Northwards, flying home
From a too-short, brown winter;
Dark mountains, give snow.
Haiku by Gentle J. Pine
The seasons turn, and we go with the eternal turning. It will not be fought, nor resisted, nor contested. No plea is accepted; into the mouth of the great gaping earth we everyone of us softly go. Autumn, the sign of the unstoppable wheel, alighting in fire the humor of our petty resistance to old age and death –to the very vitality awaiting within the acceptance of old age and death! Here is a holy time of contemplation for facing beautiful harsh reality, Elder of the midnight hour, the silver lines as mountain rock of an ancient’s cold hair. Grandma, guide me. Home of memory, place of my hearth and birth, call me homeward once more. The living World is as it is. Acceptance of this absolute reality without a constant yearning to always change it points the way toward loving reality as a fully dynamic place of living, natural magic in its own right; not as a fallen, temporary or resented state of being.
I am petulantly weary of the dull platitude, “change the world”. The World doesn’t need to be changed. The World is alive and doesn’t need us to save it. It is our human behavior and attitudes that need to change. “Obviously,” you say, but it is not so clearly obvious to those who unthinkingly project the dimness of humanity’s notorious myopia unto the holy life of the The World itself. For even we, small hominid creatures of momentary candlelight, are a flame’ breath in the wind of The World, dying and undying, all our passing cultures themselves being also an homage to the world-wheel we swivel upon.
A long time ago there was a man named John Burroughs, and this is what he said,
It is good that fire should burn, even if it consumes your house; it is good that force should crush, even if it crushes you; it is good that rain should fall, even if it destroys your crops and floods your land. Plagues and pestilences attest to the constancy of natural law. They set us to cleaning our streets and houses and to readjusting our relations to outward nature. Only in a live universe could disease and death prevail. Death is a phase of life, a redistributing of the type. Decay is another kind of growth.
Grandpa, give me joy in my days, in my work, in the labors of my life. Watch over me with pride, where you now live in the shining mountains of the world-without-end. Let my efforts be for good and beautiful endeavors, that I may make our people proud, our land a country of the rightful-hearted, softened by the gentle wisdom of elders and children, and toughened by the versant endurance of ages. May I always run to the roar of the night that is frightful, knowing that within what we fear is the fortitude we most desire. May my existence be a light and a blessing unto the beautiful Dark where I tread. Do not forget me, my ancestors! Sustain me, flame of origin! Remember we who yet way-find through our days in these human shapes, and keep us always in your affectionate embrace. So may it be.
Rufous autumn leaves, cold day,
lambent at sunset, grey skies.
Love, welcome. Winter fire logs
from the tarn. The colors of
my youngest cat; golden brush-brown,
streaked black is the good earth below me
and the colors of my eldest cat above:
fluffy white cloud belly, grey-blue, deep silver.
Sweet little purr-bears on my lap, my back;
leaves fall and flutter to the dampened ground.
The wind, the tidings-bearer, harbinger
of the whole wide-overhead come down to visit.
Ye creaking bones of time gone-by, coming up for
another dance, find life anew this second spring
where your progeny more lithely sing; enter, soul,
this body new and here-below
to vivify the heart of our Creator;
living, moving imminent in earth
the wheel, the firmament’s rebirth.
poetry by Gentle J. Pine
Elegant comparisons makes adding a sense of time to your skyscapes a snap.
Sloshing through puddles
blustery sky overhead–
I’m a troubadour
last time you came
to visit my house
it was snowing
where snow rarely falls
on my moss
Let me tell you about the quest for fulfillment.
I held out my hand under a dripping ice ball,
and a drop hit me in the wrist.
I moved my hand.
It got me right in the palm
like I wanted.
At the end of the wetland
we travel a trail through a patchwork
of Salmonberry, Indian Plum, Oregon Grape.
Mud of the Salix, willow, is all
that remains of the annual stream,
black and cool in the summer shadow
of cottonwoods, shimmer–heart leaves,
tracks of Raccoon.
The trail breaks
through the fence.
has smoke of the tree
where it comes from
on a summer afternoon
barefoot cool dirt,
river rock naming birds
gift of flight, good words,
sun sleep, sun skirt.
wander in the green.
well dirty, real clean.
Where were the records kept
in the days before writing
when we spoke aloud to each other
our dreams in the morning
at the breakfast fire
Building a weir
with a gabion handmade–
what is willow
in another tongue?
Black locust has thorns
to remind you
of the holding
With you I have walked
this trail before;
And you, I will miss you
most of all
when I go.