A Sonnet and Two Further Thoughts

Such Digger pines as this which bowls its cones, big, hook-tipped, crooked, down the grass-slick hill I toil up (scrabbling over weeds and stones) have grasped the rock and soil, held fast, held still, for long enough to loft and swell their crowns for centuries on all the upland swales along these western slopes, above the towns and ranches, somehow striding over vales and lowlands intersecting all their range. And I, stopped here to pant and sit, am made to think of them, so scattered, high, as strange, slow, footless hikers. My own efforts fade before the leaps they've taken, hill to hill. I rest a few more minutes, sweating still. But each one holds its place - as I am one. The species only walked - I spoke too soon. Man as a species has flown, swum, and run. Seen that way I have visited the moon.

Yet, given voice, the tree might justly say, ``You came right home. I see no slightest sign it made you better men, and see no way the moon could help me be a better pine.''

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