I was brought up and still live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia so I rely on imagery derived from the natural landscape to explore human relationships. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have two daughters and three grandchildren. I have been an architectural woodcarver for over 35 years and have written numerous articles and three books on the subject. My poems are forthcoming in Able Muse, The Chariton Review, Plainsongs, Poetry Quarterly, and Snowy Egret among others.
Will we know when the last arrowhead is found,
coining a clever term for the age it ends,
only to forget the teenager who stumbles
fallow fields, forlorn, his heart sorrow-bound,
who rubs the red dirt away as his reason mends,
who knows his wound hurts and humbles?
Meanings Mindlessly Schooling
Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are hot words forged and folded
into a Damascus blade
clanging in the air between us—
an anger that will not fade.
But I would wish them angler’s spoons
to reel in the meanings mind-
lessly schooling. What alchemy
could change those rapiers to kind-
ness? Only apology can
quench the steel heart or hammer
my mettle to a golden foil
that wraps those words in glamor.
A Grandma’s Gift
She collects cast iron as some accumulate
crystal, but from those Griswolds
she teaches grandkids hot, sizzle, and sauté.
From the nest of yellow ware she reaches
for the double biscuit sized one, recites
her grandmother’s greedy hints--
four cups flour, four fablespoons
of baking powder to tease their bloom.
Together they roil pinches of salt,
butter as precious as golden cows,
an uddering of milk and snicker reciPEE.
They flatten the dough with fists and fingers
and count the cutter’s circles
to a dozen which means thirteen.
Each dreams the brilliant smell of jam,
the true rise of measure, the browning
of common things, the rule of timer,
of patience of Time.
After dinner, they climb to sleep.
Grandma opens the back porch door,
waves the blue stripped towel, shooing crumbs
to fly into the evening that might mean
a young cricket, a mouse, or fledgling survives.
2017 Frederick Wilbur
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