Heavy Handed

Heavy Handed

A blunt instrument has its rationale:
simple and direct; an obvious choice.
It’s the wham-bam … SLAM … solution with snarl;
the “said and done” answer in active voice.
The mallet has enough nudge to persuade
a shift of placement; when handled with care.
The club, a more aggressive tool of trade
is nonetheless useful for crude repair.
“Bigger the problem, bigger the clammer!”
In many respects I suppose that’s true;
Justifies a heavy-handed hammer:
“Nail down the batten that won’t take a screw.”
. In the best of hammers there’s a sweet spot,
. a point at which cold steel becomes red hot.

© Tim Grace, 6 May 2012

To the reader: For my tenth birthday I was given a real tool box; an initiation gift of sorts. The hammer made particular impact. As a step-up from previous toys, this hammer expressed itself with style and performed with precision. The frustration of ‘bash and split’ was soon replaced by an understanding of ‘propper’ nailing and nudging. A good hammer knows its own strength, but prefers to act with gentle and judicious persuasion.

To the poet: ‘Heavy Handed’ seems appropriate in titling this sonnet. In woodwork terms, the nail bent, the hammer slipped, the wood split; and the thumb bruised. The joinery is clumsy. Nailing down a poem does require a convincing script; but the degree of persuasion should not be visible in the final product. In this sonnet, the finish includes far too many construction issues; its faults are on full display… apologies from a bashful poet.


Heavy Handed

Heavy Handed
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