Hands All Over

What border edge is far enough? What wall plenty high? Domesticate. Eradicate. The human race. Highways snake like veins, or a river, or a blade. We carry always with us the guilt of fear. Investment. Property. Economy. Paving the world. . . we’ve got our hands stretched over a dying fire.

The state of Washington terminated the remaining members of the OPT wolf pack in Ferry county, while we camped in Mt. Rainier Nat’l forest. Isn’t our search for freedom in the confines of these borders, under flags, sort of ironic? It’s a battle that has continued throughout human history, our battle with the wolves.

Modern Poetry

The modern Poet towers over me, standing on piles of words, handheld degrees, like a decree, held tightly against the chest. Why is it that modern poetry makes me feel so small every time I venture to read it?

Outside the window, moment after moment, the night sky flashes in a brilliance of lightshow. Bursting from the shadow of memory, thunder rumbles and rolls on and on into the dark. We all stop. Rehearsing the truth in my mind, I had nothing to say. The dog trembles in tremolo. In the shatterd nightsky, crackling eggs. We momentarily left our houses, built on convenience, and entered a bliss built by the ancients.


When robins hunt it’s only a guessing game, an approximation, or so it seems. They scatter about and peck and move. Though there does seem to be some guiding principle. Each one is a sentinel unto himself, and a sentinel for the group. When you watch the robins hunt you always find there to be more of them, hiding in the shadow or bushes, than you noticed at first glance. Stoic as they are, they also seem to be pretty clumsy; a worm slipping the grip of their beak, almost seems to have become expected for them, as they pass it off with a few more pecks of dew. Very cautious, they comb the corridor of grass and soon are out of sight, hunting just beyond view.    


Wood woven spirals, like snails climbing leaves. Green like the shell of young fruit or nut. What do you harbor, is it friend or is it foe? It seems to take the will of the tree, and shape it to its own advantage. The stem has been flattened, pulled, and worked into a spiral. Is this a sign of attack, or a symbol of love making? Inside the cracked shell, a husk, perhaps a fallen soldier defending his colony. How might something so tiny exert such strength? These adversaries of trees are seldom seen, except by way of birds hanging around during mealtime. Fallen leaves fall and helicopter to the ground. Splitting the green seashell in half, setting aphids, as well as the tree, free. Perhaps the tree is defending itself, trying to restore balance. But the chewed, splotchy leaves indicate that it only initiates the spiraling cycle all over again.

This is the work of the Poplar spiral gall aphid (’cause I don’t do Latin). Apparently it is specific to this species of tree, so the relationship is truly unique. Which made me wonder at the battle, or if there really is a battle at all, seeing as there is a relationship that only occurs between these two, perhaps the tree is also gaining in some way! I discovered this at work and did the best I could to observe and came up with the poem above. Of course I wanted more information and specifics. While looking at the “gall” as I was to find out, at first I thought that it was some kind of symbiosis as the stem is what forms the casing. But after glancing through the wiki article it seems that it is actually genetically modified, somehow, by the little larvae inside! Pretty crazy nature at work here.

Hidden Track

Of the two giant Douglas-firs that are on either side of the church I take my dog to on our evening walk, I have definitely become more a friend of one than the other, though both of their years are probably measured in centuries, one I walk by and have a chance to explore, while the other is usually just a silhouette in the fading evening light. The only way to measure their growth, as far as I can tell, is by judging the distance of a massive limb to the nearest star.

We’re here such a short time,
the cotton candy vendor yells,
enjoy it while you can!