a city boy's guide to the south

Welcome, friend, to the ramblings of a southerner by choice.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Log Rhythms

I've spent hours mauling
them. Next, I'll form rows,
nearly chest high, on iron dogs

out from the garage. Their length
has been coded to master design;
to fit snug, but not squeeze

over the firebox. Here, twenty-two
inches of free BTUs left over
from last season's hurricane.

Their prettier sisters have gone
on to be bookshelves or a bedroom
suite, perhaps an ergonome's chair

or some other new thing from Ikea.--
Think spotlights!-- and giddy
rushed spiels from the pitchmen--

think glowing
in halogen poses.
These will get picked up

by grateful new owners,
who'll invite neighbors to the unveiling.
Mine, cradled, just lie here--

in second ascension--
absorbing what sun's rays they come to.
At night, when the opposums come visit,

they'll pull on their cobwebs
and dust off their vines, ready
to proffer their sweet grubs by morning.

But mostly, they're aging,
if dislodged, left akimbo,
they'll be snatched by the lumberjack,

formed to the pile again.
Some romantic notion compels me
to gather them, burn them

to carols and wine.
Those that are younger, that seasoned
too green, may chitter, sap-swollen,

a time, in one massive flame
rose that won't tarry too long.
Would their beauty be fleeting

if beauty were viewed from this precept:
The embers and ash linger on
to be swept from the scuttle

with other debris
while their essence
is rendered to smoke?

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