A Pine Tree Wakes

Genesee River, Letchworth State Park, New York

When I wake from my long dreaming,
I first look up at the sky.
Far above me, magic dances in white clouds.
Mother Oak holds me fast, in her roots.
Poetry is the movement of her leaves.
Far below me, the river sings its longing for the sea.

Genesee River, Letchworth State Park, New York

Rivulets sink toward the secret aqueduct far below,
The dark, watery womb of all life.
Some droplets rise to adorn cloud castles.
Singing waters plunge over falls,
Scenting the embrace of Lake Ontario.
Flocks of starlings bank and turn.

Genesee River Falls, Letchworth State Park, New York

Wildflowers thirst, drink the spray,
And tremble on the cliffs.
The leaves feel the passing of the season,
As the water does not. As I do not.
We are constant, the water and the pine.
I hold fast to my cliff; I sink back into my dreams.

Genesee River, Letchworth State Park, New York

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: These photographs were taken at Letchworth State Park, where the Genesee River has carved a deep canyon in its headlong rush to join Lake Ontario, the Easternmost Great Lake, that lies between the US and Canada.

Prince Columbine


Prince Columbine hung his head like the flower he was named for. His father, King Pine, wanted him to become a judge in the court, but Prince Columbine never had the right words. His sister, Princess Starflower, could talk rings around him.

“I would give anything to sit in the court like you do,” she said, failing to understand how he could be sad about it, her golden hair falling in petals around her glowing face. “If you had just told Farmer Wednesday that you would check the records and get back to her about the boundary marker, all would have gone well. Why did you have to tell her that a foot one way or the other doesn’t matter? Of course it matters to her.”

“Well, when you put it like that, I get it. She was so angry. It just didn’t seem that important.”

The princess huffed and gave up on him. “Ugh, if I see one more bleeding cut, I’m going to throw up!” she insisted.

“Why don’t we switch for a day?” Prince Columbine had always enjoyed assisting the healer when he had the chance. He knew his father would disapprove, but he did not think he would be angry. “Let’s tell the healers and ministers we have father’s approval, and then hope he’s busy all day. Then he won’t notice! He has plans to tour the castle walls with his architects.”

“I love the idea!” And so they switched.

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