Two-Stroke Counsel

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After checking the oil for the chain
and a quick pull on the starter rope
my father’s chainsaw cuts through the branches
Stainless steel teeth offer no quarter

The quickly turning blade suggests danger in unsure hands
regardless, his grip is firm and confident
Swift and experienced strokes 
make short work of the green and sap-filled wood

Fine powder sawdust drifts across my arms
We stack the severed pieces in neat and orderly piles 
I envy the purposefulness of it all

Different than our relationship
the thorns and twisted branches of it
wrongs and mistakes never acknowledged

And certainly, never talked about
but this shared task seems to dress uneasy wounds 
as we work together in the haze of the oily blue exhaust

◄ Axel

Old '64 ►


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Stephen Gospage

Mon 30th Nov 2020 17:39

A wonderful poem, Mike. It says so much in 17 lines, enough to last a lifetime.

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Paul Sayer

Sun 29th Nov 2020 19:39

It is all in the 'F' word Mike 😉

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Mike McPeek

Sun 29th Nov 2020 19:36

Thank you Paul! Always appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

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Mike McPeek

Sun 29th Nov 2020 19:35

Thanks for sharing Nicola! This poem is specifically about my challenging relationship with my father, rather than that of a couple.
Maybe this wasn't conveyed well in the body of the poem. Will give this some thought though - be well!

Nicola Beckett

Sun 29th Nov 2020 17:40

You know your fab so stop congratulating yourself. Reminds me of one of mine during my marriage.
It should be snowing by now but it isn't.
Our lines are entwined, like the branches of a tree, But sometimes you speak to me with a strangers voice, I scratch the surface of the glass, the window pane. you smile look up and wave. It should be snowing by now but it isn't.

Relationships are tough. Man and wife sometimes become like brother and sister.

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Paul Sayer

Sun 29th Nov 2020 16:26

This is a masterstroke.

Your poem about two-stroke and oily blue smoke.

A wonderful fable poem Mike.

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