Duncan and I visited Viv’s Wood on Saturday to put up the sign Duncan had made from a piece of fallen oak from the wood. The branch had come off in gales last winter and dropped into the stream. Split and smoothed, the wood’s name was hand carved into the surface of the rough plank. The uprights were pieces of birch from the wood, only the screws were brought in.
We hadn’t been for a while and so had a wander around to check everything was OK and take out a few of the birch trees that are crowding the newer oaks and smothering the heather. We will burn these in our wood stove when they are seasoned. A fallen nest box was also put back up ready for the spring.
In light of the eventual use of the wood that we took away this poem from Mum seemed appropriate…
Kindling – a friendly word
for the start of warmth.
Splinters, shavings, chips of oak,
chopped sticks and kindred twigs
then serious timber a handspan thick.
The catalyst, a fizz of sulphur,
prelude to our atavistic pleasure in
spits, sparks and flames,
now quietly glowing cinders.
(c) Viv Blake 24 August 2009