On a clear afternoon in September,
the hollow bang of hammers on nails
on planks
on studs
on beams
on a foundation
on a hole in the ground
in a clearing in the woods
in a hollow first lumbered 200 years ago
to make charcoal
to forge iron nails

reminds me of the sound the sky makes
whenever it tries to bolt itself to the earth.

12 Replies to “Hollow”

  1. You have been tagged by The Poetry Collaborative to participate in one of our writing prompts.

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  2. This one is hard hitting. I really like it. It kind of spreads open across land and time, clearing space for the last couplet where it snaps shut. It’s really grand.

  3. love this and shall think of it whenever I hear the sound of hammer on nails in a lonely secluded place. It is a sound that goes back many thousands of years, to the Iron Age – that metallic clang that echoes and sends a lonely sound through the air. Thanks.

  4. Lovely, Dave.

    I’m snatching that last phrase to put in my handwritten and sometimes actually legible book of totally cool quotes.

    Our sky bolts have been a bit louder lately than that of the hammer, though, and not all that wood friendly, if our splintered trees are any indication.

  5. Thanks for all the kind comments. I may have to revise my original opinion of this poem as an inconsequential toss-off… and also figure out what I did so I can toss off others like it.

  6. Damn, Dave, I’d forgotten all about this one and it’s wonderful. We should have put it in the book as an epigram. Or is that epigraph?

    1. Epigram is a free-standing, epigrammatic verse; epigraph is a quote used in a larger work. Whatever. It would’ve worked either a prologue or a postscript poem, I agree. Oh well.

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