Paper – Hugh Anderson

I am writing a forest.
The trails I walked this morning were sunlight and shadow,
ferns and the too solid pillars of balsam, cedar and fir.
There were maples and alder too
but they are not paper; their fibers make no sense
to the bottom line.

The trails I walked this morning were leaf litter
and moss on the nurse logs. They were
great branches torn away in the last big wind.
They echoed the rat-a-tat of the woodpecker.
Robins cocked their heads, listening
for stirrings underground.

And the air was the whine of a dozen saws
and steel ropes slithering through the underbrush.
The trails shook with the fierce joy of belts and chains,
whirling logs stripped of their skins, their flesh, their very cores,
the rapid thunk-thunk-thunk of blades, the steaming vats, kilns,
great rolls ready for the trucks and trains.

I am writing a forest.

Hugh AndersonAfter 50 years of trying to put the world into words, Hugh Anderson is finding it hard to put a mark on paper. Still, he can see mountains and ocean from his window, so he tries. Recently he has published in Vallum, 3Elements Literary Review and Cold Mountain Review. He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize.