Channeling Walt

Channeling Walt in TIme of War

(February 2004)

I produced this brief collection (four poems) with a Portland letterpress book-artist, on fine paper. It is hand-bound, with elegant design and great attention to detail.

Excerpt from

Every Tree with No Body Hanging

* * *

and I can’t stop thinking of it, what’s happened here
and what’s happened so many places, Jeff Davis, Strom Thurmond, Pol Pot,
the bodies hanging, that Wyoming boy barb-wired,
everywhere really, Indians hunted down for sport
Yana Modoc Paiute Cherokee Calapooya Chinook,
and death lasering down from American planes as I write this
and I wonder what’s the use, what’s the use,
but then I realize

every tree I see with no body hanging from it
is some kind of victory. Every single one.

* * *

Every single tree without a body hanging
means that we’re winning.

* * *

Thugs and armed men have no idea.
They make wars, they hang a few or send bullets through them.
Their subtractions are puny. Their idea is puny. They thrust
and steal elections and congratulate each other.
They cannot undo the rest of us. Our idea is big.
We are always winning.

Forests of this idea grow everywhere and they keep busy
remembering it day and night: yes they do: in
cities and suburbs and freeway medians
jungles scrubs heaths chaparrals woodlots copses spinneys
a memorial world unfolding life, life, life.

The killers can only kill. We are making, making, and we cannot be stopped.

We need to remember this.
We are winning.
Every breath is the victory
and every tree — every single one — the promise of it.


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