Summer is winding down. It’s still warm, but not uncontrollably hot. In fact, we had a couple of rainy days a week or so ago. Ah, the lovely sound of rain at night!
Work continues, but not at the record pace they set this summer. The paper machine is running “only” at 90% and that is expected to last at least through the end of the year, due to the still sluggish economy. There will be a 6 week outage in November and December, when they shut-down to repair the boiler (long overdue and very expensive, but necessary.) Obviously the mill cannot run without steam, so most of the employees will be laid-off for 3 or more weeks of the outage. They will be some work for senior operators, but I don’t fall into that category. So, from the early part of Nov. (unless they have extra work for a week or so, as some rumors indicate), I will be off until at least mid- to late Dec.
During the time from now until the outage, we are running almost nothing but export rolls, and quickly running out of places to store them at our site. They are not due and cannot be shipped until the outage occurs (when the senior operators will load them into trucks.). There could be a lot of overtime between now and then, moving rolls to external storage sites. Oh, doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun? NOT!
This poem is a rather dark one from 1997 - a poem accepted by Hunger Magazine in 1999. Another of those small press magazines that need your support. i do not recall if it was ever actually published or not.
DROWNING VICTIM BELOW VIDA, OREGON
ruddy river. flood stage. kingfisher & i above the turbines at Leaburg Dam
watch the faceless body move slowly, less than elegantly,
between the logs & tree stumps.
his blue Chevrolet eventually
to be breeding grounds at the bottom
of Bear Creek, if the Army Corps of Engineers
leave it lodged in Salmon Hole.
County Sheriff rescue boat
4 miles up river, still negotiating the debrie
of the bridge washed out in last years floods.
kingfisher assures me the body will wait
in the backwash of the boomlogs. mostly
we just watch the river changing colors.