Conversations of Mountains and Angels

My friend J: Last night I dreamt of angels at play in the high mountain forests of the Sierra Nevadas, as you and I had spoke of them while we walked there in the groves of light. Now, I can’t think of angels as separate from birds. And the conversations between them and us are sustaining the whole world. May light pour into all of you, always.




A Tree of Comfrey and Pterodactyls

Last night I dreamt I encountered a giant tree of comfrey. I thought to myself, “Maybe that’s what I need.” It grew taller than a vine maple. I approached it, and found beside it a long limb reaching out of the forest wall which it was planted near; at the end of this limb was a huge nest. I crawled up the limb and looked inside: it was a pterodactyl nest. The eggs were the size of lamps.



image source: public domain

The Vacation of Birds


A door opens to bells: eyes turn
toward the sound to see
the awaited face emerging,
at once the act of revelation,
of birthing and becoming.

The Word became incarnate,
but what became the Word?
The Word is like the body
in this way: what is within us
is beyond description,
spirit yearning after form.
All life longs for the Word
through whom the sound
of The World is heard.

When angels come to earth,
they take the form
of birds.



Image source:, Public Domain

Cascadian Journey: In the Beginning

Last night I hauled out around the fire pit, and snoozed upon the sweet hard earth. No cushion– that’s how I needed it. (“He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag…” goes the old Tanakh tales…) No body beside me other than the slugs and bugs, who did not frighten me. No light but the stars, my dinky little fire, my soul and it’s Maker. No music but the song I sang to the Beautiful One, “Come down, O love divine/ seek thou this soul of mine, and visit it with thine own ardor glowing…” And I made my way into the darkness around me, eyes opening wide into the night.

Over the past few years I have been mysteriously reminded by people unconnected to each other that it is possible to see in the dark. I have been shown this with love. You open your eyes so wide that the tangible darkness gets into them like a thickness, but it makes you see. Your skin, more attuned, becomes electric. Your center repositions, your skin-hairs alert, and you see how the animals see.

And you understand then that you can do what you thought you couldn’t, that you have reserves of strength in places you never considered. That is Grace: we don’t create it, just open to it already there in the world. You see that there is light in unlikely places, that you are never left without a way through the thicket. Not a songbird is lost.

In the words of the one hundred and thirty ninth’s psalm, “Even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”



Image © Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.

Dragon Flood

I dream I am swimming in a green river who snakes through a sunny village. Many others are in and by this river, and we are rescuing the souls of drowned children. We hear a terrible rumbling in the hills. The dam has broken and a dragon flood is roaring toward us with obliterating force. Immediately the current quickens and I grab onto a fence in the water and pull myself out. When the wings on my back and arms I could shake out in a dry moment to escape the speeding waves, I fly to a giant oak tree on the near hillside for refuge. I wrap my shaking arms and legs around the solid tree limbs as others are claimed by the waters, unable to reach them, including two of my friends. When the flood stops I fly down to the houses damaged by the swollen river, looking for whoever remains.

In another dream on this night I am being tossed downward a river, enormous and deep. Other people are there with me, and we find a net to ride in, like fish. Then we find paddles, and a canoe. I show them how to paddle against, and with, the white water.



image source: public domain

Circle Two

Dry leaves have accumulated

in our circular driveway,

caught in a pent-up whirlwind

which cannot escape. ‘Round

and around they are pulled

in succession, convoluted

blades scraping asphalt,

one after another

in consecutive milliseconds

outside my window, dead foliage,

once living, now carnage,

leaf berating stone without relief.


O hear, it sounds like rain, a haunting

pitter-patter promising insistence,

and there it goes again, but it isn’t.

No water for the thirsty earth.

Parched, we are without abatement.

It is an illusion, a mirage to

desperate dry ears wanting

to make the hurricane of fire

give refreshment

and break.



image source: public domain

Candle Battle in the Haunted Mountain Teahouse

I dreamt of a Japanese-style teahouse built of wood and stone jutting out from the side of a darkly enchanted mountain. A harmless old woman lived there, the Keeper of the Keys. I and two friends were greeted by her in the tea parlor where we were served fresh-brewed strengthening potions in ceremonial cups, to carry out a mission she needed us for. She clothed us in vivid turquoise for spiritual protection. “The ghouls of this mountain have grown unexpectedly restless,” she says. “I need you to help me clean house.”

