A Relaxing Day Off on Canada Day

Today, I’m doing whatever I please
so I set up my horses under the trees.

My workpiece is happy, content in the shade –
these perfect conditions I wouldn’t dare trade.

Finish goes on easily. I’m in no rush;
I make slow, deliberate strokes with my brush.

The urethane flows nicely and quickly dries
before it bears witness to footprints of flies.

I’m almost done now and the sun is quite near
so I clean up my brush, then head for a beer.

The Designer at Work

I sit upright, eyes open, mouth a straight line.
For just a moment, I close my eyes while I retrieve a file from my memory.
My eyes open again and I look up ever so slightly
as I review the contents of the file.

Some say they can hear, or even see
the wheels inside my head turning.
But I don’t.
Any audible voices or noises are reduced to a murmur.

I wave my hands through the air
as if disassembling it with telekinetic powers.
My mind examines each part
and effortlessly adds tenons and subtracts mortises.

One by one,
I will the parts to reassemble themselves.
It’s complete, and I study its form.
I push and pull parts into proportions that please me.

Piece by piece, I disassemble, then reassemble it,
studying the relationship between each part,
searching for potential problems
and trying to understand how best to build it.

Apart, together. Apart, together. Apart, together.
I repeat this process tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of times
over the course of days, weeks, months, years, maybe even decades
until I am ready to start building it.

Knotty Issues

The New York Times staff has developed a computer program that searches for haikus (three lines with 5, 7 and 5 syllables) disguised as sentences in the articles they publish. Those haikus are then sorted and the best ones are published on a blog just for that purpose.

I think that I might put this one up in my workshop.

NYT Haiku - But knotty issues are knotty issues, and not all have been resolved


Aiming for Perfection

When should you aim for perfection?  I recently found a quote around which I wrote a poem.

Of this, take note:
I read a great quote.
Remember this if you need direction:
“Strive for excellence, not perfection.”
H. Jackson Brown Jr. said it
And I will not soon forget.

What I Want For Christmas (More Woodworking Poetry)

I’d like some more Jet parallel bar clamps
and a dust collector that will draw some amps.

A couple more screwdrivers
and a froe to split wood fibers.

A sliding tail vise
on my bench would be nice.

A trammel to draw round things
and a rip handsaw that sings.

Some steel-toes with better soles
and a big lathe to turn bigger bowls.

An infill plane with zero slop
and of course, a bigger shop!