A Few Passes on the Planer

A Few Passes on the Jointer

The whine of whirling blades

changes tones of drone and chatter

depending on

how sharp the knives are,

the kind of wood,

the direction of the grain,

and the particular spot on the board.

Both sound and vibration make the location

of knots so clear a blind man

and one half-deaf could still tell

when those super dense spots of slow growth

hit the blades.

Even there,

if the knives are really sharp,

and the cut is light enough,

and the rate of feed fits the need,

the jointer will still leave a clean slice.

These rough boards of walnut and poplar,

taken from Appalachian stand over a hundred years ago,

are made smooth and even,

a pleasing revelation of color and grain

absent the rough marks of time and sawing.

The surface stains have been planed away,

though the deeper scars will still leave some sign.

There have been points in life

and parts of my heart and mind

that have taken their share of time

for the Lord to slice away

the ugly of twisted years

and the rough grain of rebellion.

And though sometimes the bump and chatter

may have caused some to wonder

what was the matter with me,

I have never felt lesser

no matter how much rough

he had to slice away

in order to leave a greater degree

of what I was intended to be.

H. Arnett

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About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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