COMMON GROUND: Reflections in the Wood

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Articles, Common Ground
Tags: , ,

by Fiona Lovatt

The battered truck brought a mountain of wood, generally cut to length so we could bag it. We worked. Selecting the lengths that could lay horizontally in the sacks, filling them without gaps so that every customer could be satisfied with the measure.
We tapped the sticks together to send spiders and insects on their way, about our feet, and we worked with just these sounds and the lifting and plonking of the wood. We sorted as we went, tossing short cuts over the mountain, hefting the larger ones to the side. All muscles working in a steady kind of rhythm.
Hands working in the clutching and the grasping. Legs bending, straightening, backs lowered and raised like cranes. And so, in rhythm, one reflects upon the toil of all those who bring wood for fires. One thinks of those who cook or heat their homes. Who buys these sacks of wood in a land still blessed with trees?
A woman perhaps with no one to help in the labour. An elderly soul, warming aching joints, a mother…
And then the wood itself, storing the sunlight of thirty or forty years, here in my hand, a battery containing heat and light yet to be ignited.
And sometimes these lengths make a song together as they are dropped and handled. Just a note or maybe two, but definitely a song.
A song of the bush, another life with arms stretched wide to the heavens and roots deep into the earth, a song of winds and storms and summer days, a witnessing of birds, a cycle of blossoms and of seedings.
We stacked, we sorted, we waded our way through that mountain as if it was all commodity. Today that labour has a price. Our sacks will pay for travel, food, school fees… all this from the gift of trees.

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No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the written permission of the publishers.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

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Comments
  1. Adaka Timothy says:

    A poem, A Prose, A Tribute, An Eassy, … Call it any thing. A nice work though. Love d way d importance of wood was Brought out as if it was a being. Kudos.

  2. Ezeamalukwuo says:

    Lady Fiona, My Awesome Lady, what God made thee…is it the same God that made the lamb that made thee (screaming in William Blake’s voice)…

    This is sheer beauty…a beautiful picasso and macquis interbedded on this page…Jeez I must spark of this beauty to the ends of the earth.

    Great is your pen, mighty thy mind…keep on writing dear.

  3. Fiona says:

    Your generous comments encourage me to continue. Thank you for reading and providing the feedback. I am trying to understand why it is that conventions of written English can be broken so effectively and yet we still have English lessons around the world that would mark innovation and style as errors worth correcting.
    In communicating with hearts and minds we must claim the tools of language, but not be imprisoned by them.

  4. Anene Francis says:

    Is Lady Fiona ‘Iya Basira’? See me licking my plate lol. I just can’t get enough… Splendid piece as usual. Blessings of nature. In fact it inspired a short poem I’m working on. How I wish I can produce a literary work as good as this one, a gift befitting to a lady so blessed. I’ll try.
    * Your comment is so on point too and for me, very timely. Now I have something to defend myself with. Accuse my writing of being amateur, I’ll claim it’s a different innovation lol. (partly true) I hope I won’t be tempted to abuse the license sha… From me to you, Thank you ma.

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