Chalk Neighborhoods

Chalk is the story of neighborhoods.
The children point the way in the roads.
Histories hover over these sidewalks
where the mothers stood in the doors
while we buried our wars
at the end of the cul-de-sac,
the shrine of the pack.

Old land in your infamous summer.
You were paradise and continue to be
in your wrinkled oaks of the valley,
yellow stone hills thirsty.

On paper it rains ten inches a year,
desert magic washes boneyards in creek-beds.
I was a child on the roof, in the clouds,
small ears alert to industrial thunder
that would dare take the soul
with the earth.

Rosie’s Life Memoir – In Memoriam


My earliest memories are obscured in darkness, but this is what I do remember. I was being carried in a large paper bag by someone whose face I don’t recall. They took me to a place made of stone, a big building with lights and strange smells and someone put me in a little cage. I was cold and scared there and I cried for my mom, but she was nowhere to be found and couldn’t hear me. I had water and food and a place to relive myself, but where was my comfort? I was so small.

And then I saw her. She was so beautiful, enormous compared to me, a giant so much larger than me that she could hold me in one hand without effort and put my whole head in her mouth if she wanted to, but she didn’t try to eat me. Instead she picked me up and nuzzled me into her neck, and I loved her at once. I realized she was only a little one of their kind, even at her size. I decided I would make her mine. She made a weird sound come out of her mouth, a string of noises I would come to understand meant “unconditional love”.

young Rosie

After another strange happening where I was being carried by another big someone I don’t remember into a room with metal shiny things that poked me, I woke up with a shaved belly and a green “x” tattooed on me. Who knows what that was about?

And then SHE took me home, my little-big one I chose to love forever. She became my Real Mommy and she gave me a whole backyard to play and explore in and practice hunting bugs and rodents. One time I caught a dove in my mouth that was about twice my size and to this day I don’t get why the bigger ones of her kind her yelling like they were horrified because my Mommy thought it was awesome. I brought it to their door as a most sincere love offering of my talents.

It was a year into my young life when the unexpected happened. My heart was nearly broken when another little one of my own kind showed up at our house. The nerve! Was I forsaken? Suddenly unloved?! My mommy assured me I was still #1 in her heart but this little pipsqueak was invading MY territory. I was about to bite his little head off in revenge when I decided, no, I would spare his life because he is cute, and I can lick him and give him comfort. And I let him know who’s boss.

Simba and Rose playtumble

The years passed on and soon I was approaching my early middle age after a successful young adult career of hunting, fastidious grooming, patrolling my land, campaigning the big creatures for more and better food with my calculated vocalizations, olympic snoozing, and most importantly, snuggling my Mommy, who was always there for me and loved me every minute. But soon I came to realize that, although my big mommy loved me and would never leave me, her mommy was mean to her and yelled at her a lot and it scared me so my Mommy took me to live with her in many new places over the next half of my life until now. Besides, my mommy had reached adulthood of her own by this time. In truth, though this loss of my first precious territory and the little guy of my own kind was difficult for me at first, I soon adapted elegantly and put ever more of my security and love into Mommy as my mobile territory, you could say.

This was, however, all nomadic movement within one great landscape of similar weather, trees, smells and colors. I loved this place, it’s dry air and stony warms I could have my sits on outside of our houses. My favorite part of all was the grand, beautiful, snowy, pink light-spangled mountain range to the east and the delightfully sparkling blue-green river snaking down the valley from it, just out our backyard. Even though my kind are little creatures who frighten easily at too much travel in those big rumbly boxes that move really fast, we can still sense deeply in our hearts the presence of beautiful lands around us and nearby –we are territorial, after all. How do you think we stay so entertained when we are home alone all day? We go prowling for joy in our visions.



Alas, I am old now and a year ago the time came again to move, but now to leave this place I heard them name “California” with the mouth-sounds they make, and go with my mommy to the place called “Washington State” where it is rainy and dark and green but still so very beautiful, and in the summer it is sometimes not so different-looking from my homeland. I like these forests very much because I could hide and pounce in them easily if I were a younger dish. I stay indoors only now because I need an inhaler twice a day to breathe and I can’t hunt for noms outside now at my age, but my mommy loves me still, and she has a mate who I love very much, too. He’s good to me and he lets me sit on his head and he gives me loves, kisses and pick-ups like Mommy does. I hope I will live for a good few years more. I am old now, and I hope to spend the rest of my days in snuggly peace in Mommy’s arms, dreaming of my wild ancestors and the purr of the beautiful universe.


Originally written January 15th 2015
Rest in peace, little Rosie, first beloved kitty of mine. January 2003 – November 2015



Images © Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.

Guardian Kitty

Proof of how loving and tolerant is my cat, Rose (“Rosie”), whom I have had since I was twelve years old; recently I was having a dream where I had to run down a tunnel toward a bright light, and I had to do it quick. But I wasn’t leaving my kitty behind. She’s comin’ with! ‘Took me a minute to realize I was sitting up in bed, eyes wide open but still asleep, wiggling toward the light of the hallway like a comedy show with my completely relaxed cat flopped over my arm without protest (I would save her, too!), not struggling but metaphorically rolling her eyes because she knew it was a dream before even I did.

