Bristlecone Pine

Bristlecone Pine —by Jinny Batterson

(This poem was written in the late 1990’s when I attended a conference in western Colorado founded by one of my data processing mentors, Jerry Weinberg, with his wife Dani. Jerry, during the time that I knew him best, was beset by physical ailments of one kind or another, also jettisoning non-essential body parts to keep going. Though he hasn’t yet reached the millennial mark, he’s past 80, still writing, still distilling wisdom and sharing it with anyone who has time to pay attention. Jerry’s website is at Check out some of his poetry, too.)

Solitary, silhouetted
Against a desert sky,
Its trunk twisted,
Its branches out of symmetry,
A mute testament
To the
Will to survive.
In dry years or decades,
It jettisons limbs, even trunk, to keep
Remaining life
Concentrated, capable of
Regeneration. In wet years
Or decades,
It bursts forth
In luxurious lopsided
This is how it

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