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Pencil Stubs

By John I. Blair

I love half-used pencil stubs;
They exude a haunting cedar odor
That takes me back to grade school
And the olfactory treat of shoving pencils
Into a hand-cranked Boston sharpener.

Gripping a pencil, smooth and light,
Potential-filled, tight in my hand,
Ignites possibilities in my mind,
Poems and stories I might write,
Sketches, a diary of my days.

Sometimes I get so tense
With my yellow wooden pencil
I bite my teeth into its surface,
Chewing the wood to splinters,
Tasting its painty flavor.

Holding my myopic eyes
Close to my work, I can hear
The faint friction of the graphite
On the rough paper surface
As my thoughts pour onto the page.

Now tell me how to get
All this sensory satisfaction,
This stew of memories and recognition,
From a clicking plastic keyboard
And a humming PC CPU?

2003 John I. Blair  

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