–for Anna Politkovskaya

What fades?
Evergreens, survivors of chain-linked
generations of logging, now a cemetery
of vertical bones with marrow devoured
by defrosted mobs of mountain beetles.
Dry pine trees, fragile, faded red
like splattered blood of hunted journalists
marked in blinding daylight of corruption
and wars. The paper dollar skin of a million
carved trees changes hands to kill or save
a forest, to pay the salary of a determined
investigative reporter or to complete
the handshake of a prearranged hit.
When the deal is done, baked winds
blow tinder needles into the world’s circular
currents where the sad news is read by ever-
globalizing children scavenging through
trashed newspapers. This is the hazardous
graveyard, dumped skeletons of trees and
journalists, the unpredictable resting place
from which a thoughtful spark has potential,
in spite of death, to melt and release
a thousand tender seedlings.

~ Vivian Demuth

*Forestry term for pine beetle-infested pine tree

Vivian Demuth is the author of a poetry collection, Breathing Nose Mountain (Long Shot Productions), and an ecological novel, Eyes of the Forest (Smoky Peace Press). Each summer, she hosts an annual eco-poetry event at Nose Mountain in the boreal forest.

One Response to “Faders*”

  1. I enjoyed the alliteration in this piece. The images were crisp. Also, I enjoyed the flow from contemplative, to quicker flow, to contemplative again. Quite a nice piece read over and over.

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