Logging in Nesting Season
Even in stolid morning rain
the scream of a chipper persists.
Loggers devour the forest
despite the protests of phoebes
and wood thrush. Their songs
penetrate like wounds you scored
half a lifetime ago although
you sleep right through the clamor,
your face pressed into the pillow.
I should wake and trouble you
over the outrage of logging
in nesting season, but rain-smells
dull me into shades of gray
I otherwise wouldn’t inhabit.
The lake puckers as if coughing up
thousands of fish. A lone canoe
prowls along the shoreline, probing
for bass in the misty shallows.
The prattle of a chainsaw drops
another big tree. The chipper
gnarls the limbs while a winch
hoists the trunk onto a skidder.
Whoever nested in that tree
mourns the loss of effort and eggs,
maybe the death of nestlings.
You can’t sleep this away.
The ill music skids across the lake
to fester in the cusp of the ear.
You’d better get up and share
the overall aura of complaint.
The day progresses step by step
as if learning something. No one
learns, though, the cries of machines
fluted more subtly than birdsong
and more finely honed to kill.
About the author:
William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and teaches at Keene State College. His most recent book of poetry is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). He has
published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals.