Sunday, November 19, 2006


(A panel saw with a wooden handle, the old type
that you might even resharpen.
A tenon saw with a brass back, a crosscut saw
and a rip saw - all years old, with the blades oiled
to stop the rust.)

punched into the handles.

And an old spirit level
made of wood and brass
with glass vessels
for the spirit
and some bubbles
of old air
for fifty years.
I don't know
who he was
but he liked these tools
and he oiled them
cared for them
so I'm fitting a wire head
in my drill
and grinding off
the specks of rust
that have appeared
as a result
of my neglect
then I'm oiling them
using them
grasping the sweat
the grime
the blood
the skin
in the handle
the spirit
grasping the ghost
hand of the man
that liked these tools
and how they felt
the patina
that was left
by his grip
this is as close
as it gets
to shaking his hand -
using his tools,
most of all
using them,
bringing something
back to life.

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