In Memory of Pines (8)
The reddish-gray bark was over these young trees. Someone said
they were official to the state, although their pride was not derived
from this. They were rough trees. Scaly trees. They would become more
themselves as they aged. They were, I felt, distributed primarily in the
lower two thirds of the soul.
Physically: the needles come in bundles. They may be distinguished as
the needles in bundles of three that are often nearly 12 inches long.
Yet they are not always so.
Their colors are green and yellow.
Yet they are not always so.
The cones are about seven inches. There is plenty of variation, as I
have seen this with my own eyes. And the tips of the needles are very
sharp. At early stages they are often mistaken for grass.
The tree was about 75 feet in height in proper growing
conditions. The tree was found on plenty of sites across the country.
Experience teaches us that people are not always necessary. And I have
found that people do best on well-drained sandy soils instead of
concrete, at least in some seasons.
In Memory of Pines (9)
Some of the pines were white. And these were the best for a
proper Christmas, they say.
Soft and long.
Green and white.
The needles were just extraordinary,
and they would keep their length in this variety (when available) for a
good length of time. But whence and whither? Choose your lot, they would
say. And cut yourself. It was cheaper, but the greater business was more
"Help out your fellow, for
whether you are making
a Christmas or a house,
these are trying times
everywhere they grow.
So they cultivated fields of them, requiring a great effort of the mind
to recall exactly what they were doing here
and to remember them as they were, what they symbolized
before mortification and glory.
Immortality wrapped up in mortality.
In Memory of Pines(10)
Not all boards are as dull as the church they make. Their worth
is determined by how they address us.
If we could really hear them speak,
they would be more salutary than
the worship of the neighbors inside.
Embark upon a new road into years of greater faith. Leave your
gravity at home, be born anew in the outskirts with a light heart. Let
us explain the present man as such and reveal a new one. The same wisdom
that disturbs and puzzles us has been born within every wise life. But
most people act altogether according to their upbringing.
With questions we shall learn things. Our fellow miracles should
never be ignored.
And treat the spring
of wisdom accordingly, and each establish a new morning with great
Why build so dull?
Why are the vibrant denied?
This era is silenced by noise.
In Memory of Pines (21)
Someone told me
that in the shadows
after a terrible hour
the halo of St. Francis
will be a resplendent causeway
over the life of our employments.
And then there would be dolphins and light,
as though you were in more exotic and sacramental places you
would see them. I hoped this glory would be more conspicuous than when I
saw the future. In that dream I was hoping this would be only late
winter and not a new epoch.
The world is sinking.
You can observe that even the tiniest alterations in the grass, in other
atmospheres, in the stratum itself could bring about
a funnel cloud.
Something old, something new.
Though constant, this is not commonly noticed but in the arch of
an excitable imagination. John and I wanted to see a promise in the
rainbow. A promise of exactly what was obscure.
I looked at the pines. I heard the noise. I knew what was going
They were not distinguished nor conscious in our way. They did
not seem, whether sunrise or sunset, to regard us at all.
In Memory of Pines (24)
The migratory self is a bird;
what is called me has been
a whip-poor-will, a sparrow, a tanager.
The earth is a garden, and perhaps we are the birds inside. Many think
such talk is mere seasoning, the mysterious utterance of monks. They
will assent and live disagreement. Their ideals are right, but they do
not cherish them; they have been crystallized into the image of a tree
that bears no fruit.
The door to this garden has lost none of its freshness; even the
rainiest atmosphere and the sunniest have a place within. But they
prefer progress to reverence or to ecstasy. They prefer greater and
greater intensities of safety, ruinous. They say there is no use for
wilderness, animals, plants, save to breathe or to bake or to build.
I was nearer in spirit to those who commonly frequented the
stream, not afraid to touch it with the gentle hands of imagination. My
friends among them would bring a tent scarlet with passion in the
summer, and it was house enough for their excursions. From where does
In Memory of Pines (26)
No reality ever followed our values. It will sooner mislead you.
If flowers and fragrance are such that you greet them with life, and joy
emits its sweet-scented principles, you become more elastic, more
immortal, more starry. No one under such a state need conform.
Though the gains were only bodily, yet perhaps no one can say that all
congratulation were to be regretted,
for there is a nature we share with others,
each in our own success,
each in our own failure.
If one looks to the constant stardust of her wishes, she sees
not what evening may befall her. Another nature will settle in around
her. But as we grow more faithful, a new morning will be tinted with
resolution, and we will have the faintest assurance that a healthy
harvest will at length prevail over empty facts and greed.
Life is consequences. On occasion, you must have the momentary
weakness to bless yourself. The greatest results of genius are the
farthest from being appreciated. We sometimes doubt or forget their very
being. The highest human has been, but is not yet. Perhaps the facts
most real are never communicated by customs or arguments. The truly
human is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the road of
insanity. Some cannot yet distinguish. I am certain they will learn it.
About the author:
Christopher Wells will be publishing more of this long piece in the July issue of the online poetry journal "Thunder Sandwich."
© 2011 Word Riot