Flameproof Lyme

Fire making is a very important part of living in our house. Without it, we are cold and so is the water that comes out of the hot tap. It takes a lot of ignition to get a lyme log to burn, you have to mix them in with the more amenable woods, like alder and sycamore. Good thing we have plenty of overgrown hedges to scavenge through. It's hard work, but these are satisfying steps to take.

The art of fire making is in the ignition
Raising the heat from a spark in spindled bundles
Sustaining the flame to burn sizeable fuel
Cut from the dense hedges

From the mass, single branches
Are shaken out. The brittle skinny ends
Broken off, bunched and fixed with twine
From the bulky twine roll

This is the satisfying old fashioned skill
Of faggot making. Each one represents
A future fire lit, as nights draw in and frost
Thinks of appearing in daylight

Twigs thicken to sticks, snapped
In even lengths, until we need the saw
For small logs, and start a second stack
Next year’s fire fodder, left to season out

It’s quick work, cracking twigs
And wrapping string, we pick through
The tumble of wood, swiftly, neatly
Reassemble it in order of mass

Larger logs lay out in irregular rows
We learn each type of bark and grain
The sycamore will burn quite green
But the lyme is almost flameproof

The first barrow load careens
Back up the path. Dog follows, she has
Picked out a stick, and carries it
Prodding legs on passing

I daydream of other lives
Just for comparison, this one
I find is constructed from purpose
Accident, experiment, attitude

All lives are combinations
Intended steps and the slips
Which depend on character
For the choice of interpretation

We prepare our woodshed contents
For what is expected, the usual pattern
Of seasonal shift. There is always variance
But nothing entirely unrecognisable yet


Lisa Southard said…
"Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!”
[Rainer Maria Wilke: Letters to a Young Poet]
Kwickix said…
The pictures are making this blog come alive. The cart is useful but needs more work. If necessity is the mother of invention, then poverty is the father.

Popular posts from this blog

Contact Pants Conundrum

A Candle Lit

E, That Was Funny