secrets openly hidden

Pine cones leaning,
sitting buddha-like along the path —
monuments to beetles,
whole planets to fleas,
menorah-like jewels to my own eye.

I can’t get over how they wait.
So quiet here in the still woods.
On what secret do they attend?

About ktrammel

Author of Gathered Rain, and Between the Hours, which can be found on Amazon. Read more on my sites,, or
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5 Responses to secrets openly hidden

  1. I have read this poem time and again and will continue to do so. Trees are my spirituality I suppose. I wrote a poem myself in a wood called Shin rin yoku. Shin rin yoku is a japanese term meaning forest bathing should you want to look into it. I will post Shin rin yoku on my blog a little later today especially as it is National Tree week here in UK. . Thank you for taking the time to consider my simple comment.


    • ktrammel says:

      Wonderful, looking forward to that poem. I also love trees, very much indeed, and seek out their companionship often. My wife and I are blessed to have several wonderful old trees on our property in the Sierra Foothills.

      I have heard of Shin rin yoku, but only in briefly mentioned references. Like Wabi Sabi, in my own limited experience, I get the sense it is a perceptual refinement that comes from weaving together the strands of many very consciously undertaken experiences within that metaphor. But I really don’t know anything about the philosophy other than what you’ve said and other terms like “forest therapy,” or “forest medicine.” I believe I can appreciate something of what it might be from personal experience in the forest. You can bathe inside and out in the forest by opening the body’s pores and breathing deep into the lungs. The light is itself a nutrient for the eyes and deeply soothing. Then there’s the aspect of chi. And, the images and sounds evoke deeper significance beyond the physical. It is a wonderful thing. But I really don’t know exactly how that might relate to the philosophy behind Shin rin yoku. I’ll look forward to reading your poem.


  2. Oh my word how wonderful.


    • ktrammel says:

      Hi Elaine,

      I was so touched by your comment but didn’t know how to thank you for it. I didn’t want to say merely “thank you.” Unfortunately, though I am so appreciative of your comment, it would have possibly appeared as if in offering a simple “thank you” I was taking credit for something which isn’t mine, that is, the essence described by the poem. So, I contemplated your remark for some time.

      I wrote the words of the poem down, of course, and I made every effort to listen carefully to the impressions coming my way from those pine cones, but the meaning, the substance, which I believe is what you’re responding to, isn’t mine at all. Even the words themselves are in some way dictated by that presence. It was a gift, something that was opened to me. And so, I felt pretty much like you about it. The words basically tell of a wonderful moment in the forest experiencing that marvelous communion with the pine cones whose consciousness is as real as mine or yours, though of course it may be very different in its manifestation. In some undefinable way, they were as aware of me as I was of them. And their stillness was so deep that I lost all thought, thankfully, and settled into a place of peace and silence replete with indescribable meaning, and such a feeling of acceptance. Not only their welcoming acceptance of me, but their acceptance of every experience.


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