Still Standing

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.

17 thoughts on “Still Standing

  1. Josephwow 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 lifestyleAppreciate you 😉

  2. 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…

  3. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you the Creative Blog Award for all the hard work you do!I invite you to follow me as we have a lot in common, but no pressure. I’m not giving you the award just so you will follow me. You really do deserve it!My blog specialize in helping writers get published by learning from agents, editors and authors who I interview. Tomorrow, I am having a literary agent on my blog as a special guest. She has some great tips for authors.Take care and have a nice day :-)Go to and pick up your award.~Deirdra

  4. 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! 🙂

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

  6. 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.