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Works in Progress

Back Cut, A Poem Cycle in Two Voices

     In felling a tree, the first cut determines the direction of fall. On that cut’s opposite and higher, the backcut is the first of the felling cuts. The labor varies with tree, axe or saw, and with the crew’s strength and smarts.

   Told in two voices (husband and wife), these poems detail the ocean edge of Washington State after the forest’s big cut and last commercial razor clam digs when folks eked out a living on the failing supply of these natural resources.

               This is a love story.

From Wife: Methsuselah’s Beard
We buck down the road
I say Old Man Sampson knows
     what he is about
I hang my arm out the window
     my fingers combing
     the dismal light
we roll through woods
hung with Methuselah’s Beard
a lichen
so proficient
     it eats the air
I say I don’t mind being here
the smell of cedar
holding me