Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Still Standing

By Joseph Hesch

The smell of raw wood
struggles to fight its way over
the oily exhaust of the chain saws.
It is a contest these resinous exhalations
lose as surely as the maple and pine
eventually bow to the keening teeth of steel.
For years I was hushed
by the gnawing growl of the city,
my heartwood ripped by neck-tied woodsmen
wielding telephones, email and arrogant lies.
When I eventually fall
to their maleficent ministrations,
I won’t scream and crash
with the powerful gasp of the plummeting timber.
I will no doubt go down with
the push of an OFF button,
a click of a pen,
and post-straightline silence.
Until then, unlike the wind-strummed forest,
I won’t stand and whisper.
I will scream and crash and
thrash about on pages cut
from those who fell before me.


  1. Joseph
    wow this week is the week of outstanding contrasts!
    I would prefer the outdoor smells and the feel of the first cut to that menacing merry-go-round of the corporate lifestyle

    Appreciate you ;)

  2. on pages cut from those that fell before me...thrash on, thrash on...

  3. magnificent poem, purely stated and sincerely expressed...the way it builds up and i love the ending..."i won't stand and whisper. I will scream and crash and thrash about on the pages cut from those who fell before me"...your analogies are inspiring and bring the emotion needed to bring forth the power this poem conveys...and you WILL be standing...wonderful writing...i have so much to learn from being part of one shot wednesday and each time i read a poem such as yours it is a gift... thank you...

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  5. Joe! This is fantastic...my dad used to take us to the woods and we would cut, split and then have to pile the wood for our house for the winter. He claims it's character building...I think muscle~building's the better word. You most certainly took me back in time, and love the use of language and comparing to the life so many of us desire escape from! Wonderful journey, and very pleased with your choice to go with this. A most pleasant and appreciated surprise. Please, never,ever stop thrashing! :)

  6. Wonderful go down push of an OFF button, click of a pen - that is the corporate world...all regulated by a force that may never is the real result of its action...

  7. Joe, beautiful contrast! I will stand and crash, perfectly put together.

  8. Excellent progression of beginning with the production of the raw material and concluding with the manufacturing of discontent. This is a great poem.

  9. Distinctive-- surprising turns. I love this image: my heartwood ripped by neck-tied woodsmen-- xxj

  10. Summons that rawness of doing physical work

  11. I feel the struggle... good job!

  12. yes joe - go one with screaming and crashing and don't be silent...excellent write joe

  13. Love the textures and the insistence in the lines. Nice play of the woods, the city, and the paper that carries the sound of our words through the world. Excellent metaphor, sir! Well written. Gay

  14. I also liked this part...

    "thrash about on pages cut
    from those who fell before me."

    Sad poem. But that's okay with me. :)

  15. I love your poem, Joe. It's gripping and touches a truth many recognize. Well done.

  16. very nicely held tension ... very well written J.