David Hale was a student of mine for five years in a Poetry School seminar I held at my home in Bradford on Avon, and I'm pleased to say his pamphlet, The Last Walking Stick Factory, has been published by Happenstance. Here's one poem as a sample.
A thumb split by a felling axe, gouged knuckles,
gashed palms, a shin unstitched by tangled fieldwire.
What is it about these past few days, after weeks
without one finger diced for the pot, the saw singing
sweetly through close-grained ash, this sudden surfeit
of blood, its palette rich on skin turned winter pale?
These things come in clusters, you say and shrug
clutching bloodied fingers. Our work calls for edges,
the sharper the better. Even though I can see
what you say is true, we’re running out of lint and pins
and words for pain, and surely this is beyond probability,
this tendency of restless steel drawn as if by moon
or some other magnetic force through skin and nail.
No mere carelessness could spill so much blood.
The Last Walking Stick Factory (Happenstance, 2011)