Tag Archives: Pine Cone Diaries
There is a sickness in the air
Tree tops are passing the news
To the stones and the soil
To prepare the paths
Through the forest
And into the valleys
To the villages of compassion;
To be cured .
Above darkening gray clouds
The dim glowing sun
Caught my eye.
I started to hum,
“Everything’s gonna’ be alright.”
As dusk, settled on my chair.
I silenced it with a sigh.
From ground to empty stoneware pottery,
my soul poured out my life
into my morning’s coffee cup;
existence to non-existence.
Oh, then to remembrance;
of knowledge, when I first held out my hand
—holding, the first summer’s rose.
I emptied my cup
holding empty stoneware pottery
waiting in anticipation for tomorrow’s coffee..
fall vapor catches and thaws the last standing rose;
on dew turning into a frost greeting –
caught in my last breath of summer,
i linger in between that space
understanding the rose —seen
slipping gracefully into winter.
oh, how could i have embraced you?
knowing, i must let you go!
with that said, i sigh a good-bye
with ego and pride;
windy hair and your bright blue eyes.
Romeo, Juliet, and those perfect Bob Dylan lines
that created a pause in time to hear the tide
of changing times.
now, i also must go. but, instead of leading
—i must follow the petals fall.
a peeling self in love,
always blossoms anew in the soul
that never touches the ground
Happy Birthday Abe, Dylan and the rest of you : )
I smell the sweet wind over the dunes
in a warm Maine summer morn.
Papa said it’s fine to dive into the Sea
between breaking waves and sky.
I took his advice.
I surface out of breath, with a smile.
Dusk faded into flickering flashing lights.
Chocolate milk and sparkling stars
captured in growing eyes.
Mama said, “Let them go,
There is no room in the car.”
We left them on the shore of the Sea
closing our eyes
as they were saved in memory;
with sparks of lightening in echoes of light.
It was time to go home.
But, she added “not until dawn”.
Oh, shadow upon me as a steel gate
Keeps a fountain frozen; longing for spring.
In darkness, with the light’s promise, I wait
for the rising sun on new mornings’ wings.
Seeds beneath ice reject deaths history;
In a mind’s aging place of well-tilled soil.
Hands cold and crossed, holding joy’s poverty
In prayer, for passing summer’s last spoils.
Each day in lengthy dour to silver night,
A child, my youth, an ember in my heart
Awakens in warmth beyond blackened light;
I await creation’s surprising spark;
I welcome the ‘morrow’s guest to arrive,
With gate left unlocked, for my solstice child.
The wind sends messages through pine wood doors, around skyscrapers and street lights. Through the matrix of the suburbs, over the mountains, across the pastures, sown fields, and vineyards; repeating her message to the sea.
I heard one night as the wind passed through, that the moon is made of cheese. I smiled and snickered when suddenly my hat blew off my head, hearing very distinctly “oh pull-eeez”.
Winds play limbs at night
Moon dances in their shadows
Winter snow smiles
Under slow shrinking shadows of a receding August sun, squatting near a dribbling tidal pool, four children stare attentively to a small snail; as it furrows and squiggles through the sand, racing to meet the outgoing tide. They were sent there to “think”. To work out the “argument” they had among themselves.
They were told to go to the cove; “to seriously think about what each other had said and what they shouted to each other”.
All four, ignoring each other, watched quietly as the small snail furrowed and scrunched up little piles of sand behind it. The trail squiggled slightly left, then slightly right. It was heading towards the trickling edge of an out-going tidal stream.
Like corrected mistakes,
Never straight with their curves and bends;
Listening to instinct, racing the tide, the snail
Made steady headway towards the sea.
The children glanced up occasionally to see what the other was doing. They could see the tide ebbing away in a methodical hush. The sun sinking, shed its soft orange and crimson color glistening on the expanded beach sand.
