Today within the Pine Cathedral

            A chime did sound up high

            Three butterflies danced, hopping from thistle to sky

…today within the Pine Cathedral

Pure yellow, as big as my hand, like fairies they prance

Pure purple, as tall as a bear, like conductors they direct

Leaning gently, holding firmly, together they do climb

Swirling higher, posing nobly, together to ring the chime

Today within the Pine Cathedral…

            Dry boughs up high rattled rapidly

            Dead brambles down low cracked dramatically

…today within the Pine Cathedral

The sounds they reach me as just one voice

A black bear? No. …maybe an owl?

Yet neither one is there

Just Maggie and the squirrels

Playing make-believe with me

Today within the Pine Cathedral…

            Round breast feather fluffs chestnut red dipped in white

            Narrow wing feather lengths a non-descript kind of grey

…today within the Pine Cathedral

Some with a hint of white dip at the tip

Some a suggestion of chestnut at the base

A splash of white splattered at the scene

Like a sloppy painter. “Kind of owl-like”, I muse

Then tilt my gaze upward, lips tightly fused

All that remains of the hollow boned thrush

Is feathers and fluff and some rare bits of flesh

Today within the Pine Cathedral…

            I heard a bird I’d never seen

            “Chicka chicka” (I think) sang he

…today within the Pine Cathedral

“Ding” rings the bell deep beneath from the quarry

Then imagine “chirp! cheep! chirp!”

Sped a thousand times faster

The crickets, grasshoppers, cicadae and frogs

A rumpus, a parade, a million creature chorus.

Hear the wind groom the trees in the sky overhead

Feel the fallen leaves feed the earth underneath

Smell the soft moss cleanse the path maternally

Today within the Pine Cathedral…

            A spot of white caught my sight

            Hungry eyes looked hard to focus the light

…today within the Pine Cathedral

Longing for a glimpse of the invisible owl

Straining and imagining my mind does peer

Swiftly then, seamlessly, the illusion is no more

A patch of sky through the trees is waving gently back at me

Today within the Pine Cathedral…

            I called on the chief for his counsel

            He calmed me down, he always does

…today within the Pine Cathedral

With perspectives again eagerly embraced, I watch

Maggie bounds enthusiastically in pursuit and in play

With the munks in the stumps and the wood in the way

The wind tugs at my hair till the clasp just gives up

The ocean roar in my ears is deafening my soul

Today within the Pine Cathedral

            I heard nothing: an omnipotent silence

            Punctuated by sunlight screaming to touch me

…today within the Pine Cathedral

I reach for it, trying to smell it, straining to taste it…yearning to hear it

The warmth eases my heart but refuses to uncage me

I collapse in submission and weep thoroughly

Today within the Pine Cathedral…

            I heard a truck rumble over the hill and away

            Mosquitos drank heartily from my forehead and arm

…today within the Pine Cathedral

A smiley face right before me does appear

All is as it should be with balance and in place

My heart fills full and my cup runneth over

When my two sons smile sunshine and daisies at me

Today within the Pine Cathedral

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Bill Miller Folsom Prison Blues at Charlotte's Web