I awake with chain saw eyes
measuring fallen trees:

                                        to die of thirst,
                                        dividends of drought

thick torsos with loose bark,
little brush to stack

                                        to clear for grass,
                                        to cover quail from hawks—

stove wood to haul and split
to hold the cold at bay

                                        outside the door
                                        into chimney smoke

and they are beautiful
in death, limbs reaching up

                                        lengths cut clean
                                        with sharp eyes

like people to heaven
begging notice, a chance

                                        for purpose yet
                                        and I am looking,

measuring like a tailor
around burls and forks—

                                        old habits stumbling
                                        with weak knees

in and out of dreams
come wintertime.


4 responses to “INGRAINED

  1. 102 million Calif trees killed by drought. 62 million trees have died this year alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So hard to imagine the numbers within the scope of the State. We had a State biological survey crew here last May with CNPS, they estimated a 40% loss in our area. Not far to go for firewood.


  2. I send my admiration of this poem, impressive!


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