The Whittler

Written by: Donald Meikle

There's a knack to carving wood that most don't have.  
 It's the way whatever you're carving changes in position and
 expression with the pictures in the grain,   
Even a shock of hair twists from constant wind or 
a rock too  big for a root to move.  
 sometimes a dragon's wingtip bends to grain.  

That's after the first deep cuts that tend to change muscular structures.   
What started as an arm becomes a goose's neck and fingers change to beak as a tree reaches for sunlight.   
Then again some works stay human but less heroic, sometimes more so in their infirmity.  
 I've seen a belt sander change a fish from fat to sideways and large mouth to calico with just a simple turn.  
Sometimes it's the grain, sometimes it's the knife that cuts too deep,
 but just like painting in oil mistakes can make perfection from imperfection.
It's sorta like my life has been an' how things turn out.