Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Feller Buncher

Hey all,

According to the BC government authorities, a feller-buncher is a "harvesting machine that cuts a tree with shears or a saw and then piles it." According to a BC poetic authority, it is also the name of a cat.

According to me and mine, it is also the next gritty rung on the evolutionary ladder that was the Fall Back Poetry Project.

And so, for the month of February, four poets with both geographic and web-based bonds will be posting a poem a week.

Gillian Wigmore, who recently published a beautiful hand-made chapbook with Creekstone Press, kicked off Feller Buncher with a humdinger of a poem. Check it out.

* * *

In the interest of maintaining FB tradition, I'm posting my first Feller Buncher poem, sort of a riff on an earlier Fall Back poem.

Hopefully the poem both shears and piles, if you get my forestry drift...

January no snow yet
so your uncle opens out the corrugated doors
of summer and turns the combine
on the fields jaundiced by the mustard
he couldn’t get off
his back
like the machine that helps him remember
how to forget to stalk
the hallways of yellow light
once an hour
to look out over the bathroom light nimbus
to the one room shacks of his grandfather
and great-grandfather their white enamel
gleaming like dragon teeth sown
on the edge of fields
until living in their daytime city
with its ruined barnswallow corners
and steepled fingers over generations
of cups of just-cooled coffee
until sleeping through the dark peopled night
is almost as strange as the cold-oat mid-winter
rumble of engine

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