Then, a few nights ago I awoke at a dark hour from a sad dream. My Rosie was sleeping right beside me, but the moment I awoke and she heard me cry, she immediately got up and planted herself snuggled right into my shoulder in a ball, nuzzled her nose into my neck, put her paw on my heart and purred me back to sleep. Now that’s what I call a Guardian Angel Kitty.



Image © Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.

The World-Home Comforting Tent

Two nights ago, Grandma and I read together Ursula K. Le Guin’s, “Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight?” and last night we saw Life of Pi. I like both these stories!

Buffalo Gals was read to us in Anake, and I was so tired that week that I fell asleep in the middle of it. But what I did hear slipped into my dreams, and I wanted to go back and hear it again. The next day, Marcus said to not worry if we did not hear all of it, because maybe you weren’t ready to hear the whole thing.

Animal spirits are more clear to me now. I understand how completely alive animals are in their own right, whether wild or domestic. They feel love in their own way of being that isn’t dependent on our recognition of it.

Eco” means “house”, and to animals, their habitat is their bedroom of life and dreams. Now there is a similar comfort of being at home in these wild places as I feel in my bedroom sanctuary, or my camping tent. And I understand now the human-animal way of true belonging in the world, safety in storms, the world itself the one great comforting tent. I wonder if the people of the Tanakh felt their desert tents were a traveling world-home, at home wherever they go with the wild God of the Original World.



image sources: pixabay license

Five Ages

The first age was a small red berry

the bud of humanity and the red fruit

in the garden at dawn. Some great

unknown is about to escape

into the present tense, so clear

that only God can see it

all the way about a circumference,

chopped half in diameter,

rose of the birth and love and death

we risked, a world that is more than all others.


The second age was a tall grass,

with a sharp blade to cut heaven open,

demanding justice below, attention

from the sleeping oort clouds

on the edge of angelic vision.

Fertile, waving tan in the sun

we raise our crescent scythe

and the grains shoot through the veins

of every tree for generations.


The third age was a red leaf. Mother

told me a story before she lost her mind

about an Egyptian princess who was not from around here

and tried to get home to the blue isle of Patmos

with slippers from the white gold of the sun.

Their white star towers and scroll heaps

begging to be picked up and cradled again.


The fourth age was the near extirpation

of all the red gold, the blue isle.

Sleepy after so much upward fluidity

we gave up the longing, been a longtime

since last we loved You, last we lifted

Your meal to our mouths.

Don’t remember the red berry. I always wanted

to eat it but my mama said it was poison.

That was before she got sick. Afterward,

she didn’t care. There were to be five ages

like fingers on one hand, star tips when

we drew them up in the heavens,

and everyone of them whispers

up where they’re hanging.

Back to Magellan cloud and Hubble’s dreaming,

back to before so much red and the want of gold

and before the sharp curve of the grain.


The fifth age was and is and is yet to be,

an outstretched conifer filled with the light

from the top mast of its canopy,

the light is its ocean, and the wind is its waves,

and all its limbs are pointing upward and laughing.

I have been told by the one I love

who is like the sunrise in the forest:

This is why we have words and arms

and red and gold and blue isles

and star clouds and all the ages.

It is because, in the beginning,

it was all so clear, so mathematically perfect

that only god and God’s garden

could get it.




image source: creative commons CC0

My Half Sister is Found

Well, well. I just found my long-long half sister via the internet. She is a mother herself now. We have the same dad, different moms. We both don’t want a relationship with our dad because he’s not well in his mind, for as long as we have known of him. That’s why I was hesitant to find her before, because I didn’t know if she felt the same way. When my mom and dad were dating and I was born, my mom was not kind to my half sister, who was twelve years old at the time. I haven’t seen her since at least ten years, I think more. My mom wanted me to have nothing to do with my half sister because my mom has too much misplaced, crazy anger. But I am glad I have found my half sister now that we are both adults and free to meet each other again in our own new lives, far away from our three parents. But it’s still strange to think I have a sibling.

All Is Not Lost

Sifting through stuff, I found just now a note written by my grandfather, Robert. (His squiggly wizard handwriting is unmistakable.)


“The Golden Treasury of Poetry.

Laughing Song, with bumblebee.

Remember ‘The Blind Man and the Elephant’.

What is an elephant? [Insert unintelligible squiggles here].

–Thick skinned hoofed animal.

Elephant, rhinoceros, pig.

Check life on religion.”


End note.

Looks like he’s still leaving me bits of encouragement along the way.

“Along the way…”…! That reminds me…


“Whenever you want to brighten your day

Just help someone along their way.”


That was something he made up. 

Thanks, Grandpa.



Images © the family of Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.