A winter sun
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.
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
Ablaze in my heart
And the heart that is the world:
Life burns vibrantly bright
In simply everything.