The Old Logging Road


This poem appears in the Fall 2019 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.


I lived all alone on the outskirts of town,
A field-hand in a small field-hand’s hut.
Odd as a barn owl, wistful as a wheatfield,
I showed up for work and kept my mouth shut.

But trouble still found me the way that it does,
Walking home one night from the Dixieland Bar.
It rose from the darkness of the back road around me
Like the last long note of a lap steel guitar.

They missed me at work in a week or so.
They got no answer when they knocked at my door.
I got three column inches in the local weekly
And a MISSING flyer on the post office floor.

Now a flicker of thrushes sings my thoughts for me.
My fingerbones scatter like stones in a creek bed.
Wildflowers poke through the slats of my ribs,
And honeysuckle crowns what once was my head.

So hiker and hunter and lover, pass by.
The searches all failed. I’m alone once again.
Go whistling by freely but stay away from
The old logging road when the night closes in.


Subscribe to Modern Age

Founded in 1957 by the great Russell Kirk, Modern Age is the forum for stimulating debate and discussion of the most important ideas of concern to conservatives of all stripes. It plays a vital role in these contentious, confusing times by applying timeless principles to the specific conditions and crises of our age—to what Kirk, in the inaugural issue, called “the great moral and social and political and economic and literary questions of the hour.”

Get the Collegiate Experience You Hunger For

Your time at college is too important to get a shallow education in which viewpoints are shut out and rigorous discussion is shut down.

Explore intellectual conservatism
Join a vibrant community of students and scholars
Defend your principles

Join the ISI community. Membership is free.

You might also like