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The Honer
by Jim Hester

Hoes honed, plows honed, shears honed - all to the perfect edge.
A blunted edge he cannot abide. It says so on his rig.
The background noises of spring come to him as cacophony of dull and symphony of sharp.
The awful squeak of blunted loppers; the perfect ping of well honed axe;
the banshee screech of biteless crosscut; the tympani of mallet on razory gouge.
Stropping and whetting are crafts but honing is a art.
His own John Primble, scalpel-like, is too sharp to borrow.
The butcher bows in his presence and the barber trims him for free.
He is the champion knight of seamstresses, hero to chefs and a god among carpenters.
The orchardmen shout when he passes, the gravediggers wave from their holes.
All hail the blade baron, the shear sultan, the king of keen.

Click here to read more of Jim Hester's work: "There is a mouse in my jeans."

USADS writer Claude Jones writes of his friend, Jim Hester:
"Jim sent me this poem several weeks ago. As a child, I'd watch my Granddaddy Jones sharpening and honing on his foot driven wheel, foot in perfect cadence, his eye carefully examining the honed edge. Jim lived next to Granddaddy; he has never told me of knowing of his honing skills. Perception beyond simple knowledge? Friendships beyond physical presence? Simple statements of facts? Great mind looking at the obvious and seeing more?"

Claude continues: "Jim is a native of Pontotoc, Mississippi, and now resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is a computer programmer. The influence of growing up with an extended family supporting his insatiable appetite to learn is evident in his writings and philosophy of life. He combines knowledge gained from the stories heard during his youth with a quick wit and independent thinking. His stories are driven by a mastery of words and phrases that entice the reader to become engaged with his characters."

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