One Tree Woodwork

Custom woodworking and art

He said grab your things,

The inspiration for the carving below was partly from my personal connection with birds especially hawks and my obsession with Tor House a home-built by poet Robinson Jeffers along with his stone tower – Hawk tower. As a builder and also a lover of words there is no building that has ever made as big of an impression on me as this place has. I have toured it three times and each time I find some other detail of the home I had not previously seen and how it was built with perfect balance and reflection alongside his poetry. In fact in one of the pictures below you will see a plaque I carved  hanging above the hawk it’s  a latin phrase “Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt” I carved it after the first time I toured the home and noticed this inscription that hung above the fireplace. Roughly translated it means “they build their dreams for themselves” which I thought was beautiful seeing that he was a builder of both stone and words.

Hurt Hawks

BY ROBINSON JEFFERS

The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
         II
I’d sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk; but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bones too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him for six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance. I gave him the lead gift in the twilight. What fell was relaxed,
Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
poem  by Robinson Jeffers

GRANDDAUGHTER

And here’s a portrait of my granddaughter Una
When she was two years old: a remarkable painter.
A perfect likeness; nothing tricky nor modernist,
Nothing of the artist fudging his art into the picture,
But simple and true. She stands in a glade of trees with a still inlet
Of blue ocean behind her. Thus exactly she looked then,
A forgotten flower in her hand, those great bllue eyes
Asking and wondering.

Now she is five ears old
And found herself, she does not ask any more but commands
Sweet and fierce-tempered; that light red hair of hers
Is the fuse for explosions. When she is eighteen
I’ll not be here. I hope she will find her natural elements,
Laughter and violence; and in her quiet times
The beauty of things – the beauty of transhuman things,
Without which we are all lost. I hope she will find
Powerful protection and a man like a hawk to cover her.

 P.s- I placed a carved wing appearing to come out of my wall just above where my daughter sleeps a hawk wing as a piece of art for her to stare at  before she goes to sleep and hopefully provide a balance to all the pink  but also (and mostly) as an homage to the poem above.
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6 comments on “He said grab your things,

  1. Crystal Jackson
    February 17, 2014

    Jeffers’ poetry always gets me in the gut. Damn.

    Cool hawk. Looks like he has a secret. I like that there’s a hawk that lives just down the road from your house. We saw him coming and going last weekend. Keeing an eye on things.

    • TOHNER JACKSON
      February 17, 2014

      Yea it’s cool, it seems like the last three houses we have lived in has had a pair of hawks living nearby.

  2. projectbuddy
    February 17, 2014

    I really like the way your sculpture’s shadow looks on the wall. It adds an extra feeling of life to the sculpture. Thanks for sharing your source of inspiration too. This poet is new to me, and I’m looking forward to learning more about him, his home, and his work. Very cool. Thanks!

    • TOHNER JACKSON
      February 18, 2014

      Thank you. I’m glad to hear that the shadow and light help create the feeling of motion/animation I hoped that it would come across. Since I’m not into making hyper realistic copies ,I often depend on carving the fluid organic movement into the wood and by using the light/shadow to hopefully give the mind the visual clues to create the rest of the art that I didn’t create. Basically I depend on the viewer to finish the rest of the carving. Continue to look deeper into Robinson Jeffers and Tor House you will not be disappointed.

  3. TJC
    February 22, 2014

    Simple and true. Put that on my marker, though perhaps it would be a lie. Do you know about Gary Snyder? Considered a Beat but really just an outdoor dharma angel.

    Another Beat Generation writer had a falcon in there; if you have never read Hammet do yerself a favor and start with the Maltese Falcon.

    Now for one more hour of sleep before I go back to work building yet another House of Poison.

    • TOHNER JACKSON
      February 24, 2014

      Thanks for the Gary Snyder tip I don’t think I have ever heard of him, I have since done some research on the dude and he seems like one cool cat. In fact there is a documentary with he and Jim Harrison another cool dude bullshitting about how cool they are, I think I will rent and watch.

      Also never read Hammett. Thanks for the homework.

      Don’t let the bastards get you down.

      T.s.J

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