Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Poetry Post

We had 2 cords of wood delivered today. There's something satisfying about having a good part of 2 winters of heat stacked up just outside.

Click for larger

Firewood Poem

Beech wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Chestnut only good they say
If for long ‘tis laid away
But ash new or ash old
Is fit for queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
Elmwood burns like churchyard mold
E’en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense like perfume
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Will keep away the winter’s cold
But ash wet or ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by


  1. I used to love heating with wood - nothing like wood heat to thaw the bones. I didn't love the cutting, splitting, and stacking part though - warmed a lot more than two times! We used to burn buckskin tamarack - not sure where that fits into the poem...

    Happy Sunday, everyone - hope you have something fun planned. It's free tour day at the Castillo, so I might do that. Otherwise, just biding my time, knowing that once I'm in the house (hear that optimism?) it's going to be work work work - yay!

  2. Love Fire in the fireplace. Never had to totally heat from it. Watching the flames and hearing the crackle are the nearest to flowing water and warm my soul as well as my toes.
    Hugs to Jim for making me think of cooler days.

    Beth--glad you are keeping the right attitude about house.

    Thanks to all that replied about their writing. Like hearing about people's processes. I think novice writers often have a false sense of what writing SHOULD be. Wishful thinking maybe or convinced they need to do it a different, better way.

    Took yesterday off from writing. Read my next chapter and made notes but needed to give my psyche a rest. Mowed and read and had dinner with a friend.
    Today, will get back to the editing.

    Relaxing Sunday to all. We're still supposed to be in the double digits for a few days and they taunt us with rain in the forecast for early next week. Not the 60's like Jim was mentioning. Boy that sounded Wonderful. But being ten degrees cooler makes a big difference let me tell you.
    Great day to all.

  3. We have a gas fireplace here and I think it is just WRONG.

    Wishing everyone a great day, and especially hoping poor Farf has a better day today than yesterday.

  4. Hey all, and thanks much Jen!

    We were just talking yesterday about the need to start getting firewood together for the winter… I guess the pleasant temps are getting everyone thinking about the cold to come. First order of business is getting my knee healed, second is repairing my chainsaw (bought in 1993 shortly after a blizzard) and/or getting a better one. BTW, we mostly burn red oak here, aged a year if possible, with the occasional poplar when we need heat quickly. Poplar burns hot, fast, and doesn't leave a lot of ash behind. BTW, I suspect the poet also wrote "The Ash Grove," and made a living from it. ;-)

    I'm going to sit around today — enforced slacking — and do the heat/cold thing on the knee. sigh Can't work, but can't play either. I might move outside for a while, given the nice weather.

  5. I LOVE burning wood in a fireplace. I agree with Jen that a gas fireplace is just plain wrong. I haven't had a wood fireplace for over 9 years now and won't in this house either unless we add one in that that's lots of $.

    Jim, I love the photo and the poem was perfect. I think I will now always remember that ash is the best wood for a fireplace. :-) BTW what wood do you like best to burn?

    Keep on resting that knee, Far. It will heal nicely for you I'm sure.

    Have a great Sunday everyone.

  6. Beth, wood does produce a penetrating heat that spoils you. I don't know about tamrack. Is it one of the harder "softwoods"?

    Lisa, glad I could cool you off even if it's only in your imagination.

    Jen, gas and wood are both forms of solar energy. We are using the sun from the past 50 or 60 summers. You're using the sun from a few million years ago.

    Farf, best wishes on that knee. We got all red and white oak this time, but we've burned just about everything that grows locally.

    Coneflower, our favorite is probably hickory. Nothing burns as hot or as long. It also splits pretty well. My least favorites are quaking aspen and black gum. Aspen is spongy and light. Gum's grain is twisted which makes it almost impossible to split without using a hydraulic splitter.

  7. On Planet Georgia, black gum hollows itself out. The older locals used to use sections of black gum for beehives. I guess that beats trying to split it.

  8. We mostly seem to have oak here, but now that I know Ash is fit for royalty I'll have to see. I have a fireplace that I've never used. It seems like too much work. So I've often thought of installing gas so I could just flip a switch (or push the remote). And, most importantly, flip a switch to turn it off.

    I have one of my reading groups this Friday and we're reading the poetry of Kay Ryan. We each have to choose one of her poems and bring it and read it aloud. So I'll share one here that kind of fits with woods (because you can play hide and seek in the woods):

    Hide and Seek

    It's hard not
    to jump out
    instead of
    waiting to be
    found. It's
    hard to be
    alone so long
    and then hear
    someone come
    around. It's
    like some form
    of skin's developed
    in the air
    that, rather
    than have torn,
    you tear.

  9. Farf, I should have stopped by to pamper you earlier. But had to go with hubby to replace discombobulated weed whacker. Ahh the things we women do with our men. Whirrring of blender, then bringing you drink of choice. Fluffs soft pillow to elevate knee. Doze a bit while I leave a couple of books for you to relax and read.
    Tell Mrs. Farf she's wonderful for sharing you with us.
    Now give yourself a break and let the healing have some time to work.

  10. Thanks Lisa! I'm feeling better already… woo, that wash a strong drink you mixedsh…

    Getting a little stir-crazy, actually.

  11. We have to get our insert replaced this year. Keep putting it off. :/

    Enjoyed that poem Jim.