The Last Walking Stick Factory - David Hale

The Last Walking Stick Factory
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David Hale lives in Gloucestershire and works locally at a land and craft-based college for vulnerable young adults. Many of the poems in this collection are a response to time spent in the college woodland and the surrounding countryside.

The Last Walking Stick Factory is his first collection of poems.

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the fourth leg of a chair
I become impatient
with callipers,
a blade that takes off
too much or too little,
wanting it to be
the same smooth diameter
as the other three
so I step away
from the treadle,
trying to remember
Ruskin’s words
on imperfection
and the ends of craft,
that this is a process
of muscle and bone
and any unevenness
(the faint line
of a spoke-shave—
marks of lifted grain)
are nothing
to be ashamed of
but show how it is
to work under
a turf-smoked roof
that moves to the rhythm
of creaking lathes.