The Zen of the Chainsaw

Mind you, I don't like the idea of cutting down trees. In fact, part of the reason we bought the place we did was because it was surrounded by Hemlock, Western Cedar, Douglas Fir, Spruce . . .

A wind storm had blown down several large hemlocks. The trees are about seventy-feet tall, if they were upright. They're basically an eyesore now, cutting across several deer paths. We also need wood for our stove; it gets quite cold up here, so I've been told. Normally, I'd let nature take its course and I'd let the forest floor munch up all that good fertilizer but this time, I decided to cut the trees into 16" chunks.

While using the chainsaw yesterday, I tuned all the extra stuff out. Usually I walk around with a load of verbal baggage in my head, whether it's a new poem, a new project, a to-do list . . . but when you're using a dangerous machine, you really can't be distracted.

With the help of my friend/colleague/neighbor, John, we managed to cut two seventy-foot trees into several chunks that I'll dry over the Summer and chop later for fire wood.


Latest obsession:

I've been obsessed with Filipino migrant workers from the 30's to the 50's. There was a lot of labor unionism up in this neck of the woods and I've been fiddling with some poems. The trick--making politics soluable in art.


Meredith's friend Matthieu is scheduled to fly in from New York. With all the crap that's taking place with air travel today, I don't expect him to arrive on schedule. Messy messy travel day. . .


Another 1:

Write a poem with the following elements--

1. The poem must take place inclement weather.

2. The poem must contain the word, "loomery"

3. The poem must have a steel object.

4. The narrative must go in reverse.

Oliver de la Paz