ART IS TO THE BEHOLDER'S EYES

When I saw him towing
a chunk of driftwood
the size of a whiskey barrel
on a skateboard behind his bike,
I sensed that he would know
wood bleeds and cries.


Reed thin tall, a grimy
baseball cap shading his eyes,
"The essence of wood changes,"
he says, "if it dies by the knife."


"My carvings take an
unexpected twist," he adds.
"Nothing's yet complete
but oh the things I see
that need release as I move
from one to the next."


Though he can't cut a living tree
to rescue what he sees inside,
after it dies a natural death
he gives the captive spirit life.


Love, Jody


Printed in
LYRICAL IOWA
1999
Iowa Poetry Association