Chris Mulder

Chopping Wood


Without this work we

Will freeze through winter

Our warmth hides

In these logs asunder

Cords of muscles shout

In discord with the wood

Each piece falls

To a different note

A symphonic cacophony

Seeking sleep in the cedar

The blade sinks through the grain

Breaking it free

I deny its rest

There’s more wood to chop

Stepping back

Piles of pine at my feet

Lines of lumber loaded

Longing for a light

To sacrifice itself as

We watch it burn

My back burns

Long before the wood does

What satisfaction

Is the air in my lungs

And a job well done


A Sonnet for the Future


Since 1985 it’s been foretold

that you would be an old man. You always

had potential to be a lawyer or

physical trainer, but I think these days


of you more as a plumber or mailman.

I hope you always say mailman, never

mailperson. Political correctness

seems out of character for you. Ever


will you hate the sound of loud rap music.

“Turn that down!” you’ll yell, then you’ll reminisce

of grand old days then Pepsi was thrown back

to before even your time, old man. This


unfortunate young man waits to meet you

in the future, old and mean, through and through.



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