The raw wood

Of Riven Oak

A day past, a plane glides along the wood held in the vise and back and forth unending motion takes away the roughness from the club- driven froe-riven oak.

The woodland ’round smells different when the oak, now in split, square staves, lean away from the dirt and the dew-soaked leaf-covered ground.

My hands clasp the shaft of the sledge and my breath clouds my view as I swing ten pounds of steel above my back to strike the iron-cast wedge and the wood splits and cracks the air.

The bird’s song no longer near, reflects my work that breaks the forest silence echoing beyond my gaze absorbed in leaf-filled branches and the compost neath my feet.

And so I rob my wood once more as staves and rails upon the forest floor await my shave to cut the oak fibres and the legs and spindles one by one emerge as rounded spikes from which I build my chair backs and leg frames.

Paul Sellers

October 2007