Ronald F. Watts, my brother, upon seeing pictures of my work began writing poems related to each piece. After a dozen or so, it occurred to us that a book combining poems and turnings might be possible. After more than 100 turnings and poems, Ron wrote, composed, arranged, edited, and had "Wood and Word Turnings" printed. Here are a few examples of his poems.

Black Pearl

With a father who had lots of money
The daughter had little to do
But braid her gold hair and show that she cared
Not the least for the love of her youth

He was poor and the son of a sailor
Who spent all of his time on the blue
So the boy lived alone in a rocky shore home
Wishing he was a part of the crew

He had saved all his life for their wedding
But the ring was quite simple 'tis true
With the tiniest stone in the center alone
Held in place by a drop of cheap glue

For he planned to buy her a large diamond
To replace the small stone in the ring
But the money was slow taking longer to grow
For a boy who lived on a shoestring

Now the wait was too long for his ardor
And her beauty a soul tempting thing
So on a boat ride with her by his side
He proposed and held out the small ring

With a laugh she destroyed all his future
Then she flicked at the stone with a nail
From the glue it broke free and fell into the sea
While the boy turned a sick shade of pale

He dove over the transom to find it
Leaving her by herself up above
Though tiny in size the stone was his prize
And expressed all the best of his love

It took all of a year's hard earned wages
To obtain that small sliver of jewel
Small in size big in cost and in truth were it lost
He would feel even more of a fool

There it was!  In a bowl on the bottom
In the center of coral and weed
And he reached with his hand through the seaweed and sand
But paid dearly for this foolish deed

For his fingers were caught by an oyster
Deep inside the bowl held 'neath the waves
And he ran out of air as he struggled down there
For a small stone he wanted to save

Up above she was worried and fretful
Though spoiled she still cared for the lad
'Till at last she jumped in and she started to swim
Toward the future that she almost had

Far too late she discovered that clothing
Is no help for a swimmer who flails
She had so far to go and they tangled her so
That she sank near the boy wan and pale

On her way to the bottom forever
Her lips met with his for a kiss
Then they floated away on that terrible day
Never finding their warm wedded bliss

And so comes the end of their story
For they sank to the depths in a whirl
And the small tiny bit they both died for?
Well it soon became an enormous black pearl

Now some say their souls are together
In the depths they did not simply die
For they guard the black pearl
The young boy and the girl
In the bodies of two octopi

Dancing Pollen

Simple spheres with sperm held tightly
Bulbous bells that bounce so lightly
One performance displayed nightly
In the air

Tiny motes with dashing wiggles
Giving one another giggles
In a pattern full of squiggles

As the wind begins its prancing
Then the pollen begins dancing
Bellies bumping sometimes glancing
As they fly

To their final destination
Trying for some procreation
Seeking out a stigma station
By and by

Strike the strings!  Unleash the band!
Play the chords with either hand
The pollen dance across the land
Under stars

Would a waltz be what is wanted
While with derring-do undaunted
Thousands dash to do their vaunted
Coup d'etat

Or would a lovely symphonetic
Be more like their dance frenetic
Fancy leotards synthetic
In a prance

What a marvel mother nature
Does her thing while nomenclature
Lacks the words to designate her
Esteemed dance


The griffin ran beneath the trees, wind nipping at his heels
On looking back his eyes could see the storm lord pause and kneel
A look of consternation fought the lord's look of surprise
I almost had my foe he thought, frustration in his eyes

For deep within the forest green his powers melt away
Though out upon a landscape clean he surely has his day
Today he raged on forest edge; this bird, this lion thing
Escaped again his solemn pledge to rip away a wing

For griffin feathers have the strength to turn a wraith to man
Each one can last a day's full length then man turns wraith again
The storm lord could become a man to woo the one he loved
Some feathers for his careful plan to walk 'neath clouds above

The griffin would not give to him the things he needed most
If only he could just take them to turn to man from ghost
Oh yes the bird would suffer dear with feathers stripped away
But he had needs and it was clear a storm lord has his day

The safety of the leafy boughs would soon dissolve in cold
The coming winter months would plow away the leaves with snow
What should I do the griffin thought, to end the awful strife
For once before this storm I fought and almost lost my life

Would better be to give away the source of flight for me
To those who keep me safe today for then I shall be free
So pact was made 'twixt bird and trees, the wings the gelded cost
The trees would keep him safe and free from storms he feared the most

And these few trees would have the wings to fight the winter storms
A four season ability to keep them all from harm
So griffin did a lion form no more were his wings seen
And all were safe from winter storm for all were evergreen

When e're the storm lord filled the sky with anger from his vows
A lion hid with shielded eye beneath the winged boughs
And still today as all can see the trees enfold their wings
Protecting those who winter flee from storm lord's nasty stings

My Heroes

The phone rings I answer the poor need some dough
The starving has flustered and fettered them so
For only some pennies with smiles all a-glow
They will worship me all of my life
I look at the couch with a hole in the arm
The small worn-out TV the glow of it warm
The chains on the door to protect me from harm
The rug I have had all my life

Not this time I explain and I hang up the phone
But it rings once again Is your mother at home
We can clean up your carpet with toxic-free foam
On a Tuesday or Friday this week
I am busy I say and my floors are all wood
Then I say goodbye as I know that I should
But the phone rings again as I knew that it would
In South Asia they die as we speak

Would I like some new siding My warranty's expired
If you don't buy today Are you worn out and tired
Say goodbye to those wrinkles Your internet wired?
I keep getting those calls every day
How I wish for a hero for the aging and poor
Who would keep out the salesmen who knock at the door
Who would answer the phone "We don't need any more"
Who would chase all my debits away