No one was talkin’. All of them, were still trying to remember what the stupid argument was all about anyway? It wasn’t a fight! Hey! None of us cried! We didn’t tell anybody to shut up! That’s for sure. we just had… an aah, aah, a disagreement!…as their minds ping-ponged in thoughts and rattled on.
With purpose, the snail inched on
Ignoring the circling birds and their potential grip
For an eventual fatal drop to the flats;
Between shallow tidal pools
And, dry jagged rocks.
It was getting cooler. They hardly took their eyes off the steady movement of the snail. Except of course, to sneak a peek; checking on each other. They began inching themselves closer together to keep warm and hoping the others “weren’t still mad at them” for whatever they said, or for whatever they got wrong.
Never dawdling, clinging to its direction
Pushing the sand aside, racing to catch the tide,
The snail forged on.
Tide water was slipping into drying sand with each forward push and receding splash. The children, realizing it was getting late, were looking up at each other more frequently. They could smell supper on the camp grill. They were ready to go back.
Approaching the last rolling ripple of retreating tide
The snail stopped, as if out of breath.
But, only for the moment.
Suddenly, the ocean swelled and peaked into a fast rushing froth, it grabbed and pulled the snail. It slid, tumbled, snapped up in surf and foam, flipped, and swallowed into the bubbling, boiling sea.
All four children, now on their feet watching, caught sight of the snail scooped up in retreating swirling sand and glittering pebbles of a retreating wave. “There!” The children shouted to each other, pointing to a distant crescent wave pulling away from the shore, “There” on the surface, sitting tall, proud and smiling, was the snail. He looked back at them, waved and shouted an exhausted but jubilant, “Tally Ho!”
They simultaneously faced each other, eye to eye. “Huh?” Then, pumping their fists, all exclaimed, “It made it! YES!” Then grabbed each other’s hands with a burst of laughter; apologies were unanimously accepted. They skipped and dragged their feet making their own squiggly trail, left then right along the warm drying beach.
Supper on the grill, chocolate milk, and stories of a “swooshed up snail they ‘FOREVER’ followed,” were animated in the evenings’ bright open fire light of flaming marshmallows, burning, blown out, and squished on chocolate squares between graham crackers and pushed into sticky lips with anticipated delight.
I heard it all slide into the clapping sound of incoming waves announcing the tides transition from low to high. It was bedtime, clean up, and evening prayer. Kissing me on the cheek and with a blessing, they all took their day in stride, sharing in the applause of the snail’s completed race and an encore for the ever-changing tide.
Listening to the tide, as we watched the children disappear into the tent, I on one knee poke the dying fire. Good thoughts were sent to the children; forgetting their disagreement without anger, melancholy, or disappointment. And, a mindful poke from Katie’s marshmallow stick, smiling at each other, as she spread the dimming embers, for a happy jubilant snail.
Draft 12: Pine Cone Diary… Hermit Island, Me.
Note: clapper rings a bell while clangor is a continuous loud banging or ringing sound.
“Searching for the truth
through words and speech
is like sticking your head
in a bowl of glue.”
I left my house this morning in anger and confusion; about a life that has become greater in my mind than who I am.
Looming in illusions, I am unable to crack the barrier between the mirror of interior love and that of external desire.
I took a foggy path on wet dew grass, pushing dripping ferns on a dreary cloudy day, leading me into the dark forest green. Entering, I brushed aside pine branches, crushing small pinecones as I passed on a carpet of fallen pine needles. Unknowingly, I arrived in a small misty clearing.
I sat on a large old timbered oak stump. I put my head in my hands, placing my elbows on my knees, my mind and senses still frantic and frenzied in complete clamor, when in a moment of silence, I heard a distinct thud. Then I heard, a very pronounced, with authority, a very loud but distant thump!
I quickly looked north, south, east, and west. I found nothing but myself, placing my head back in my hands I spied a small clay bell rolling, settling between my feet. With one foot, I pushed it aside thoughtlessly, across the flat ground into a divot of soil.
