Monday, September 12, 2016



I stepped off

The road onto

A trail into

Woods of

Fresh snow —

Not too deep —

Followed for

A quarter mile,

Ducking branches,

Watching them

Persist in a

Straight line

Until they went

One way, and I

The other — the

Small hand prints

Of raccoon


I’m the one who stacked

This stove wood ten cords

Deep under the roof of a

Broad woodshed, and sawed

Old pine boards across

To make a dutch door for

Its entry, and now I enjoy

How daylight squints into this

Burrow where round logs are

Pulled down to split each day

If you like you can find me

Talking to myself busting apart

Ash sticks with a favorite

Hatchet, its head weight just

Right, filling a kitchen basket —

Nothing like a simple tool that works

And when slipping the clear ribs

Of a whole snakeskin out of

Soft curled bark of yellow birch —

I remember that tree cut down

But this visitor I missed

Woods Work

At lunch break unwrap

And sit in place melted

Ice never tasted better

Snow falls in big flakes

Doesn’t amount to much

On hot chain saw engine

Back Track

Bobcat tracks in

Wet snow behind the

House this late March —

Came back two months later

With no warning

Both wings on

One of our ducks

Spread open floating

Along the pond edge

— a good time to see

Bright under feathers

Of blue & gray/green —

But the head ripped off


B O B     A R N O L D

Once In Vermont