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February 27, 2012
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Simon balanced the pinecone upright in the dusty earth, creating a small divot for the object to rest in before backing away gingerly and admiring his handywork. A few seconds passed in which the pinecone sat obediently, looking mighty among it’s companions scattered beneath the tree. He probably thought he had been chosen, blessed by the gods to stand tall above his fallen tribe. He didn’t expect it when Simon’s shoe came thundering through the air, bashing the side of his oval body and crunching a layer of protective scales as he was sent flying through the sweet, sappy air of the Sierras.

Airborne, as it hit a cluster of trees, the explosion happened just after 10 a.m. Shrapnel flying everywhere, the blast rattled and sent smoke into the sky. Type 76, IED, no one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast outside. “It’s a disruption, it’s a danger, it’s a scare tactic that we find absolutely unacceptable. We will follow the leads and certainly attempt to locate and convict the perpetrators”. Hearing crashes, hearing explosions, hearing people crying for help. The bomb went over an embankment, and came to rest in a creek bed, airborne as it hit a cluster of trees.


Pines, in fact
So hunkered
Into this age old ground
Like towering fossilized
Hair follicles
From the scalp of Mother Earth

Brown bark cracking
Like lips on a bone
Chilling day
Or a children’s puzzle
Too abstract for entertainment


Layers of life peeling away
Barely attached, hanging on
Don’t they realize
That their time has passed?
I wonder why they don’t
Just give up.

A silent fly is trapped
In mid-ooze,
Sweet smoky sap
Frozen like an eerie memory

I only wish to live
In such an amber light.


And then it was dusk. The golden dregs of the evening’s sunset bled into edges of the horizon, and we sat perched on a rock, content with each other’s body warmth. “Being here feels so..right” he said. And even though the words themselves were cheesy and cliché, I understood the earnestness embedded in their meaning. Sometimes, I thought, there are feelings so rich that no explanation can do them justice. He fiddled unconsciously with the thick ring around my thumb, and the silence between us told me that he was trapped in mental exploration. He was contemplating society, and “the system”. Thinking about everything in our lives that prevents us from existing here, in the tranquil ruggedness of the Sierra Mountains, untainted by the evils our culture has invented. He was wondering why so many people morph their own lives into a living hell, simply to attain what they call “survival” in this modern world. Isn’t surviving the state of being alive? He recalled the simple notion that all one needs to “survive” is food, water, shelter, and in his opinion, love. He realized that the definition of survival had been altered in order to benefit “the system” rather than the people themselves, and he was deeply overwhelmed and upset by this. He was thinking that he’d like to run away with me, escape the confusion and corruption of society, and ultimately defy the inevitable. But for me, the thought was too tempting, too sweet to completely indulge in. “Hey” I interrupted, “Let’s go for a swim!”

Bodies found in Holywell Lake after search by emergency services on Thursday and Friday. Fulham Mortuary gave cause of death as drowning. Police say they believed it had been a tragic accident. James Doyle — “one of the most experienced men in the county in recovering dead bodies”. But missing persons remain unidentified.


Above the clouds
I peer down at the world, looking
Like the diorama I made
In 2nd grade.

Sun-tipped whiskers
Blanket the Earth
As if the soil hasn’t shaved
In weeks
And the shadows that
Hide in the stubble
Spell out secrets in
Their shapes.

A crimson ant
Scurries along side a thin line
Of blue leading
To the ocean’s gaping mouth.
Looking naked without his
Colony, I start to wonder
If it’s a bug
Or a boy.

And I remember the knitted sweater
My brother wore to
The funeral.
He always preferred red
Licorice
To black.

Atop the tallest Pine
An Eagle is perched
With yellow crystal balls
That see the world
Just seconds in advance

And from this aerial view
Individual tree-tops are
Indistinguishable
Looking like cauliflower planted
In God’s vegetable garden.





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