What the Butler did

A collection of writing by Brother Tony Butler

My Father was a Polisher of Wood August 13, 2017

Filed under: Poems — Tony @ 1:31 pm


My father was a polisher of wood;

He knew his timbers, walnut, ash and oak.

But cedar best, as best of craftsmen should.

Once as a child, I watched him at his work:

He sanded gently, washed with soap and water,

He rubbed with spirit and applied the stain;

He knew the power of water and the spirit,

And of time to emphasise the grain.


I still regret I did not have the grace

To learn the craft at which he was so able:

When he had finished, he could see his face –

And mine – reflected in that polished table.


I’ve learnt of late to love what he did best.

And so I’ve let two restless souls find rest.


Brother Tony Butler

October 1987.