A Magazine's Journey From Tree to Trash
By Sandra Adams   



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[Note to Editors: Decided to pursue freelance assignment as a series of haikus but only after much experimentation. Nixed traditional rhyming format after several failed attempts to find enough words that rhyme with "magazine." Came up with "bean," "gene," "mean," "lean" and "queen." But found them to be extremely limiting. Consider the first few lines of this early draft: "I am a lonely old magazine/With great tales waiting to be seen/You can learn how to plant a bean/Or discover the next new gene." Now do you see what I mean? Also abandoned personal journal format — became traumatized after trying to write about the experience of being pulped in first person. Haiku seemed to offer the perfect solution — no rhyming, no need for smooth transitions and no time to dwell on the trauma. Looking forward to your edits! Sandra Adams]

Sunshine warms my leaves,
My sap rises with the wind,
Deep roots probe the loam.

   Sharp steel bites my skin,
   Cutting away at my core,
   I fall to the ground.

The grinding blades scream,
Each branch is stripped to the bone,
I am broke and bare.

   Steel and solvents shred
   the cellulose I knit so

Betrayed by minerals,
My unique fibers are now
a commodity.

   The forklift mounts me
   on the press. I lie exposed,
   Ready for imprint.

Massive presses hum,
A team of reporters type.
I await their words.

   Jostling in truck beds,
   To newsstands in the city,
   I am transported.

People need insight,
compassion. I spread the word:
"Leopard prints are in."

   Days melt into weeks,
   My slick pages coat with dust,
   I yearn to be read.

The deadline has come,
My successor has arrived,
I am now old news.

   Torn from the top rack,
   My cover ripped off of me,
   I am tossed aside.

Rejected, dejected,
I await the rough hands of
the recycling man.

   Three linked arrows
   Symbolize my future state:
   Glossy no more, newsprint I.