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Bruce Hodder

FIRE LOOKOUT

 

 

Sixty days living in this cabin,

So high on the mountain

What you see below are plateaus

Way up in the high country

Above the world.

Sixty days in the company of deer

Who skitter off once seen.

 

People on the other peaks

In cabins just like this one.

They communicate by radio

Talking of home and sports.

Sometimes the talk’s of women -

That hot one in the record store -

The older men stop the conversation

If it gets too rude for radio.

I listen but I don’t join in.

 

Every day you watch for fire.

They taught us how to work

This old direction finder

Back in Ranger camp.You line

It up and get co-ordinates

To call down to the world

Who scale the peak in a fire

Engine clanging bells to scare

The chipmunks and the bear away?

 

Wounded memories of love

Haunt you in the mornings

Waking frozen in your bed.

 

You take your crippled body outside

And piss into the wild grass.

The wind slaps you in the face.

 

On hot days you strip down

To the waist and gather wood

To chop just to work your body.

 

You want it to be lean as chord.

 

The Earth

Turns.

Watching constellations

From my porch,

A blanket wrapped

Around my shoulders.

 

Fingers too cold

To roll a cigarette.

 

If I die up here

How long until

Someone finds my body?

 

Animal lover,would

I make food for deer?

 

The boredom of this solitude.

My childhood and my death

Are concertina’d in this space.

But finally your mind flattens.

A turgidity consumes you.

You can’t get up off the cot bed

Or understand a few lines of verse.

You spend whole days fogbound

Longing for the city.

 

A skinny waitress smiling would be

A lightning bolt of inspiration here.

 

And yet I mourn my cabin

As the final day approaches:

The grey bedding on my cot,

The flimsy chair beside the window

In which I’d sit by day,

My iron stove and whistling kettle.

 

Silver disc of moon

Above the peaks.

 

Hours reading poetry

Perched high

On a jutting rock

 

Free from interference.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANGEL HEAD from Blue Fred Press  Publisher/ editor Bruce Hodder   Copyright remains with the authors