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Logs to burn! Logs to burn!
Logs to burn! Logs to Burn!
Logs to save the coals a turn!
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodsman’s cries.
Beachwood fires burn bright and clear,
Hornbeam blazes too,
If the logs are kept a year,
And seasoned through and through.
Oak logs will warm you well,
If they’re old and dry,
Larchwood logs of pinewood smell,
But the sparks will fly.
Pine is good, and so is yew
For warmth through wintry days,
But poplar and willow too, take long to dry and blaze.
Birch logs will burn to fast,
Alder scares at all.
Chestnut logs are good to last,
If cut in the fall.
Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green.
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flame is seen.
Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room.
Cherry logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom.
But ash logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old,
Buy all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold.
(Published in 'Bushcraft' by Ray Mears)
Wild, wild wondrous woods,
We wander well-walked ways.
With wonderment, we would welcome,
Wilder, wilder ways.
Woeful weak whit wanderers,
With worthless wary wantings.
We wiser wrought wills willingly wait,
Without weary waiving wanting.
Waiting, while wavering waking wills,
Will wisely wander wild wolds.
We welcome wiser woken wanderers,
With wilder wonderful worlds.
by Mark Hordon
A fire in the woods
When making a fire, find a suitable place,
One that is safe and won't cause you disgrace.
The next step to take is clearing the ground,
Removing all leaves and sticks that are found.
Check out the soil, make sure it won’t burn,
Or a big forest fire will cause you concern.
Now look in the woodland for dry kindling and sticks,
Burn them both separately for good thermodynamics.
The kindling that’s best is thick as a match,
Collect them too thick and your fire will not catch.
Sticks that burn best are like pencils you see,
Collect them from dead branches that are up in a tree.
Collect long dead branches to act as your fuel,
To cut down green wood is both folly and cruel.
Fuel that’s the finest is as thick as your wrist,
It will not break as easily if it’s the size of your fist.
Gather dry branches that’ll snap to a short log,
The labour this saves is well worth the slog.
Wood that is damp or found on the ground,
Makes thick choking smoke as many have found.
Stinging your eyes as it wafts in your face,
It will enter your lungs so you move from that place.
You’ll cough and you’ll splutter and rub your eyes sore.
As the smoke that is formed envelops you more.
If your fuel is too big, and must be cut with sharp tools,
Use these tools properly and don’t act like some fools.
When using sharpe knives or even sharp axes,
The best way to cut logs is when your body relaxes.
When cutting or chopping, keep legs and hands clear,
And never use tools if you’ve had booze or some beer.
Using all cutting tools, both safely and wise,
Is the best way to make fire your ultimate prize.
Collect, as much fuel as will last through the night,
Or your fire will burn out, with no the heat and no light.
Keep all your wood stacked well out of the rain,
Or else it’ll get wet and not burn with good flame.
Now that you’ve collected parched twigs and dry wood,
You can start making fire, that’ll make you feel good.
I finish this poem with one last piece of advice,
Fires in the woods need to be small and precise.
by Mark Hordon