followed by scavenging

top of the day greeting:
bunny ears popping up
just outside window
followed by scavenging robin
both scared when they realize
their proximity to a human
even though she’s on the other
side of the screen
searching out red norlands
in the clay of look-further field
it’s a shitty way
i say to treat life
(referring to the hound/hunting dogs
kept in 6×7 kennels
sometimes barking/howling out there
for hours)

smell of tiger balm wafting
as i massage my still sore
(tennis) forearm

rhythm and thunk of
grub hoe as i work
my way down along the
weedfest that was once a
cucumber bed in waiting

blankets laid in cemetery
shreds of full color magazine paper
piling around us and occasionally
slightly shifting in the breeze

you would be valedictorian,
and graduate summa cum laude
tookie responds to my voicing:
i’d vastly prefer
the school of ridiculousness
to the school of seriousness

swish of water (with BT swirled in)
in 4-gallon backpack sprayer
as i walk along south garden
bed edges

death smell wafting
(small death) from linen closet
(a mouse, most likely)
sun saucer
red hot disc
lowering into treeline

mica in clean Tshirt (organic inspection-wear)
holding up the new mesh strainer
in karma kitchen

if i was a low rider, she shares
i would have glittery pic of u from my rear view
rather than that Mary chick.

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backseat mash-up

in the dream
the ceiling leak followed
the path of  the pipe
while the gathering gathered upstairs
in another dream
a train layover in chicago
but this time at a chicago station
i’ve never been to
with no information made available
about the transfer
and no success reaching amtrak
on the telephone or
getting the attention of a conductor

bad news trish says
holding a wildflower bouquet
while i pull up weeds in the
tomatillos whose paper lanterns
are slowly being grown into
all the look-far potatoes
rotted in the rain-wet ground
an inadvertent unnamed phenomenon sent
from the beautiful-life land
of brick and smoking chimneys
max writes about the video closing scene:
all we had to do for that shot was
walk out of the room, or try to.
You’ve probably noticed this: sometimes simply
walking out of a room is much more difficult than we’d expect.
roxette/phil collins
backseat mash-up on
highway mm as we make our journey
town-wards to the tennis courts

love love
we joke about

billie jean king’s
fictictional badass knuckle tattoos
to the best of our ability
tookie and i blow the paper wrapper tops
off our straws at each other as discreetly
(out of emory’s sight)
as possible
the sopapillas at amigos grill
in memphis missouri
(drizzled with chocolate syrup
and served with ice cream scoops)
don’t quite hold a candle to
those served at santa fe’s plaza cafe
(with honey for drizzling on)

in the dollar store while trish
searches for the perfect ankle brace
(which can be tough to find
in a dollar store)
i find and show emory
three various instances of 
animals wearing glasses/sunglasses images
(one a small tote with an almost
winking kitten
one an assymetrically-strapped
swimsuit (pink and yellow) featuring
a lion in shades
and one a bigger tote whose animal
i can’t recall)

none of your beeswax
emory says in the backseat
and we all laugh at
this combination of sassitude plus sleepyness

we joke about the loser of the bet
(about whether or not the amigos grill
menu used the number 2
to say welcome 2 amigos grill
which means some might mistake the
name of the establishment to be: 2 amigos)
having to sit in the car for a half hour
while the winner of the bet wanders
aimlessly in dollar general for a half hour

shout out to mica on her
first inspection trip with plans
to stay in a rumored-to-be-haunted-hotel
you got this

from the water world:

A boy collects recyclable materials in a polluted river at Navotas city, north of Manila, the Philippines. – voice of america, day in photos


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in our wake

cricket in truck bed sniffing air
and blinking into the wind and
curling mouth open
dog-smile pulled far back
across her face while
her cheeks fill
with 50mph county highway air

emory up in the apple tree
while we (ty, tookie, baigz, trish and i) methodically
move down the cucumber bed
leaving uprooted weeds in our wake
first cucumbers of the season
(boston pickling variety)
sliced and arranged in a
circle on small metal plate/bowl
set out on butcher block for lunch

somethings-brewing kind of weather
(cool air/wind moving in and
a purpley horizon haze
that suggests but does not
actually feature lightning)
while i lower cucumber transplants
into mulch nests
tookie and i path-crossing in
lookfar we offer up our
harvests in exchange
(cucumber chomps for
a small handful of the
rotundest blueberries
plucked from stainless steel bowl)
ashby cat curled up
paws crossed
afternoon snoozing in
zinnia shade patch

somehow we (joseph and ty and i)
after circle-up
end up here
and here
like a mummy i say
only i’m not a mummy
want yr voice to
wrap me

searching tree trunk
for origin of treefrog sing/croak
creature given away by
throat-swell breathing/movement
same gray/black color as bark
small body tucked perfectly in
tiny hollow

wild chicory and wild carrot
(lilac-y purple against white)
lining road-side

sunset mist plus
summer storm/forest fire sky
(smudged gray-pink
shaded with purple)

from the water world:
Screen shot 2015-07-01 at 10.02.51 PM
Aiden (L) and Ty Johnston play under a fountain in Nottingham, Britain. – REUTERS/Darren Staples

People swim during the annual public Lake Zurich crossing swimming event in Zurich, Switzerland.

