The Disguise of Mascaraed Lashes
Midnight fog isn’t a surprise
it’s the veil of noon wakes you,
scarves shimmy behind the hidden
mirror of some Salome dance,
limbs uncovered on a forest
edge, fringe on a rim to disguise
the clearcut just beyond view.
The silhouettes are perfectly imperfect–
negative space outlining a skeleton
of place. You’ve seen it too:
Highway 6 on the way to Tillamook,
past signs of replanting and PR
plaques explaining the corn-rowed
beautiful rehabilitation, a splint.
Or flying in January leaving
sifting contrails to fuel a family
of regret. Snow patches checker
the mountainsides like a crazy
quilt. Making pretty what is clear–
wide open spaces range the edge
of visibility, light through this screen
is a work of hubris & imagination.
/ / /
This started as a response to Carolee’s list, which was a pairings of words from another poem. I took her list and offset it so as to form new pairings, and started writing a poem, which moved me into another poem (somewhere in stanza one, once the words reminded me of something I have been wanting to write about for a long long while: clearcut forests & the disingenuous fringe of trees left at highway edges.
My dad was a logger in Arizona and they select cut. I don’t understand, with all the science & technology that says clear-cutting is bad, why they still do it in the Pacific Northwest. I imagine it’s because loggers here own more bulldozers than skidders. But I don’t know.