Both Men Were Heavy Weights

The fight was not
As one in a ring
As most bar fights are not
Motion & the narrowness
Of the bar blurred each punch as there
Was no pedestal—they were
Both timber fallers, suspenders
Dirty hickory shirts, fallers’ pad on the top
Of each suspendered shoulder, &
It started all at once, Richard
Threw the first punch after
The other cutter said dryly, “The talking part is over..”
& away it went arms punching & a few
Wild swings a couple almost boxing stances all
Ever so briefly, but mostly toe to toe slug fest
& Richard was landing regularly
His opponent was six four,
Richard was six eight—both men were heavy weights
It was volley for volley, of big guns
& the Tiller Tavern was the
Arena & as there had been no announcements
The crowd, took a while to come alive,
& the roar began & the entirety of loggers picked sides
Richard’s crew and the other’s but the action
Had gone down to one end of the bar tipped
Over the cigarette machine & was moving back
To the other end & everyone was getting out
Of the way and it was a time when no one
Thought of calling the police &
They were all 30 miles away, anyway &
Bodies and chairs and tables were being pushed &
Upended & some glass began to crash
& two big men slugged it out, head & body punches
Thrown & answered & the shorter giant
getting a couple good upper cuts
& Richard landing rib crushing body blows,
Trying for a body quivering liver shot,
Blood had begun to flow from faces of both men
By the time they reached the other end of the bar
& the thundering crush and bare knuckle blows
Seemed to be wearing on Richard’s opponent &
He began backing back up the bar toward the door
Counter punching then just trying to counter punch
From blocked blows that were answered with body shots
& then a half dozen clench fisted blows from Richards’
Dinner plate size hands sent him to the floor &
As he fell, he loudly coughed, “Enough, enough,
You damn win, enough stop.” & Richard
Backed off and let the man get up, bar towels
Were passed to them both for the blood &
Everyone went back to their beer.
The next day Richard had to work on a side
Of timber in the Umpqua Divide steep & down in the hole
& had almost a mile climb straight up & out of his patch of
Fallen timber, & the show had stopped as the humidity
Dropped where any spark would cause a forest fire
& by the time Richard had humped back
Up the slope to the landing where the crew were gathering
To end the day, at 1 p.m. all had been up at 1 am & work started at two
With a long “crummy” ride to the landing at 4:30 a.m. & dawn & it was now 105 degrees
In the shade, & as Richard humped up from the bottom
His chainsaw bar balanced on his shoulder & the fallers
Pad taking the bite out of the big saws weight, that hung over his back,
With his right hand in front he controlled the machine with each measured step up
& with the sheer gravity of the ascent & packing up his gear he felt most of yesterday’s fight,
Bruised ribs & arms & a cracked tooth climbing & using the Gospel sure footedness
Of his caulk boots in each spiked step up & the climb became still more painful & the top
Beckoned and there would be soon cold beer & the pain felt somehow good &
Heat had begun to impinge on each sweating step going side hill up & switching back
Closer & the side of the mountain that gave off the perfume from just cut stumps
& balsam smell of the just down Douglas fir, and though Richard didn’t look
Mt. Theilsen’s craggy pointed top stuck out of the blue
Hot air but the landing got nearer, & Richard’s tin hat started to
Pop over the top of the landing’s edge & as he got his chin
Just above the shot rocked surface, he saw a pickup setting 10 feet
Away & his opponent from last night sitting cool & clean
With his arm outside the cab & they met eye to eye again,
Though Richard was looking up at him now,
“Bet I could take you right now,” he yelled from the pickup above the landings noise
“I suppose you could,” Richard said wearily & the man in the pickup grinned,
Richard lifted up his chain saw, and gas, and gear to the landing
& then the pick up slowly backed up and turned around by the yarder
With its big diesel engine still idling
Richard stood up as yesterday’s rival drove off the dusty landing
In front of the high pile of bark stripped logs
That had been pulled over the rocky hillside from a mile below
& in the burning heat Richard took a long drink of water,
His hard hat tipped back, while watching the pickup make dust
As it backed off the landing in front of the next log truck
That was heading for a White City mill.

All That Is Natural

Even non-indigenous
& maligned as they are,
For having taken over
The American continent,
European Starlings imported
to New York City
in 1890, fly in unison,
& together with Brewers blackbird,
Rusty blackbirds, and yellow-headed
Blackbirds, in great fall & winter flocks,
Yet, they all cranky nest & breed & feed
In small groups, then move off in
Great, great blackbird
Mobial swirl perceptive,
Of all & oneanother but not perceiving, in
An unseen morphic field
Of each other proffering
Themselves as one, moving
North or south on the continent
Thought of as nuisance birds & could it be
That we who have this other perceived nuisance of
All that is natural will
Perhaps one resurrected day, come home
To roost when we see information that
Binds it all, with which we perceive
This perception—has become its own
Notion beyond any
Physical realm & is finally to us
Becoming Supernatural.

