Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Pinecone

Petrified artichoke;

miniature pineapple;

flowerless bud;

raccoon’s shuttlecock;

scepter of seeds;

mosquitoes’ drinking cup;

snout of the bear

that follows you home;

Fibonacci’s dreamscape;

3-D mandala;

missile launched

by squirrel or owl;

nature’s prayer wheel

hunted by children

with sap-sticky fingers;

many-tongued mantra;

tiny Phoenix

opening its wings

in the fire.


– Gwen Hart

Gwen Hart teaches writing at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Her second poetry collection, The Empress of Kisses, won the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize from Texas Review Press.