Keith Moul

Olympic Discovery Trail Monday Questions

Forest Disciple Stripped

A red cedar log has been abandoned

to currents of the Salish Sea, drifted

to this sheltered bay, to lie stranded

on basalt rocks lining the pedestrian

shore, finally lodged, come to rest.

Who will repudiate its ragged scars,

its unquiet felling, peeling red bark?

Where did it fall? Clear cuts abound

on the nutcracker's heights. Would a

nutcracker refuse a proffered peanut?;

abet a logger with another scalping?;

accompany a tree to its deep descent?;

mount a resistance on a tree's behalf?;

denude a tree's protective bark; delimb,

stress a bole to split and crack, dump

an icon of romance to float and bob?

This castaway proves unwelcome to

denizens of the Salish Sea; it pricks

the herons, the ubiquitous gulls, and

raccoons shuffling by as if a squatter,

tongue lolling, indifferent to its death.

The Beak Penetrates

A crow drops its prey from its beak,

plummets to retrieve it on the shell,

guts the bivalve like a true gourmand.

A satisfactory meal of clam depends

on a durable shell and adductor hinge.

I’m here mainly for exercise, after which

I’ll return to sup with the crow on the pier.

Keith Moul © 2018