I Think That I Shall Never See, A Poem as Lovely as a Tree

Our poetry contest turned out to be a big success. When all was said and done, we had 25 pages worth of woodworking poems! Some of them had me laughing out loud, some were touching and some were & well, really really bad. But I liked them anyway. I’ve included a bunch of them here. Special thanks to our Woodworker’s Journal holiday intern, Kelly Strait, for assembling and formatting all 25 pages worth.

Our winner is James B. Reid, who overwhelmed me with the volume of poems he cranked out. I eventually had to cry uncle and ask him to stop.

– Rob Johnstone

Selected Poems follow:

A Mild Critique
By Rob E. Lane

Dear Rob, your poem had rhyme down pat, but lacked in perfect meter,
Although your woodwork makes the mark, your writing could be neater.

In economics I degreed, in English took a minor,
With IBM worked thirty years– retirement is finer!

And so your contest I applaud, and hope your small diversion
Shows “sawdust makers” too can write, in prose or rhyming version.

In days to come I’ll wrack my brain to write about my hobby,
And if the perfect words I find, I’ll send them to you, Robbie!

A couple of warnings:

Jointer Haiku
By Bob Sawyer

Stickless Jointer
Mangled Fingers
A Moment of Clarity

Tablesaw Haiku
By Andrew Marold

Spinning tablesaw
A moments inattention
Where are my fingers?

Spotless Shop
By Caol Zandell

I’ll never have a spotless shop
I’ve never even seen one
But I can tell you here and now
I’d rather “see” than clean one

ANODE TO NORM
Thanks Norm
By James B. Reid

OK folks you think your fine
Where were you in 79?
My buddy Norm was bustin` a move
With Bob Vila in tow and learnin` the groove
He showed Bob how to nail and to tack
Bob needed lessons on just how to act
But that don’t mean nothing` to my buddy Norm
He don’t need cameras and lights to perform
He’s mastered his trade and willing to share
And you’ll catch his show just bout anywhere
So ready the tape and watch it again

Rock Solid Stationary Couldn’t Budge it With a Tank WorkBench
By James B. Reid

Who’s your Daddy?
`S what I’m talkin` bout
We’re talkin` Work Bench
And I’m talkin` Stout
Back up the truck
And drop the plow
Class is in session
And the learnin` starts now
Gather up some Hick`ree
And a gallon o` glue
Grab the hamm`r drill
And a lag bolt or two
Mill up yer stock
Ta twelve quarter thick
Toss in a cinder block
And a couple o` brick
Get som`a that glue
With da ape on the label
And slather it on
An inch thick if you’re able
When the bubbles start hap`nin
You better take care
Cuz if you get some on ya
It’s liable ta stick there
Wait till she cures
It ain’t movin` no way
Ya built you a bench
And she’s gonna stay.
Right friggin` there
where the glue oozes out
On the floor boy!
That’s what I’m talking` bout
How do you like me now?
And that’s all she wrote
You ain’t moving that thing
With your mothers tugboat.

Poem from Down Under
By Pat Curnow

This woodworker lives in Australia
She felt her work was a failure
“Because”, she would stammer,
“I can’t wield a hammer,
And I miss, when all I want is to nail ya”.

By Dan Breidenbach

A Place for Everything,
And everything someplace else.

By Lynn Miller

‘Twas 3 days before Christmas and in the garage,
Saw no sign of Chevy and no sign of Dodge.
The plywood was stacked, as were the boards,
And nails and screws, gosh, there were hoards.

I stumbled with coffee, out to the task
Everything perfect, is all that I ask.
Experience tells me I’m asking a lot,
How can that measurement end on the knot?

Recalculate sizes and see how they fit
A little bit smaller, I thought that was it
But no, that caused it rock just a bit
Just shorten this leg and then it will sit.

I stopped at the sander. No, maybe a file.
Get serious Lynn, that’ll take quite a while.
On to the table saw, with barely a thought
I took off an inch, then saw what I wrought

That little rock that it did once before,
Was nothing to how, it now goes on the floor
I’d better build new legs to make it look neater,
‘Cause now it is simply a chair with a teeter.

I reached for my coffee, to get me a sip.
Alas! It was sawdust! With a wood chip!
I’ll take a short respite and have a small snack,
Refreshed and happy, then I’ll start back.

Then the mailman arrived and to my surprise
Was Woodworker’s Journal with ads for supplies
Hey, she didn’t know she’d be getting a chair!
I’ll wait until next year! I think that’s fair!

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