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.
The ‘Diggers’ always look like drunken lace to me,ready to tip over with their sparse grey needles. XXXOOJ I love this poem!
I like the mule ears trying to be daisies.
Right. They try. And get a bad rap. Unsung plants. Like the soaproot plant. Such a delicate and brief blossom!
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