Deep into the side of the mountain tunneled the caverns behind her teahouse home. Burrowed chambers of abandoned vaults gave way to spider’s webs and the remains of small, dead beings. We came to an empty well that was a hundred feet deep, and twenty feet wide. In the middle was a hanging rope –for swinging across to the other side?

Suddenly, there appeared a monstrous humanoid skeleton thirty feet tall, swinging on the rope over the well, slashing at us with its claws. It was a terrible sight with it’s big, hollow sockets for eyes and its sinister grin.

I drew out my candlestick from my sheath, the one I have dreamt of before. In these dreams I carry it with me when we need light. The monster swings at me, but my wax candle, as if it were diamond, meets his furor with solidity and he falters. Quickly, my friends lay down a plank of wood across the well and I run out to where the menace dangles, momentarily bewildered on his rope, and I cut him down. He falls back down the hole to be seen and heard no more.

Returning to the parlor, all the little dead beings whose bodies were trapped in the tunnels become alive again, and give a cheer for us. The old woman robes us in rainbow-quilted cloaks of rejoicing designs detailing our particular powers gifted to us on our quests. The balance was restored to the mountainside and the Keeper’s tea tasted better than it ever had before.



image source: public domain

Get Going


To that beleaguering whine of ingratitude I hear

emanating from mine own ear,

an echo in the place between my crown and spine

what says, “I cannot go”: to you I say, resign.

I bought the ticket, I will go,

hauling out my introverted self in tow.

Jesus, really,

I am thankful to the ones who love me

such that with delight

myself they to the party

do invite.

And so I shall arrive in peace of mind

and in a hearty disposition, singin’ praise

of fellowship and these lucky days

enfolding me in graces

which were before, to me, unknown

when blessings I’d not counted,

nor smiling faces,

and in such made myself alone.




Photo by Unsplash. Public Domain.

The Logician’s Prayer

This little ditty was written for three magical, enlivening, frankly beautiful and soulful philosophy classes I was privileged to be a young student in. Every day I absolutely loved coming to these classes, because they were instructed by Professor Bill Graves at City College of San Francisco in the months around the date on which this post is noted as published, the date when I wrote this. I wish I saved all my notes from these classes. I often remember Mr Graves warmly and I wish I could see him and talk with him again. His bright mind, compassionate disposition, elderly life perspective and hilarious life stories spanning many decades, and soulful reverence of the interior life of the human heart all resonated with me, as if he was one of “my kind” of humans. He even had a curious bit of gentlemanly charm, shall I lightheartedly call it, for an old bloke. Maybe that’s how they formed the philosophical men of his generation. He was a dear mentor to me, one of many I have already been blessed to be guided by. Many good hours were spent talking together in his sunny cubicle about the meaning of life and the world, me crawling my amateur way through symbolic logic while he patiently smiled me along; it began my appreciation for mathematics I’d never known in my schooling heretofore. Mr Graves was one of those people you look back on and know they had a special influence on your intellectual and spiritual life. They don’t make real professors like Bill Graves anymore.

–Gentle J. Pine 7.31.2017


The Logician’s Prayer


To whom it may concern

may I not in perturbation burn

may I wisely use my reason

to return to the occasion

concluding in my weary mind

which by logic I am led to:

That first movement at the cosmos’ start

evident among us and in the heart

of all existence;

There undoubtedly exists a Something

even if a little bit;

Therefore, ex nihilo, nihil fit.





image source: Creative Commons CC0

Reporting Live from Earth


Reporting live from Earth:
people were nice to each other today.
A tattooed guy helped an old lady across the street,
and she smiled.
A soldier adopted a kitten who purred
when the man nuzzled and kissed it.
Kids played in Mexico City, lovers had sex,
and a woman in Africa gathered plants in peace.
An Iraqi girl strolled the streets of Baghdad,
feeling beautiful, and an Indian man
had a really good sandwich.
A North Korean told a joke,
her friends bent laughing,
while a Westerner sat quiet in the woods,
buying nothing.
A scientist got caught in wonder,
forgetting the formula, and missed his wife.
A politician cried.
It was while the old trees stood without worry
that salmon spawned in cool waters,
and a large feline stretched out under the milky way
on one side of the world,
and on the other side it was day,
and pink flowers bloomed in the deserts,
and a reptile slowly closed its eyes
in the sun.



photo: Public Domain