heart

And the heart that is the world:

Life burns vibrantly bright

In everything,

In simply everything.

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