I am learning to sculpt soap stone from a master

my first attempts are from his cut offs

small twisted bits resembling cashews

but larger

each one fitting inside the palm.


Where the saw blade severed them from the whole

that flat is now vertical

seven  heads standing in a row

small twisted mouths singing their hearts out


cashews don't sing


but they are compulsively delicious

and sculpting is quite compulsive

even more than cutting one's nails

filing the rough edges and a nose appears

or a forehead bevelled on the cusp

fingertips feel the smooth countenance appear

holding three dimensions in the hand.