Into the Dark of the World

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.

A Harbinger in Autumn


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

The Holding of Water: Poetry Fragments



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.

Lapsong suchong

honey tea

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.

familiar                  greetings

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

                  of water.

With you I have walked

                  this trail before;

geomorphology, sinuosity,


And you,                  I will miss you

                  most of all

when I go.





image source: Creative Commons CC0