Before taking out a clean sheet of paper,
I hold before the blue of the window
a freshly-sharpened pencil pointing toward heaven
and blow the imperceptible dust
from the needle-tip
before getting down to business.
For in life's long journey
few things afford greater satisfaction
than turning the crank
and powering the cylindrical burrs
of a mechanism which sharpens
the dulled mind of a yellow number 2 pencil.
In the silver pencil sharpener
I witness the marriage of utility and beauty
--a model for art and a purpose for life
celebrated each morning before this small altar.