Who needs a crimefighter for saving the world
Who fights a great monster whose wings have unfurled
I just want a small hero to knit and to purl
Some nice earmuffs to keep out the cold
Keep crabgrass from growing; clean out the mailbox
Throw away all the ads to prevent chicken pox
To run down to the store for some bagels and lox
To repair stuff all broken and old

And I sit down to think how we got here today
How the cellular world can connect you each way
From the store in your car at your work or at play
Like your back is attached to a string
How the promise of silence is lost in the past
How you feel about everything someone will ask
Do you care? Do you not care? They take you to task
And I sit here and hear the phone ring

Time To Go

The other day I came across a bowl of memories
Of furry friends I loved but now are gone
I often think about them as I wander through the trees
And wish that somehow they could come back home

They left a hole deep in my heart a wound that will not heal
No matter how I put their thoughts away
What joy they brought into my life each time that I would kneel
To scratch a chin and rub their fur in play

The many years we shared our home, our space, our food, our lives
Enjoying one another's tender touch
Are lost amongst the detritus and now I wonder why
That I should miss my friends so very much

Perhaps some day I can remember them without the pain
For now somehow I trouble to go on
And with each life that's lost I know that somewhere there is gain
For they enhanced each life they touched upon

Ah wondrous beasts!  Why is it that you pull at my heart so
I would that you were purring by my side
Why did you leave?  I know that it was just your time to go
But with your loss I hang my head and cry

Black Medusa

Death on wheels
It tends to steal
The life from ocean 'round
As one swims by
In blink of eye
One more dies without sound

Its very look
Leaves most things shook
To bones if any be
Swim overhead
Or join the dead
The ones that did not see

Some things have light
A pleasant sight
Like coral fans a-flutter
But here the dark
Betrays a spark
Of death for any other

This thing of black
This dangle-sack
Seems void of any mirth
Move to the side
Protect your hide
Give it the widest berth


A face of destruction from ant-nest production
Revealed in this spine-twisted bowl
Beneath the contusions and all the confusion
A restless devouring soul

For deep in this fancy a nest made from ants
They constructed with ravenous life
Consuming composing while mankind was dozing
A black formless multi-legged knife

Sharp eyes would be good on a walk through the wood
One may see some fine cutting performed
For their work is enticing with slicing and dicing
A caterpillar ceases to squirm

No wasted contraction a use for each action
Appears when one follows the trail
Each small piece of meat has been severed quite neat
Carried back to the nest without fail

This wood in its turn like a curled-up worm
Seems to show in a way that it knows
That the thrust of the shiv means no longer to live
With a face full of pain in death throws

Weed Seed

A tiny little seed that William carried in his shoe
He picked it up while walking through the field
It poked at him throughout the day an irritant 'tis true
Until at last the pain caused him to yield

He bent to pull his stocking off as someone on the hill
Discharged a gun to kill a lively hare
The shot went wild right through the air and would have gone through Will
But he was working on his shoe down there

He did not notice gun nor hare and flicked the seed away
It blew around then landed on a nose
The startled pooch stopped in mid-stride to sneeze this bit of hay
As a speeding car ran by where he had froze

The dog ran on oblivious of how his fate had changed
He wagged his tail to see his special friend
Young William rubbed his puppy 'till its hair was all deranged
And the seed had settled in his shoe again

How wonderful the twists of fate that mend or shatter lives
While earthquakes and tornados  do their part
A simple tiny sharpened seed whose timing had arrived
Protected two fine friends with tender hearts

Weighty Warrors

Come taste some of this mead my lovely bouncy-breasted friend
For our days much like our youth flow swiftly by
And though we two are aging, yes, I know we can pretend
That our looks can still catch one another's eye

My armor is now rusting while my shield is cut and stained
From too many trials that test survival skill
And I know you have been waiting while your beauty slowly drained away
As warrior after warrior took their fill

Yet I see in you companionship to this old fighter's ways
Soft relief from constant mayhem in the field
Just the thing to pass the time away with thoughts of better days
When my enemies, like you, would quickly yield

For one evening let us throw away the weight of heavy years
That accumulate like snow upon the boughs
Let us join one to another throw away our future fears
And taste delights of living in the now

We can both accept this moment and the time that we could spend
Doing rumbles and some mumbles 'twixt the sheets
Bouncing up and down together wishing it would never end
Even though we know that ecstasy is fleet

In the morning should you waken to discover I am gone
Just remember all the tender things we said
For we each have weighty duties that require that we go on
Until both of us are true and surely dead

Witch's Stash

Behold! An evil crucible from wicked witch did spawn
In aftermath of violent winds 'twas found upon the lawn
A thing of night reflected in the innocence of dawn
How sinister the web-winged window winds

The legs of frozen fanged foe of fear so fully found
Holding, as their mistress bade, yon egg above the ground
Yet hark! In truth I think I hear a soft sweet rattle sound
But this instead of baby's toy I find

If wing I twist would evil fly from out the cauldron small
Or worms emerge to eat the dead to clean up bones and all
Who has the taste to open it?  Indeed, who has the gall?
Would creatures struggle forth to make one blind?

Methinks a dungeon dark and dank is just the place to store
This wooden web-wrapped wicked rascal sent from days of yore
Forsooth we hope its days of danger are now nevermore
Whilst those who view it are the loving kind

Beware the dangers deep within, beware the ones without
If mortal be then mortal stay for death lurks here about
When touched this thing of wooden flesh may cause one to cry out
Look on and love it only with your mind

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