Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

Category: smoke essay

Fall Planting: Spinach

I planted spinach seeds today during a hot, humid day early August day. We’ll start harvesting in late September cool weather increases.

The instructions say, each seed inch apart and inch deep. In the past, In the past, I have sprinkled the seeds using index finger and thumb. This doesn’t not guarantee following the instructions as seeds dribble out of hand onto soil in uneven patterns. I have a manic nature. This time I intended to override this behavior and plant slowly and carefully.

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The Mourning Dove

I hear sad, moaning calls from an overhead wire It is daybreak when I usually fetch the morning papers. The sounds seem to come from a hollow voice box. I see a pair silhouetted as the Sun’s tip just cuts above a distant bank of trees. Their back and forth calls come out of quiet dawn.

My daughters called them “Oh Oh birds.” Mourning Doves mourn. It is a sad call. Who are they mourning? Could it be their relative the Passenger Pigeon hunted to extinction? Could it be air pollution, water pollution, pesticides and herbicides? And maybe even all the thousands of chemicals that my cause cancer? I mourn with them.

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Websters Dictionary lists 27 words or phrases for the word smoke. Go to page 1109tenth edition to fact check:

“Small particles of carbon”

“Results from burning or moisture”

“Something of little substance”

“Something of little value”

Native Americans will not agree with the last.  Smoke is an important substance to them. They burn bear berry, red willow, and tobacco and let the smoke rise as praise and gratitude for the Great Spirit.

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