Monday, June 20, 2016



Apple, poplar, ash,

Cherry, red maple,

Pine, basswood, oak,

These are the woods

That we sawed today,

In two hours of thinning,

Selecting, we made a cord —

Trampled branches on snow

Worked without words.

Simple thoughts, like picking

Up these sticks — back and

Forth in the mind — until we

Stop to rest together against

The pile, brushing off woodchips,

Shedding hats and gloves,

And because we kiss, I warm

My hands beneath your blouse.

First Snow As I Split Wood

Thin snow falling into

Valley fog, quiets everything,

No bird call, nothing flying.

The splitting wedge and hammer

Echo over the pasture

While the flakes open bigger

For no reason other than snow.

And I straighten my sweaty back

To watch this world, lend a tongue

And taste it melt.


Here you are again

Late at night

Snow falling in the valley

Life on snowshoes

Hardly faraway from home

In fact, isn’t that the glow

Of the kitchen lamp

Lighting through the trees

I’ve spend the better part

Of darkness stamping in

A mile wide circle enjoying

The measure of going nowhere

Stand with me

Waste some time

Everything you’ve always wanted

Is all around you.


Bob Arnold
Where Rivers Meet
Mad River Press

Susan photograph by Bob Arnold , 2016