Let me start with cocobolo,
heft some rosewood,
jobillo, ebony—macassar and gaboon.
Let me smell the pungent walnut
released after deep boring.
Stand back for western red cedar,
for bloodwood, for paduak.
Ironwood, lignum vitae, hornbeam—
all too heavy for me.
From holly to poplar to sycamore to oak,
some sound like they belong.
Others—iroko, ipe, lyptus—
must be from far-off lands.
Try the exotics, the tropical woods.
Come back briefly
for big leaf maple burl,
but remember,
always end with

© 2012 Wayne Pitcher

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