Monday October 18th, 2010

The exercise:

Let's write about: the woodcutter.

I chopped some wood today for the first time since I lived with my parents. Which, as my dad would happily attest to, wasn't that often to begin with.

It's pretty fun though, and rather satisfying. When the logs split properly. When they don't, it just hurts.

Anyway, looking forward to a winter of sitting by the fire.


His axe is shoulder high,
There's fire in his eyes;
Trees tremble when he walks,
Squirrels scatter when he talks.

His home is always warm
During the fiercest storms,
And the wood pile he's made
Just never seems to fade.

But a question for you:
Whatever will he do
With all his vaunted brawn
When the forest's all gone?


Zhongming said...

Marc – That’s a wonderful poem, your first two stanzas are fantastic and the third is a beautiful addition to it :)


He swing his axe
As strong as a barbarian
Way up to the hill
He sweats like a mountain dew

Trees in sight
Were cut on sight
Left with raw wood
Side by side

Lights on fire
Woods on smoke
Black and dusty
Warm to the body

Greg said...

@Zhongming: that's a visceral poem; each stanza leaves you almost with a taste in your mouth!

@Marc: I've never chopped wood, though I know the theory... perhaps I could come and watch and tell you how you're doing it wrong? ;-)
I like the overall sentiment in your poem, with the question at the end being an excellent counterpoint to the whole. For some reason the first verse makes me think of Paul Bunyan, though that's from a folklore I know little of.

The woodcutter

Little Red Strappy Dress, as Little Red Riding Hood was known now that she was a rebellious teenager, stared calculatingly out of the window of Grandmother's cottage. Grandmother had died two years ago, having hung on an indecently long time after being semi-digested by a wolf, and had left the cottage to her favourite granddaughter. Little Red Strappy dress had found the will first, and quickly scratched out that inconvenient word favourite. Now she lived there with her cousin Berenice, who was as everyone delighted in saying, Berenice the very nice. Which enraged Little Red Strappy Dress.
"Oh no!" she cried, as the muscular figure of the woodcutter came into view. "Oh my! The wolf has eaten Berenice! How can this be happening again?"
The woodcutter grunted, and swapped the shoulder that his axe was resting on. Trees didn't try to run away that often (except for the one that tried to claim it was an Ent), so he tended to think things through before acting.
"Oh lordy me!" yelled Little Red Strappy Dress getting impatient. "Oh, argh! Oh, he's coming for me too now!"
Five minutes and much screaming later, she tried being more direct.
"Oh no! If only there were a handsome, muscular woodcutter nearby to kill the wolf and save me and Berenasty the very tasty!"
Finally the woodcutter gathered together a quorum of brain cells and decided that he was needed.
As he hacked apart the unfortunate Berenice, drugged and wrapped in wolfskin, he wondered why this seemed so much different than the last time.
"Grandmother?" he said at last, stopping and wiping his gory hands on his bloodspattered trousers.
But the cottage was empty, and Little Red Strappy Dress was already in the arms of the villagers telling her story of waking up from a strange sleep to find the woodcutter gone beserk.

Marc said...

Zhongming - some great lines in there, I really liked the mountain dew one in particular. Well done.

Greg - I think I had a little bit of Paul Bunyan in mind as well when I wrote that. But it's been years since I've read/watched anything about him.

'Little Red Strappy Dress' is brilliant. The name, that is. The character is wonderfully devious and self-centered though :D

summerfield said...

marc, as soon as i saw the prompt, a story danced in my head instantly and mulled over it before i finally scrolled down to read what you wrote. surprise, that was the premise of the story i had in mind.

and yes, greg, the image of paul bunyan was dancing in my head, too!

i'm hanging around you, guys, too much! not that there's anything wrong with it.

zhongming, i'm impressed. that was very good.

so here's my "plan B". come visit when you have some time.

Marc said...

Summerfield - ah dear, I shall have to put up a disclaimer that I'm not responsible for any side effects of hanging around this blog too much :P

I shall wander over to your blog presently!