there isn’t a word

the two jumpy squirrels that dart in
the thunder/lightning/downpour
under the shelter of car in the driveway
which i stand a few feet from
while i take advantage of the skywater raining down
and wipe down the windshield and rear window
that seem to be eternally dusted in pollen or gravel dust or both

i can’t believe there isn’t a word
for that ache/longing for rain
in the midst of dry (too dry), hot,hot (almost too hot)
that is finally slaked
by the thunderstorm that finally moves in and lets go

my shovel in the church garden this morning
and in arwyn’s garden in the evening
to plant hot peppers, sweet peppers
and others ready to leap from their trays

the gardens that have not yet been built

i would be crying right now
but i actually can’t – i take anti-depression medication

shirley says about the preposterous possiblilty
of the trailer park closing
(and people needing to move their trailers out)
in some ridiculous number of days ahead
because of an outdated septic system
her shirt is purple or maybe orange or perhaps salmon colored
and so is the sunset sky, plus pink
i should have been here sooner juniper says
about being in florida to care for her son
who’s in the hospital hooked up to an IV
having kicked covid’s butt but not yet
the pneumonia that followed
while watering her own abundant beds
of sunflowers, bachelor buttons, marigolds, chard, kales, you name it
anni says you can’t do it all at once
about all the plants yet to go into the gardens
that have not yet been built
maybe not this year, but next year
your gardens will be beautiful
the unexpected sweet
of the green green broccoli
that annie offers alongside
mac and cheese
it is good to have friends/to be held by them


the music of the swingset chains
chiming against each other
for a while after the swing-riding kid
has left the playground for home in the sunset
while i wiggle the trowel into the earth
digging out a hole to drop the hot pepper plant into


the chestnutty redness
of the three deer
dipping their heads to drink the cool moving creek water
while heron emerges to sky from the banks
the quietest and most perfect grand finale
while we drive away
the last load of stuff piled in the back
no matter where we go this creek
will live in each of us
this heron these deer too
the trout, the beavers, the muskrats, the snakes, the turtles, the orioles, the kingfishers, the pilleateds, the chickadees, the owls, the hummingbirds, the whistlepigs, the peepers, the turkeys, the coyote, the fireflies

to let our bodies listen

how we whisper even though we don’t have to
part out of courtesy
for our camping neighbors andin  part
to let the sounds of the prairie
the pine trees
the wind
fill us,
to let our bodies listen
our camp neighbor over in the pines says
i didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but i heard you say firewood
and in a chill and non-creepy way
wheels over the green camp cart with wood
including a poker and some just-cut kindling
and in an instant, we went from
the place that sells firewood just closed
to an abundance of wood and kindness
which means we have heat to cook our veggie packets
and dogs in the darkness that is not too dark
to fire-tend, to walk barefoot in the campsite, to food-prep, to eat, to  sing
with only rare assistance from a headlamp or solar poof
the shimmershine and blink of fireflies
over the prairie/pasture
at site #102’s edge
and above, stars
my body deep outbreath-ing
peaceful i say
about how it feels in me
good where we’ve been good where we’re going to
we softly sing in the slight flame-flicker
that heats dinner

sunset glimpse at wildcat lookout
under all the pink sweeping  shapes,
some purplish/grayish/whiteish clouds
that look like hoodoos and other desert land forms
(plus sheep flocking under a rocky overhang shape)
rising from the horizon
how the wind kicks up
moving through the tent and our dreams
swishing limbs and branches
the night air sweet on skin
after day after day of late july heat
in mid june
the brutal sounding hiss snarl fight
from nearby in the trees/prairie
animals unseen and unknown, but maybe raccoons

samaras from the sidewalk

the swush swoosh sweeeeep sound
of outdoor broom bristles against
the roughness of the concrete
while i sweep away the banner year’s worth
of maple samaras from the sidewalk that
wraps around to the great maple kirself
along the goldyellow garage
the ziploc filled
with 8 pounds of chicken livers
that i transport from highway y
to my kitchen where grind 1 pound batches
in the food processor before packing into containers to freeze
for making cat food for lisi
lisi low to the ground
making a break from the yard to the backdoor
at the sound of the empty garbage/recycling cans
being wheeled back up the driveway
how they can almost sound gunshot-like
when they crash-land into place
cotton candy carnival blue raspberry

i say about the sky colors
as we stand in the back back yard
under the milk pink and hotter pink and
powder blue and purple gray blue and
swimming pool blue – mosquitos darting about us

where the sky view becomes

the frienz and juniper and i
eating waffles (with strawberry compote) and eggs
on the back porch while lisi
lounges alongside us
in the sun

later we blow kisses from the front porch
to the frienz in the car that will follow the mississippi home
first backyard monarch butterfly
spotted in joann’s lilacs blooming
not one but two cold bottles
of champagne in lynn’s backpack
when she shows up at the front door
welcoming and seeking
the red spicy tortilla chip bag
dangling in juniper’s grip
as we hunt down the sunset
by speedwalking to the edge of town
where the sky view becomes almost 360 degrees
we are sucking the marrow
the sunset smudged purple gray
by distant rain
but still some soft pink and hot pink spots
to the east and north
in which the laptop
almost slides completely off my lap
as i doze off

i wanted to order a fish meal

sorry, we’re out of hamburgers
i call out the side window to evan
after he whips into the driveway at an alarming speed
that’s fine he says i wanted to order a fish meal
we journey to the garden
in light of the overnight frost warning
to cover the tomatoes
with mason jars
that we tuck the tomatos and tomatillos and cucumbers under

the little red envelope
placed on the dinner table
addressed to the frenz
its contents promising a saturday surprise

one of the things i love about lisi cat
is that he insists on following us into bed to sleep
and is malleable enough to do so
even when we set up sleep camp
one room over from the usual room


an ache
a longing
i don’t remember the exact words
but these are the things juniper feels out here
where the hills roll green
the sky is big
and the smell of silage
swoops through
the pink petal from a blossoming tree
on my toe (the original nail polish i say)
while juniper walk the neighborhood
(sweet with honeysuckle scent)
without shoes

in the unpacking
several co-op wax paper pastry bags found
relics from a pre-covid time
when i would re-use the pastry bags
back when the pastries weren’t pre-packed
in plastic