Faders *

  --for Anna Politkovskaya


What fades?

Evergreens, survivors of chain-linked

generations of logging, now a cemetery

of vertical bones with marrow devoured

by defrosted mobs of mountain beetles.

Dry pine trees, fragile, faded red

like splattered blood of hunted journalists

marked in blinding daylight of corruption

and wars. The paper dollar skin of a million

carved trees changes hands to kill or save

a forest, to pay the salary of a determined

investigative reporter or to complete

the handshake of a prearranged hit.

When the deal is done, baked winds

blow tinder needles into the world’s circular

currents where the sad news is read by ever-

globalizing children scavenging through

trashed newspapers. This is the hazardous

graveyard, dumped skeletons of trees and

journalists, the unpredictable resting place

from which a thoughtful spark has potential,

in spite of death, to melt and release

a thousand tender seedlings.




*Faders- a Forestry term for pine beetle

               infested  pine trees.




Vivian Demuth