Pisonia: The Bird Catcher Tree

(Watched an episode of Planet Earth II on the airplane back to SLC, and was inspired by a segment about Pisonia, a tree that produces sticky barbed seeds that cling to birds in hopes of spreading to more islands)

come to me in springtime little bird

lay your egg in my branches, i made a crook just for you

and though other birds may come steal your child while you feed,

though you return to the yolk dripping down the branch

feeding the hungry earth,

though you still reset your body atop the never-will-be bird

staining your feathers yellow and wet,

lay another one please.

let this one grow up to eat tiny fish from your beak

and when it is old enough to fly, may it take a seed

with it to other isles as you did,

so my children will grow up on distant shores

i only want what any parent wants for a child

i want the reason why you come to this island

so can you blame me if my overeager seeds

have rendered your child flightless upon the forest floor?

never mind the shame of it all

your child will feed the hungry earth

upon which my children will grow

and the children of yours that did survive

will survive

they will return and nest in my children

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The Thankless Task (of changing how a story ends)

It feels strange, writing this story twice. But this is a story worth immortalizing on paper, even after many years have gone by and the memories grow hazier by the day. An older, incomplete draft sits next to my penholder. The writing is premature and childish, the culmination of many hours daydreaming and not much coherence. The actual story is just as tangled and confusing and hazy; as with most things that actually happened, there are too many coincidences and extraneous factors to coalesce neatly. Realize now that the words I write weave my reality into a fiction that never was. But then, my life has a bad habit of bleeding into stories, and vice versa.

I will start as I started thirty years ago: There exists a secret land ruled by a king and queen. Each day, the king will rise and open his eyes and mouth, and from his face light pours into the valley. He travels through his kingdom bringing light, which lingers like honey in a land that yawns and breathes to a much slower rhythm than our own. At night, the queen lets down her long black hair and brushes inky darkness into the sky.

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