Firewood in a pile of seared deadfall
from a big fire over a decade ago.
 Cut down to stove length then thrown
like stones toward the old mule trail.
 One big round splits down to the knot.
 The stuck axe will not go further.
   -sharp smack-  report from the maul 
drives the wedge deeper with every blow.
 Can cold coals set new wood aflame?
 Broken open clockworks of ring kept time
ask in an ageless voice, a slow complaint.
 A shard from one of the half burned splits
has become lodged in my book.
 It opens
to a fresh almost new section. In my own 
early hand one word, in a smear of charcoal. Yes