Whittling Toward The Unseen

Whittling Toward The Unseen Whittlebone and whistlebone - it is really wood, birch or sweet balsam, perhaps a kindling slat. No matter; it serves, as I sit by the window in my shirt with its smoky odor, my boot heels propped on the pine sill. The blade easily enters and bites, gains force with my wrist's pivot: lick-a-sliver, lick-a-sliver. This concentration of breath and pulse, eye honed to the knife, is my gesture toward winter. Steel whispers to shape a keen device. The tree line fades where the west holds its last light, blade-cautious. Shavings curl like clock springs. Now hollow as a wren's bone, this simple stick is dwindling toward a voice that will uncoil to seek an equal. From stillness and kinbone, some revenant in deep woods, at creekside, will raise its slipknot of bird call, saying darkness, respite, as breath narrows to diminish, and I am lost in craft and its music, heartwood whistling across air as cold flame.

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