Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Woodman's Wood

A journey into the forest the woodman undertook
He searched and searched and found his tree at last
Drenched in sweat he chopped the wood
And the log to his hunching back was fast'd.

In his dusty workshop by the brook
The log was washed in the cold clear stream
Drenched in sweat he carved the wood
And carved them meticulously by his prints

Half the log was hollowing, but the other half was good
So the woodman hatched a shrewd plan
Drenched in sweat he worked on the wood
A brilliant statue and a footstand

And then the woodman donned his dirty boots
Carried his wares to the market of the week
Drenched in sweat he sold his wood
The same log; one for worship, one for the tired feet

Or from someone else who said it much better:

The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil.
He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass.
He shapes it into the figure of a man,
with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house.
He cuts down cedars,
or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak
and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest.
He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it.
Then it becomes fuel for a man.
He takes a part of it and warms himself;
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
Also he makes a god and worships it;
he makes it an idol and falls down before it.
Half of it he burns in the fire.
Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied.
Also he warms himself and says, "Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!"
And the rest of it he makes into a god,
his idol, and falls down to it and worships it.
He prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!" (Isa 44:13-17)

1 comment:

jacksons said...

Wow brother, your poetry is getting more sophisticated. You painted a good picture, a woodman, a craftsman, an artist, working, industrious, in the Image of God, using his faculties to produce and create – then the tragedy comes, as his creation is a dumb idol! You captured a little bit of the element of tragedy – waste, perversion of the good. Good show.