Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, Knowledge Takes Root by Yann

Logically, she could just walk away. Walk away from this tree, from this hilltop, and never come back. What was the tree going to do, uproot itself and follow her?

—–Yann,Knowledge Takes Root

Do trees seem wise to you? Age can be wisdom, but it can be insanity too. Is it wise to wait and to let everything come to you? All you need is some sunshine and water… maybe a little phosphorus and fixed nitrogen. The only hard thing is to spread your seeds. Maybe the one-armed winged helicopter seeds blown by the wind are the way to go. Or better yet – feed the squirrels – so that they carry your progeny far and wide, bury, and hopefully forget about them over the cold winter.

Read it here:

Knowledge Takes Root by Yann

from Gratuitous Text

I Enter A Swamp As A Sacred Place

“Thoreau the “Patron Saint of Swamps” because he enjoyed being in them and writing about them said, “my temple is the swamp… When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most impenetrable and to the citizen, most dismal, swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place, a sanctum sanctorum… I seemed to have reached a new world, so wild a place…far away from human society. What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs, if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings

Bald Cypress Knees, Waco, Texas

Cities, Like Dreams, Are Made of Desires and Fears

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Dallas, Texas

Like Burning Tears

“And now, my poor old woman, why are you crying so bitterly? It is autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees like burning tears- the wind howls. Why must you mimic them?”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Fall Colors
University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas
(click to enlarge)

Oblique Strategy: Revaluation (a warm feeling)

The trees along my drive to work have exploded into flame.
Their conflagration tinted according to their species from a sodium flame yellow, through orange, on to a deep blazing crimson.
Except for the cemetery, monocultured with live oaks, all their usual dark spinach.

I knew someone once, a long, long time ago. She said she liked the fall better than the spring. She liked the sense of foreboding, the knowledge that a cold storm was coming – the excitement of onrushing doom.

It took me decades to understand what she was talking about and how important it was.

Walking Along Governor Nichols Street

New Orleans Writing Marathon

Day Four, Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ancient tree growing through the sidewalk, Governor NIchols Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Walking in the morning is too hard. My feet ache from all the walking the day before, my leg muscles are stiff and weak from sleeping all night. The morning humidity is difficult to breathe as if the moisture is displacing all the oxygen.

Time oppresses this morning. I can feel the burden of centuries in the teetering live oaks growing out of the sidewalks – their ancient roots beginning to slip and rise, pushing the bricks and slabs of concrete up and aside like they are packing peanuts.

I have seen these trees lying on their sides after a violent storm. Enormous root ball exposed to the air – an obscene display of the oak’s private parts.

How many storms, named and ancient anonymous, have these giant trees endured.

Some of them… I don’t think they will make it through the next one.

I have been through too many storms – some quiet, some loud, and they have left be bent. How many more do I have left?

Not too many, maybe not enough.

You And I Are Two Plants That Grew Together

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
― Pablo Neruda, Regalo de un Poeta

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Conjoined, Roxy Paine

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Conjoined, Roxy Paine


Made Of Earth And Rain

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
― Pablo Neruda, Regalo de un Poeta

Crepe Myrtles Houston, Texas

Crepe Myrtles
Houston, Texas

In the Cullen Sculpture Garden at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts there are many beautiful sculptures. But none are more beautiful that the naturally sculpted trunks of the crepe myrtle trees.

Natural and Artificial

The Santiago Calatrava designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge rising over the trees of the Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, Texas

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, Texas

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein

Birds in Tree


When you come around one certain spot in the White Rock Lake trail you pass a band of trees that line the water’s edge. There are a number of very large birds (I know nothing of what they are) that are always hanging out in these certain trees. I don’t know if it is the location or the species of trees that attracts these birds – but they are always there and I don’t see them anywhere else.

The amount of bird shit is distressing. The caustic guano kills everything. I even think there is so much nitrogen that it is killing the trees themselves. I know bird shit is a fertilizer and should help the plants…. but everything is a remedy and a poison – it all depends on the dose.

The birds must live off of fresh water fish that they catch by diving from their lofty perch. In addition to the usual acrid smell of shit – there is an overpowering fishy odor.