In His Shop

Old cultivator

In His Shop

In his shop Daddy improvised
like a jazz musician.
Virtuoso of rivets, solder, screws, he
repaired hinges with leather,
lengthened a steering shaft
for the tractor-drawn binder,
braced wobbly chairs with welding rods,
reincarnated metal seats
into lawn furniture.

Lightning from his welder
like brain synapses
crackled creations into being.
Pounding hammer,
tapping chisel,
whining file perfected
riffs of leather, metal, wood.

© 2002  V. Nesdoly Published at Utmost Christian Writers Poets Places.  Also published in Calendar, 2004


Next Tuesday, January 14th, is Poetry At Work Day. In honor of that day, the poem I’m re-posting today is about the work my dad did. (I first published it here in 2011).

Want to celebrate Poetry At Work Day?

Check out this Poetry At Work Day Survival Kit

And from that article, 10 Great Poems About Work

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Donna at Mainely Write.

28 thoughts on “In His Shop”

  1. Hi Violet,

    Wonderful poem. I still miss my dad too; he died in 1983. Blessings…

    Here in Wisconsin, the corn is growing…so beautiful. All the tiny plants in perfect rows. The weather is still cool, and we still have our lilacs.


  2. Aw, sorry you don’t have your, daddy, Ellen…

    Nice to hear about the progress of spring/summer in Wisconsin. It’s been a drawn-out affair here too. Lots of cool, cloudy weather lately, but the silver lining of those clouds is that the chill sure does keep the starch in the blossoms.


  3. I love the physical exercise of it the cyclical nature of it and how an hour spent outside makes the inside-my-head work of writing seem like not such a big deal.. Critiquing has been like a free workshop on what makes some poems powerful and others ineffective.


  4. Thanks for sharing here, Violet – love the idea of Poetry at Work Day! And I love the line,
    “crackled creations into being” – and, well, all the lines! Happy New Year as you crackle poems into being.


    1. Thank you, Linda! I really enjoyed writing this poem. My dad died quite a few years ago and for some reason I don’t have many sharp memories of him. So when I’ve been able to do something with the ones I have, I count it a real blessing.


    1. Thanks Jama! Those visual details inspired me… l seeing flashes of light from his shop window when he was welding, and hearing those whining sounds of grinding metal, the clink, clink of his hammer.


  5. Love this poem, Violet. I especially like the lines:
    “Lightning from his welder
    like brain synapses
    crackled creations into being.”
    Shows what a true artist/craftsman your father was. Happy New Year! =)


  6. Great sounds and visuals in this poem. I too love the “Lightning from his welder/like brain synapses…” Wonderful link of creativity to the mind.


    1. Wonderful Mary Lee! Some wise poet advice I read recently spoke of how important it is for writers to revisit their roots, as in childhood memories, locations, and people. I find when I do that, it is cathartic, healing and has a wonderful feeling of rightness to it.


  7. I can’t add anything more to what has already been said about your very musical poem! Brava! Thanks, too, for the notice of Poetry at Work. I’ll be sure to post a work-related haiku that day.


  8. Perfect picture to match your poetry that is beautifully evocative. Filled with imagery, seems like I can touch it! Great poem, Violet. 🙂 Hope you’re having a fabulous New Year.


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