My first poem

For the love of basket-making, or Just One More


He sat, his back against the wall, his legs stretched out before;

half-finished basket on his lap.

He peered out through the door

from gloom within to glare without,

and with neither smile nor sigh,

snatched photographic glimpses

of the people passing by.

Upsett – slew – border – brew;

the pattern of his day

unbroken as for centuries;

there is no other way

to make a basket. Engineers

might work with all their skill

to make machines to do the job

but he knows they never will.

Pulling out another rod

from his pile of mellowed stuff

he weaves it in, and then two more

then measures – that’s enough.

A three rod wale, and beat it down,

his iron polished bright

by his palm, and palms before his own;

he beats it level – tight.

A common five-rod border now

laid more by touch than sight;

checking, smiling, trimming up,

Yes, that one looks just right.

Plain roped handle – not long now

(the kettle quietly steaming)

his thoughts turn inwards, glazed his eyes,

he settles into dreaming

for a minute, ‘til the kettle boils

and brings him back once more,

and he rises, creaking,

from his polished plank upon the floor.

With mug in hand he idly stands

in sunlight in the doorway,

soaking up enough supplies

to see him through one more day

Sorting out tomorrow’s work

he puts stuff in the tank

to soak, then turning back inside,

he settles on his plank;

picks up his knife and rods, he slypes

sending chips across the floor

and smiling, says “I think there’s time,

yeah - time for just one more:


© Rob king 1990

Recommend0 recommendations

Published in Poetry & Stories


  1. twigger Post author

    I just thought i’d put this up again to see how the blog looks. Of course, you may actually enjoy reading it again ;0)

  2. oldbull

    Twigger– This strikes me as first rate stulff. Awfully good, strong emotion, masculine, heartfelt but not cloyingly sentimental. You’ve written a song for your own occupation that would surely have pleased and indeed echoes Walt Whitman in a way. If you make baskets with equal talent they must be works of art indeed.

  3. chantillylace

    I thought this poem was really good for being a first you did very well keep it up and write more poems I wrote a song some time back and I don’t sing but cant seem to give my song away hoping the right person will come along that can do my music I totally enjoyed reading this

  4. KayBee

    I really enjoyed this poem! It’s a very visual story of a man working at what he loves. You seem to be an experienced poet to me.
    Thanks for sharing!