Beetle Kill

My poem “Beetle Kill” recently appeared in The Rising Phoenix Review:

Beetle Kill

Here, the lodgepole pine
die with silent dignity:
knights succumbing
to a war of attrition
after decades holding this range;
now too long weathered bronze
by a dark, six-legged sun,
and bludgeoned a thousand times,
they bleed a fungus-blue
from their hollow ribs
and watch it dry
down their crusted toes.

Too exhausted to fight,
they remove their green chain-mail,
letting the needles drop,
and face the winter exposed.
Should they survive the cold,
these stoics will surely burn
in the dry-ice heat of summer,
and no doubt,
they’ll leave their last words
to someone else.

I guess you might called this an environmental poem, but it’s also an exercise in  personification.  I remember writing it several years ago, trying to personify the pines, hoping to capture a sense of the inevitable destruction of forests out here in the west.


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