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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Harvest in the South Park Blocks

By: Kerstin Schulz

The trees are wrapped in caution tape

precursors to a crime, a paper rape

nestled in the fine print.

Talcum powder, a minefield marker

last used in Afghanistan,

runs up the center of a tree

like the ghost of future blasts,

outlines the width of

a prospective bike path.

Invisible villains

adept at doublespeak

call the city green,

pro art, pro child, pro park

but plan to swipe the space

where field trip buses park.

Twice robbed museums,

concert halls and market stalls

face the fall of centenary trees

wiped out with a percussive pen.

The canopy is cancelled.

Now under our new desert sun,

mortar heat pounds concrete,

a rider’s right of way

that girdles the city,

strangles the cambium layer

of tree and town,

offers a place for tent and cardboard

inner-city that sidewalks have outgrown.


Kerstin Schulz has been writing poetry off and on for 50 years. She began submitting her work for publication in 2020. Kerstin's poems appear or are forthcoming in Montana Mouthful and the Sonnets for Shakespeare Anthology. Kerstin lives in Portland, Oregon.

"I wrote 'Harvest in the South Park Blocks' in response to the City of Portland South Park Blocks proposed Master Plan . A photo of tagged trees that would be impacted by the Plan was an eye-opener and I felt impelled to write this piece. To cut down 100-plus year old healthy trees breaks my heart."


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