top of page

Pine Light in The Dark Cones

The pieces of art accompanying this writing are a landscape-style mural that flows into one piece. They are titled "Rose Breasted Derecho: The Left Wing" (at top) and "Rose Breasted Derecho: The Right Wing" (at bottom)

“This will be confusing, and it will make sense too,”

- What I heard right before I was born.

Even though the trees are filled with antibiotics (it can be measured) they are also made of heart. Even though hate is the new black, air still does its part of the great in-breathing and out-breathing within each acorn. (You will not stop it.) Even though the pale green fish swirl in a sluggish pool on the edge of the ocean where mermaids gasp to fill their imaginary lungs - even so and even though, around the struggles still (still) a bigger picture holds it all like a nest or loving palms around the shocked hummingbird. (See Kathy’s hands slowly coming in for a landing, slowly, safely embracing the feathered miracle on her kitchen floor. See Kathy gently carrying the bird out the door and into the light. See? Kathy’s hands, a morning rose opening, the hummingbird beginning to turn its head, to stretch its minuscule legs that can’t walk, flying up into the sunlight. Don’t you know that this is how to be with your breath? Don’t you know that this is a road to being free? (That last line is on a post-it note somewhere by someone’s back door.)) Even as yesterday’s Derecho‘s wind-snapped maples start to settle in the gully, the sweet creek water washes them, grain-by-grain to their next appointment, another moment in the great cycle of being born and dying, which grandma and grandpa told me is not real before they said goodbye and somehow they did not leave, and even though it appears that we are separate and we will have to navigate sharing the earth (which we share already) there is always a possibility that we might realize that we own nothing. Even just then, when I’d lost my way, I heard a rose-hearted grosbeak say, “there is something that is always okay…” He was right, and I left the kitchen by myself that time, but we still had to take the trash out. Still, the part that’s forgotten the whole does not know, and by lunchtime, he cannot find his feet, but his shoes are ready at the door and somehow he finally gets his body to the them, rubbing his eyes and saying, “I just had the strangest dream” (Can you send him a letter or stop by unannounced with soup?) The trigger point, unremitting in a lump of achy muscle, constricts and robs itself of the full gift of blood, and wastes build up like trash not collected, and fresh flow gets bottle-necked, and king(little)pin putin orders his soldiers to pinch off supply lines in and out of the city, and a confused thumb recklessly believes it does not need fingers, and a knee on the neck wrecks the miraculous orchestra of breath, and who-I-think-I-am becomes a closed box where I sometimes go to arrange a few photos (just as I think I please) and lie down in the dark to suck at the stale air that tastes like cardboard and say it is a house while an open meadow is waiting, its clothes and a towel hung over a low branch, (laughter beyond the trees) its hair untied and covered with flowers, a note on the picnic blanket - “come on in, the water is land” and the lodge pole pine and his friends have cones fully-sealed by resin, a wax stamp on the letter of next generation - it takes the heat of fire to melt that coating before the seed can grow, and after the hurricanes have taken down the trees, a superbloom of white and purple stars erupts in what used to be the forest and Ted Hughes says “This is the dark intestine” says he - he says “The dark intestine” (in the poem called Theology) “No,” he says, “the serpent did not Seduce Eve to the apple. All that's simply Corruption of the facts. Adam ate the apple. Eve ate Adam. The serpent ate Eve. This is the dark intestine. The serpent, meanwhile, Sleeps his meal off in Paradise - Smiling to hear God's querulous calling.” Pinocchio, in a rare moment, actually sees his reflection in the mirror, and he knows he is not a wooden boy, just like you charging towards your heart who just got off the airplane, like the birth-scream of pine light in the dark cones. Even so, the news can swing its sad hammer, but let’s recognize that you allowed that guy out into your lane when the traffic was at its worst on Sunday, and you shared your ice cream cone with the moon, and there are already miracles everywhere (flip to the back page and check it out) so maybe life IS a gift of love so big we can rarely take it (Is this a Hallmark condolence or an invitation?) so we pretend we are not home, hide behind the curtains peeping through the blinds, we get down in the cardboard house-ish and gasp and wiggle our salty tails that ache for water, fight for our end of the blanket when the warm sun can’t quit and a distant singer lilts about the thirst of the fish in the water, “Just like potato bugs,” I say toTed, “Busy in the dark,” I say, “that black mulch pile is their whole universe,” I say, “Just lift that rotted chunk of maple over there and see for yourself.” To play God’s advocate (aka Rumi’s reed flute) let’s say you are correct, Ted, and this is the dark intestine. Well, Tedward, let’s say it, but isn’t there a saying about passing and shall and everything? And Theodore, isn’t it so that even in the soft wet muck of an oyster’s cave (where the sun has not yet risen) - isn’t there at least the chance of a pearl, even without apparent waking, and didn’t the same design that included the position of the North Star and how a kidney functions have a blue print with a scribbled note in one corner (beside the crescent moon of a coffee mug stain) saying “In the dark, the light already IS?” saying “I was lost (in a stranger’s kitchen) and now I am found me (not a typo, check it out) and now I see that the dark intestine was paved with glowing bricks so ordinary I could not see them - like a lego beneath a foot about to land, and if there is a most important thing that I have forgotten, is it not the rising star of myself, the one that is not self-important or dejected, but simply rises from the help of warm, safe, open hands?” ~ David Pratt

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page