Clear-cutCarol Ellis' poems have been published in Windfall, Fireweed, Voice Catcher and Verseweavers. She lives in Forest Grove and is an active member of the Oregon State Poetry Association.
When the quiet forest has been taken down
to bare earth, the brown hills stand like soldiers
shorn, every bump and crevice visible, dark stubble
where Douglas fir made a canopy and trillium opened
in early spring.
Memory continues, green hills scarved in mist, dog tooth
violets yellow on the forest floor, silence shattered only
by bird song or the rush of a small stream.
When the last truck leaves with its burden of logs
there’s a new silence, the brown earth heaped up like fresh
graves, slash piles smoldering, the stillness of a battlefield
when only the dead remain.
PHOTO (M.J. O'Brien): Fresh clearcut in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, southern Washington Cascades; this hillside is hundreds of feet high.