How to build a woodpile
by Jane Baston
Take up your tools —
bucksaw, maul, splitting wedge.
Use wood seasoned and dry —
lapped birch splits, riven white oak.
Choose your pattern —
shaker round, beehive, cone.
Place on level ground —
each cord stacked and ricked.
Avoid over-regularity —
uniformity causes inward collapse.
Beware water from above and below –
rot, decay, decomposition.
Encourage the flow of air —
face prevailing winds, bark up.
Let the occupants be —
Earwigs, pillbugs, beetles do no harm.
Even the brown recluse spider prefers to scuttle off
than give its lethal bite.
Originally published in Lunar Poetry 9 (June 2016).
PHOTO: Woodpile in the Woods by Pixabay, used by permission.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Some years ago, faced with my first delivery of wood, I needed to build a woodpile. The details of construction were fascinating and gave rise to a poem…
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