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The Ballad of a Pinecone

A forest poem

By Call Me LesPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - March 2024
The Ballad of a Pinecone
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Do not mistake a forest for a place of peace.

It is a microcosm of the tenacity and aggression of life,

an arms race of leaves and stems in a conquest for sunlight,

balanced only by those species willing to subvert the system,

those that are able to thrive in the shade or bloom in the twilight.

If you ask a moonflower if she misses the sun,

she will turn her cheek and smile at her burn scars.

No, she would much rather go back to blooming in the quieter hours,

safe from the morning glories

who would throttle their neighbour for a five minute headstart on dawn.

The twilight is a lovely time of day.


Author's note: A snippet that didn't make the cut for a story I'm working on for the Whispering Woods challenge but still thought might be worth sharing with the world.

nature poetry

About the Creator

Call Me Les

Aspiring etymologist and hopeless addict of children's fiction.

If I can't liberally overuse adverbs and alliteration, I'm out!

Instagram @writelesplaymore

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (30)

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  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Lucious writing, indeed. Loved it! Congratulations on Top Story.

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    I love this, there's such vigorous reality, but somehow it doesn't feel aggressive to read, I still want to go there.

  • Joe O’Connor3 months ago

    Loved reading this Les, and it’s a unique take on the idea of what we call “Mother” Nature. Some great imagery in this poem, like “an arms race of leaves and stems in a conquest for sunlight”. The contrast of frenetic daylight and quiet twilight at the end is clever too🙂

  • A. J. Schoenfeld3 months ago

    I love the imagery of this forest vegetation battling for survival. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kay Husnick3 months ago

    I'm so glad you chose to share this snippet! I can't wait to see what you come up with for the challenge.

  • Meg3 months ago

    Loved this! Especially the third line "an arms race of leaves and stems in a conquest for sunlight." Such a beautiful metaphor. Congrats on a well deserved top story :)

  • Gerald Holmes3 months ago

    Wonderful writing as always, Les. I have so missed your voice. Congrats on the Top Story.

  • LASZLO SLEZAK3 months ago

    Love this poem!

  • Andrea Corwin 3 months ago

    So true of the morning glories - you captured it well!

  • J. Delaney-Howe3 months ago

    Congrats on your Top Story. This is beautifully written.

  • D.K. Shepard3 months ago

    I agree with Manisha and Lindsay, The moonflower lines are an amazing triumph! And the whole poem is so well done!

  • Manisha Dhalani3 months ago

    The line about the moonflower - amazing!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Carol Townend3 months ago

    This echoes all the live events that go on in a forest that we don't see. I think it has been creatively crafted and would have been a well-deserved challenge win. Never-the-less, it was worth reading.

  • ema3 months ago

    I love your idea about a forest! Congrats on Top Story!

  • JBaz3 months ago

    I cannot wait to read your entry into the challenge. If it is anything like this little ‘snippet’ it has to be good Congratulations

  • Wow! Thank you everyone. I really wasn't expecting a top story out of this snippet or that so many people would enjoy it so much. Ultimately my entry piece has gone a much less dark direction. Thank you for the encouragement so much. Maybe if I have time I'll make a second entry.

  • Anna 3 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Randy Baker3 months ago

    Those morning glories are a rough bunch! I was going to pick out a line, or two, to highlight, but it's pretty much the whole poem. I like this one a lot.

  • Lindsay Sfara3 months ago

    "She will still turn her cheek and smile at the burn scars" was a line that really stuck out to me with its depth and imagery. I love every bit about this poem, thanks so much for sharing it even though it didn't make it in the story!

  • Andrew Pretzel3 months ago

    "It is a microcosm of the tenacity and aggression of life " .... just wow

  • Some amazing observations in a perfect form. We can find beauty in many things but sometimes they hide a darkness. As usual brilliant words from a true poet.

  • C. Rommial Butler3 months ago

    Glad you shared this! We tend to romanticize nature, but a look out my back window on any given morning reveals just how much like us the rest of nature is... for better and for worse. Best practice is to determine what sort of creature we are and find the right place to be that! Well-wrought! I will be adding this one to my CREATION MYTH. You were on my list of writers to add over time, and this meloncholy but lovely sentiment strikes a chord! https://vocal.media/poets/creation-myth-m8dm0x8d

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    What a lovely surprise to see your name in my notifications, and well worth it too. Beautiful piece. Well said.

  • Oooo, I'm so happy to hear you're working on a story for that challenge! It's been so long since you published a story! Also, I'm so glad you shared this with us, it was so beautiful!

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