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July 2013, vol 9, no 2

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Mary Frederick Ahearn

Dreaming Pines

"...the pine breeze rises, the cups are filled...",
~ Baisao, The Old Tea Seller

At a near-by mall, in a side parking lot, there is a small stand of white pines that were planted years ago. They screen a chain-linked fence surrounding electrical equipment. That seems to be their life's purpose, the only reason they are there in that asphalt garden. They grow tall and solitary in the company of Danger and High Voltage signs, left to it, untended, unnoticed.

shadows slip
through a scrim of pines
another moon

But the pines are beautiful; they stand under the blue sky, rain and snow skies, their needles shining, moving with the wind, green and strong.

Maybe they dream of Baisao, that old tea seller priest brewing tea under their branches, resting on their soft, fallen needles. Or of growing tall in some winter wood, the air clean and quiet as the Northern lights play. Would they like to be remembered in Kerouac's Dharma meditations somewhere in a North Carolina piney wood? Anywhere else, somewhere else.

But the small birds are grateful for their sheltering branches, as are we who walk by to touch their soft needles, whispering a greeting, receiving a blessing.

in the scent of pines
bird nests and plastic bags