Where do you live?

img_0023.jpg

We may be light
Moving monuments
Spiral informative testaments
Seemingly from void
Lifting emission of inception
Cloud illumining hopes,
Of skyshine,
Invisibly shining back
Phosphorescent in the dark
Subtle beacons,
Transceivers for life, &
Noise attempts to drown the transmission out,
Longing for love, the message
Sent long ago, but not in a bottle while we are
Still wading shores darkened by loss
Of knowing, we are sleeping shining
Bread eaters & we are, lost in fog
Hungering, hardly black or white, wondering
From the wondering machine
& color coming in the message from
The source ladder, a spiraled ladder
Transmitted from beyond & inside
& a voice says, “Come and see!”

Second of three encounters with lions

When I was about 32
I was climbing around Neil Rock
In cutoff jeans & tennis shoes
& the rest of me a poor example of Tarzan
As I was on that hot day
& I heard this same
Guttural coughing noise
coming from the manzanita patch atop
Neil Rock as I was standing on the
Cliff where 100 feet below me were
Two does with fawns & a wind current blowing
Straight up the cliff face & just
Earlier held up a golden eagle w/in thirty feet
On a float by, now I was high as the rock faced cliff
But I knew what the coughing noise was
& when I knew—hair stood up on the back of my neck
I had no mean border collie & I knew I
Was meat that had messed up
A lions meat hunt & the guttural noise continued
& admittedly scared, I momentarily went into a flight mode
& making it about 15 feet I saw a huge
Dead manzanita trunk & grabbed it
& began to beat the dead wood off it for
A twice sized baseball bat & turned toward
The brush & could now see
His tawny cat body in the brush tail twitching
Sizing me up & I struck the ground
Repeatedly &now in full fight mode I spoke
To the mountain lion, “Come on,” I yelled,
& other bravado I do not recall,
& yet the big cat lingered perhaps finding my expletives curious,
& he did slink away, & I sauntered down the hill
& deposited my manzanita cat killer, behind the front door
In my cabin down the hill, after I’d walked off
The adrenaline & later I told my neighbor this tale
That he did not believe
& I think he did not doubt me so much,
As his urban, “moved to the country..”
Presentiment, foolishly doubted that anything wild & fierce
Could be close enough to watch their every move, while they
Jogged & walked through this forest.

First of three encounters with lions

I was about 15
Fishing on our creek
Then backed up by
A dam to irrigate, &
I was drowning worms
In a deep hole, the sky
Was dark from a forest fire
Near Prospect, & a guttural
Coughing noise came from the
Other side of the creek, my
Border collie, started to whine
& bark, become defensive,
I had no idea what was up
& she ran to the bank to where she
Could cross & once across she
Dove into the brush below an old high water
Cut bank topped with pine
& 40 feet from me, out came a cougar
Running like a cat, tail
Whipping for balance &
Bringing its hind legs in unison
Clawing earth & running away
From my fierce border collie.

We are not human

DNA_orbit_animatedWe are not human
In the short run
As many tribes
Confine definition
Of humanity
To their own,
& we aren’t really
In our own as yet
Abstraction/loss
Being gain once seen
Looking upstream
The river pours toward us
So-called ‘inanimate’
Belies Presence
& then 2nd law of
Thermodynamics invents
Entropy, before survival
& now we know our stuff is from
Supernovas reaching back
& now forward
Looking downstream
The river pours away from us
Information is immaterial—that is really important
& together not natural as an explanation
We are this information & it is not natural
In & of itself because we perceive &
This clutching grip & explanation is
Supernatural, or Einstein was wrong
Now life, double helix’d in &
Flipping off this
Running down universe
We are not human, save all of us
At birth or death or in between
Our humanity, our life is only human
Ghosts on file, until we know..
Because we are information
This place is not a one shot
Chance of pooling genes but
DNA defining an enigma & there  is
No damn primordial soup for you,
Rather a spiral spoken Word..
Human only as we
Gently people
This earth seeing
Objective action we are
Containers of text &
Producers of text
Individually — 3.7 billion lettered genetic message &
Each, we are when
Our names spoken &
Togethered & ancestored
Up to now..
History of time for us is an inner
Missing of what is not, as
What is, that only human
Universal prosecution of background noise,
While either on fire, or on ice
We are made human by loving kindness
As a Father runs to his children
Nothing can take this away
Blood having been shed &
A Word spoken before supernovas
As from that dust we become this dust
To step into our home on the other side..
Surprising all the stars because in the end
We are more important
Than the sun & the Son is everything..