He closes his
weathered grey eyes
and imagines
the engines roar
the saw turns,
and sawdust flies—
tiny slivers in the air,
forming wooden clouds
in the sky.

He remembers how
the logs roll
into cruel teeth
and lumber slides—
into soldier-straight lines,
building planed regiments
in the dust.

Memories stream
into Grandpa's mind.
Heart and hands,
older and gnarled,
itch to pull
the levers
of the mill
and time again.


Author's note:

My paternal grandfather owned a small saw mill in New Hampshire. He was the sawyer (pronounced soy-yer in New England.) Before computerized mills, the sawyer operated the huge circular saw and decided what size boards and how many he wanted from each log—say four 2 x 4's or one 4 x 4 and eight 2 x 4's. He gauged the exact number of cuts and turns necessary to produce the pieces of lumber he envisioned and proceeded to mill them from each log to fill a customer's order.


Original Publisher: Progenitor Art & Literary magazine

Reprinted with permission in The Glass Sponge
Publisher: Finishing Line Press

Publish Dates

May 2013

Jules Jacob

julie ginkgoJulie "Jules" Jacob is a contemporary poet who often writes about dichotomous conditions and relationships among humans and the natural world. Her poems are recently featured or forthcoming in Plume Poetry, The Tishman Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Rust + Moth, Yes Poetry and elsewhere. She is the author of The Glass Sponge chapbook with select poems featured at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts and Le Moulin à Nef where she was a resident of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Poetry Workshop.

Visit my page at:

Poets & Writers Masthead Logo

Order Your Signed Copy

The Glass Sponge Cover"Salvation by imagination is the lifeline running throughout this chapbook..."

— Dr. Harrison Solow. Harrison Solow is a Pushcart Prize winning writer, author and university professor. Her latest book is Felicity & Barbara Pym.

$10.00 - Shipping Included

Order Your Signed Copy Today