Front lines / as the crickets’ soft autumn hum

The edge of the cancer
Swells against the hill-we feel
a foul breeze-And it sinks back down.
The deer winter here
A chainsaw growls in the gorge.

Ten wet days and the log trucks stop,
The trees breathe.
Sunday the 4-wheel jeep of the
Realty Company brings in
Landseekers, lookers, they say
To the land,
Spread your legs.

The jets crack sound overhead, it’s OK
here;
Every pulse of the rot at the heart
In the sick fat veins of Amerika
Pushes the edge up closer–

A bulldozer grinding and slobbering
Sideslipping and belching on top of
The skinned-up bodies of still-live bushes
In the pay of a man
From town.

Behind is a forest that goes to the Arctic
And a desert that still belongs to the
Piute
And here we must draw
Our line.

As the crickets’ soft autumn hum
is to us
so are we to the trees
as are they
to the rocks and the hills.

Gary Snyder

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