A Parallel Uni-Verse
I take this narrow cut-off from the road,
A small space cleared some years ago,
Now overgrown with saplings six feet tall,
Swamp maple and the whip-thin birch
That shoots toward sun both trunk and branch,
Wherever air and earth give it a chance.
Enough space here to build a little hut
That would have overlooked that drop-off
Where the woods are thinned a bit,
Edged by some sheets of ice that show
The shallow bed of that slow, intermittent stream.
Clear what they could, they did, so I suppose,
The vista opening, always and always the same,
One gentle slope down into deeper woods,
The ever lowering sky that shines
Behind the tops of pines and darkened hemlocks.
What a fine place to stop, to rest a minute
From a winter walk, to seat myself here, on a log
Cut green, but since gone smooth and gray
From years of lying at the edge
Of someone's interrupted dream.


D.W. Brainerd lives in Howland, Maine. He reviews books for Small Press Review, and his collections of poetry include Under the Gold Sun and A Turn of the Wheel.
Clearing
By D.W. Brainerd
new moon
sweet blackness
hidden moon
abraxas
covered seed
fertile in sky soil
aching moon
set to burst
moon unknown
what has been sown?


D.W. Brainerd lives in Howland, Maine. His self-made collections of poetry include Under the Gold Sun and A Turn of the Wheel, and his reviews of poetry appear frequently in Small Press Review.
New Moon
By D.W. Brainerd
Here is a vista opened through these woods,
Trees broken off and mangled by the grinder,
Butts and branches splintered. Here I find them,
Tattered bark and boughs and twigs ripped, scattered
All around, all for the corporate good.
Pipes lie hidden, waiting underground,
Pressurized and filled with nitrogen,
Straining at their couplings, waiting for
The last inspection, for a few repairs,
And then the rush of natural gas. Once more,
After long dormancy, the pipes will spring to work,
This time conveying what cannot be seen,
That thing like air that, pressed in tubes
And metered out through nozzles, bursts in flame,
Providing heat and energy in places miles from here.
No gas will flow to my house; it will only make its transit
Underneath my land, below this right of way.
I’ll take my fuel, instead, from these sad trees,
The broken birches, severed oaks and poplars
That had grown for twenty years. With axe in hand,
I walk in steel-toed boots across packed snow,
Taking my living from what industry has wasted,
Carrying next winter’s fuel to be laid by the woodshed,
A hundred feet or so from the right of way.


D.W. Brainerd lives in Howland, Maine. He reviews books for Small Press Review, and his collections of poetry include Under the Gold Sun and A Turn of the Wheel.
Pipeline
By D.W. Brainerd