January 10, 2010

on the road to the downsized pulp mill

past the oxeye daisies, five or ten
in a clump in the gravel dust
piling on the leaves and petals

alder and cottonwood saplings
shining in the too-hot sun clinging
to the cutbanks and riverbanks
and the road’s cracked asphalt
gleams with the residue of tar and metal

the sound of the nechako is lost in the blare
of trucks and the glare of the windshields
pass along the far shore where a few
young pines survive and lean over the railway tracks

a bald eagle might pass over but not today—
if there are salmon they would have snuck by
months ago—so crows play in the hot
updrafts and a boy pedals down to look for
saskatoons and room to think of something new

7 comments:

Alex Fremton said...

i like this. industrialization and nature, and the poor human always caught between these two (what they invented and what invented them). sorry if i'm completely off by interpreting it this way. the boy pedaling down to look for saskatoons sent my mind reeling with idyllic bliss.

cheers!

night said...

keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice and relax day!........................................

jstn said...

great stuff rob. the image of a 'few young pines' hanging above the railway tracks is haunting and right on the mark, I'd say. always looking for room to think of something new ...

michal said...

nice poem rob. i like the pines as well, but not sure about "survive"... things here aren't exactly young, nor do i think those were planted long ago... so "young pines" gives that cliche of the newborn trying to survive. doesn't work for the cutbanks for me. my bigger issue is with the last line. it should end at "saskatoons." "room to think of something new" feels forced. kinda reminds me of the feeling in yr "waiting for winnipeg" ending which i love.

Rob Budde said...

with "young pines" I was just thinking of those not hit by the pine beetle. and most of the forest around pg is not near old growth; most is second, third, fourth growth . . .

both "young pines" and the last line are there to hold true to the poem this one is modeled after, WCW's "by the road to the contagious hospital." it is part of a larger work where I am writing off of Spring & All...

michal said...

what about using "third growth"?

it's kind of funny actually that you are doing an intertextual piece off of WCW's stuff, and I read in intertextuality off of rb's work.

水災 said...

仇恨是一把雙刃劍,傷了別人,也傷了自己 ..................................................