Poetry Sample

Bull Pine in the Window 

from River by the Glass,

A Collection of Poems

by Monika Rose

Nothing dangerous will occur here inside

the kitchen, listening tightly for sudden snaps

in a passive pastoral


An open crown of a looming grey pine frames

wild cucumber and clumps of mule ear

that could pass for daisies

Split trunks brush blue-iced sky

like a loose broom on a winter window

clearing morning crystal


fingers borne in clusters of three

orchestrate wind with needle precision

and string the same sighs as an entire

stand of ponderosa, or a shadowy ravine

in an updraft of late afternoon


The Miwok call it ghost pine

non-Miwok call it the digger

defining backs of bent people

who gleaned its base and found

just enough sustenance.


This bull pine is generous in its offering:

resiny spiked cones shaped like pineapple

to roast scales open for sustaining seed,

sweet kernels like prizes nestled in pairs

at the base of each husky segment

first-year cones seal spicy inner cores

as sap droplets ooze and harden into rock candy.


This landscape leans into worry as

My need is the collection of parts:

bark, needle, cone—

a shadow hangs above me in balance

one hovering split-trunk limb haunts

every bone in my basket


The window will, for now, hold. 


4 thoughts on “Poetry Sample

  1. I love the feel of the forest in your poems, with some longing for my years in the cascade foothills. Thank you
    for including me on your mailing list. Alice Salerno

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