As quickly as I had pushed it aside, it rolled back at my feet with a very pronounced upright thump. “Good morning, kind sir.” I heard in a hollow tone. Startled, I again looked around to see who was approaching me. There was no one to be found and now I was questioning if there was even a sound. “Excuse me, good sir!” I heard again. Was I losing my mind, hearing voices I could not see? “Ahem, gracious sir, I am, at your feet!”
I looked down to see a small white and bluish gray clay bell speak. I said a small prayer and blessed myself. I said good-bye to the mind I had, and hoped somewhere along the line, in time, this conscious brain and I would somehow meet again.
Mind gone blank, losing all common sense and scattering my gloomy personal burden, I spoke without thinking. “And a good morning to you too, and may I ask, what in heaven’s name are you doing here by yourself? In nowhere!” She answered, “I have lost my clangor and without a sound, I have been disregarded. Now, I wait in silence for a sound, waiting to be found.
I heard you coming, but, my first impression was disappointment. You are so much taller and bigger than I am. And you walk like a banger and a bonger and I am much too fragile for that tone asunder!”
Suddenly my heart sank— swallowing my mind; I shrank to the size of nothing —when mystically we seemed to both hear a tone. I picked up the clay bell and walked back down the path I came. The sun began to shine and my path opened wide.
Ever since that morning, I seemed to have escaped the illusions of being bigger, or taller, or even smaller than I am. Smiling I walk without clangor and without confusion or anger; as my white and bluish gray clay bell sits on my dresser, dusted and ringing a silent tone together.
(Without the hearts sound of clamor,
humbled and silenced,
I have learned to quiet my mind
and to speak with a voice
in the tone —of my own bell).
[1st. Draft Dec,2017 rev: Sept,2018 ]
When we are young,
We can tolerate physical pain,
emotional blizzards and blinding rain.
We seek recognition, fortune, and elusive fame.
We chase glittering stars on summer nights
and keep sentry for sunrise to celebrate dawn with life.
We even can cry without forcing a fight.
We can talk, discuss, and compromise.
We recognize beauty in a surprise.
We are able to light a candle when the fire dies.
When we are young,
we can laugh at ourselves. We believe in pennies
flipped fluttering to the bottom of wishing wells.
We become Peter Pan and Wendy
ignoring pouting Tinkerbelle.
We watch directions flow through heart than through mind.
We travel distances immeasurably fast;
roadways, highways, and paths. We float
above chipped concrete, soft tar, and beaches
with ankle-deep sand.
Even paths that are crook and twisted
in shallow water or on solid land.
We are each other’s map.
We frolic in spaces where time never exists;
along with places, where sadness, is just a visit.
When we are young,
eventually those days, I suppose, age eclipses.
When we are old,
we sit with aches and pain. Confused and misunderstanding, we complain.
Our clothes begin to slip or do not fit.
Along with our acceptance of expected fortune
and absence of fame.
We wear sweaters and warm cotton hats on cool summer nights
watching the sunset fade into rising moonlight.
(Having bitten Eve’s apple, once forbidden
We become stubborn —guilt ridden with indigestion
and slow in healing. We sleep uneasily on thin frayed
but forgiving linen. We forget ourselves in mixed memories,
forgetting our birthday in evaporating wishing wells).
The sound of muted Tocks
Tick off the clock, like muffled thunder
under the hoofs of approaching mercenaries;
Angels from heaven and perhaps one or two
from hell’s monastery.
We shed a small tear, becoming a prism, a glitter
in the sliver of a waning moon. We let it fall with joy
on another evenings shadow,
cast upon a weathered sundial, praying for the ‘morrow;
when we are old.
(It all subsides from youth to age.
From steel to rust, from rock to gravel.
From coal to diamond and back to dust.)
I sat outside by the fire, occasional adding a log or two,
keeping it ready for s’mores; for Crosby and Garner-Jane’s crew.
I listened to the chatter along with laughter, coming from the porch and throughout the house,
listening as it mingled with the campfire smoke floating to the sky.
I could hear celebration of her future announced in love,
As Loud As Bright Could Be.