Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tooth and Core

"Learn about pines from the pine, and learn about bamboo from the bamboo."
-17th century master of haiku, Matsuo Basho.

"Learn about poetry from the poem."
-Edward Hrsch, in How to Read a Poem, 1999

It's why I sit outside paying attention, but it's as much for the enticement of wonder, the thrill of the hunt, the intrigue of the mystery, the jolt of surprise as it is for the complacency of knowing. Reading something new in a book, while lovely, cannot compete with the pleasure of one's own discovery. What author at hand can predict what will pique my curiosity in the moment?

Today it's the question of who's been eating pinecone seeds on the swing. Chipmunk or squirrel, and when? Whoever it is has discarded dozens of pinecone cores in an oval on the ground around the swing. For the past week I've arrived at the swing to find it covered with pulled teeth of pinecone---thorn-tipped teeth that must be brushed away daily if I wish to sit pain-free. I cannot see the seat of the swing from the house. Will sit on bench deeper in yard for tomorrow's watch to see what I can see from there. The dentistry must go on all day for the volume of debris that accumulates on and around the swing in every 24 hour span of this September week. The cores are picked clean. Click on the photos to see enlarged detail. Who knew a pinecone could be stripped thus. dkm

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