The canyon in low hills
Contains a house,
Mine among its neighbors—
One of these sawing
With powerful hired chain saws
And men his powerful trees.
The Australian trees, imported as babies to be lumber
Forests in the 1800’s,
Eucalyptus, grew up too hard
For commercial lumber (their soft hand saws then) and
Became beautiful aggressive specimens
Placed around such houses
In such gentle canyons. Sharp,
All day the metal monsters gargle and shout,
Amputating the too wide, too tall trees, for their health.
There, noise number one explained.
Noise number two is someone on the phone
In my house—
Little loud bursts and then a soft, complete paragraph—
And together two noises (saw and voice) it
Sounds like a singer without a mike
Backed by drums and saxophones
And on that stage a truck-sized wood chopper
Being fed wood
For an experiment in the philharmonic hall,
Grinding against the beat of the sax—
Thus the song may only hint at a story.
The canyon is shaped like a funnel and an open can
Soldered end to end,
A chamber both narrow and wide
So peoples’ voices are borne far in all homes
In no wind as if there was wind inside the house—
Like a feeling shredded to sawdust
May dip and swirl across halls and alcoves and two rooms.