Age 78, he vowed to scale
“up my gully” in a “do or die”
final ascent, 9,415-foot elevation
transactions where money’s useless.
More beautiful than diamonds
his High Country meant dreaming.
Unlike the executioner in Mr. Charlie’s suite
who rarely accepts arguments
for sparing mountainous spines,
ancient trees, the clearest lakes.
In the law of supply and demand,
felling’s obligatory and lumber gets
plundered because it’s there
just for taking. Call it business.
Efficiently, quickly shipped to Japan
from American national forest.
Above cloud clusters, look back
on faces scarred by clear-cuts.
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Poem originally appeared in Thunder Sandwich