Getting in the Wood

G
The sour smell,
blue stain,
water squirts out round the wedge,

Lifting quarters of rounds
covered with ants,
"a living glove of ants upon my hand"
the poll of the sledge a bit peened over
so the wedge springs off and tumbles
ringing like high-pitched bells
into the complex duff of twigs
poison oak, bark, sawdust,
shards of logs,

And the sweat drips down.
Smell of crushed ants.
The lean and heave on the peavey
that breaks free the last of a bucked
three-foot round,
it lies flat on smashed oaklings—

Wedge and sledge, peavey and maul,
little axe, canteen, piggyback can
of saw-mix gas and oil for the chain,
knapsack of files and goggles and rags,

All to gather the dead and the down.
the young men throw splits on the piles
bodies hardening, learning the pace
and the smell of tools from this delve
in the winter
death-topple of elderly oak.
Four cords.

39
Rating:

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

The Fête by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
To-night again the moon’s white mat
Stretches across the dormitory floor
While outside, like an evil cat
The pion prowls down the dark corridor,
Planning, I know, to pounce on me, in spite
For getting leave to sleep in town last night.
But it was none of us who made that noise,
Only the old brown owl that hoots and flies
Read Poem
0
96
Rating:

from The Ambition of Ghosts:  I. Remembering into Sleep by Rosmarie Waldrop
Rosmarie Waldrop
I. Separation Precedes Meeting

The cat so close
to the fire
I smell scorched
breath. Parents,
silent, behind me,
a feeling of
trees that might fall.
Read Poem
0
65
Rating:

Now and Then by James Schuyler
James Schuyler
for Kenward Elmslie
Up from the valley
Read Poem
0
68
Rating:

The Windy City sections 1 and 6 by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
1

The lean hands of wagon men
put out pointing fingers here,
picked this crossway, put it on a map,
set up their sawbucks, fixed their shotguns,
found a hitching place for the pony express,
made a hitching place for the iron horse,
the one-eyed horse with the fire-spit head,
Read Poem
0
72
Rating:

A Maul for Bill and Cindy’s Wedding by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
Swung from the toes out,
Belly-breath riding on the knuckles,
The ten-pound maul lifts up,
Sails in an arc overhead,
And then lifts you!

It floats, you float,
For an instant of clear far sight—
Eye on the crack in the end-grain
Read Poem
0
54
Rating:

This Scribe, My Hand by Ben Belitt
Ben Belitt
When this warm scribe, my hand, is in the grave.
—John Keats 1.

You are here
Read Poem
0
46
Rating:

Toward an Organic Philosophy by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
SPRING, COAST RANGE

The glow of my campfire is dark red and flameless,
The circle of white ash widens around it.
I get up and walk off in the moonlight and each time
I look back the red is deeper and the light smaller.
Scorpio rises late with Mars caught in his claw;
The moon has come before them, the light
Like a choir of children in the young laurel trees.
Read Poem
0
66
Rating:

God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
Read Poem
0
61
Rating:

The Stump by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
1.

Today they cut down the oak.
Strong men climbed with ropes
in the brittle tree.
The exhaust of a gasoline saw
was blue in the branches.

The oak had been dead a year.
I remember the great sails of its branches
Read Poem
0
85
Rating: