The sunset’s slow catastrophe of reds

and bruised blues

leaches the land to its green and grey.

Light thins over the wood; black

colors in each notch and furrow

at the day’s closing-down.

The only sounds are bled,

and far away:

the bronchitic cough of an axe

and the lowing roar of distant chainsaws

starting and falling, like cattle

calling out to be milked.

And so I wait here, as usual,

in the crushed silence of tinder: steeped,

stepped in shadow,

under the appalling pines.