Translating the Poetry of Wood

Mulling over what I might say tomorrow at the Statehouse. How can I express my aching heart for vanishing Vermonters?

How can I translate the years of ignored warning signs that we’re on the brink of extinction to people who don’t value our Working Landscape?

I get so frustrated and I feel pretty helpless. Maybe if they see the beauty, value, and purpose there’s still hope.

Getting in the Wood
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.