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giving name to

double disc!!! i call out
while stacking two discs on
top of each other and tossing simultaneously
to emory and zane in the morning-wet field

killdeer mica says
giving name to
yesterday’s inland seabird
who-are-you moment

yesterday’s looks like a fire-smoke sky commentary
affirmed by today’s baigz-report of
saskatchewan wildfires raging
and their haze drifting south

wheels as tall as three of us
standing on each others’ shoulders
have you seen the machines

i ask baigz who mentioned tar sands
looks like another planet he replies
talking of the tailing ponds
neighbor angela unveiling
a loaf of warm sesame-seeded squishy bread
as she unwraps it from a white-with-blue-stripe towel
first cabbage of the season
i say as i name the
coleslaw component of dinner
set out on the butcher block

pitcher of trish-made
lemon balm, holy basil, peppermint
“iced” tea from which i pour
my dinner beverage

mica looking out across
wheat field assessing its
based on a closeup look at
the grains and also the way
the wheat heads are nodding
(unidentifiable) bird of prey
i point out perched atop
electric wire pole
screech-caw drawing my attention
from the water world:
People watch as water gushes from the Xiaolangdi Reservoir section on the Yellow River, during a sand-washing operation in Jiyuan, Henan province
. voice of america, day in photos

Screen shot 2015-06-30 at 10.54.33 PM
Students walk on a makeshift bridge as they enter their dormitory building which is partially submerged by floodwater, at a university campus after heavy rainfall hit Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. – REUTERS/Stringer

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i sing/sample

black currants plunking into bucket
tookie launches into improv
take me to church and i join
and we sing the morning sun
further up into sky

farm step baigz delcares
about our morning free-for-all freestyle
wherein we make beats and improv scat
and self-sample hog calling and
recurring emory phrases:
(mama mama
have you seen papa
cute kittens cute cute kittens
want some cookie?)
and other sandhillian terms
(cirrrrrcle up!
in between cackles
i sing/sample

sandhill stomp i joke
as tookie and i
bang out some rhythms
on bucket bottoms
arranged on bucket rack

late afternoon sky haze
orange-golding the sun glow
as i work my way up/down
the collard and broccoli beds

who are YOU i wonder
aloud to the
(ocean) beach-looking bird
high-pitching and skitting
across highway on long legs

clink of ice cubes in
metal thermos as i sling
my backpack over my shoulder

how we howl and applaud with our
birthday caked fingers from
poolside plastic lounge chair perch
each time joseph surfaces
after some fancy
pike/backflip/twist-spin dive
execution off the board

the gorgeous oddness of sun orb
all orangesicle colored long
before sunset and then
moon too pink/orange and rising over
us as we pedal our county highway
route home
racing diminishing light
we haul ourselves up hills
downshifiting when necessary
i envision knuckle tattoos
for this moment that read:
ride hard
clouds of small bugs
and the clicks they make colliding
with our helmets
as we pass through them

did you get some she asks
in response to my report of feeling
revitalized i got the version of some
that goes like this i say a 15 mile
bike ride out and a 15 mile bike ride back
with a pool party sandwiched in the middle

a unique hazard of our region
she says discussing the combo of
hail and hiking with kiddos
in the ski valleythe goal in monsoon season
is to be coming down

or close to a treeline
if it’s after noon

from the water world:
A man walks with his cycle through a water-logged street as it rains in Jammu, India.  – voice of america, day in photos

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where the flood didn’t go

emory and i passing markers and
shimmery sparkle tape
back and forth as we
to the sound of
rainfall morning
yoga mats laid out side by side

em chataranga-ing and
downard dogging and
then i walk him through
bird of paradise
until he gets it but loses interest
when we get to crow/side crow

map or maybe atlas mica says
about the kind of turtle we
encounter on the back road
with bright yellow striped
(even its eyes are striped
she points out while we lean/look closely in)

made me teary i say
of these photos
Screen shot 2015-06-29 at 12.02.18 AM
Alejo Jumat, left, and his husband, Christian Crowley, after the court’s ruling was announced. The couple live in Washington and had biked to the Supreme Court.Doug Mills/The New York Times

Screen shot 2015-06-28 at 11.43.45 PMAfter 54 years together, George Harris, 82, left, and Jack Evans, 85, were married in Dallas on Friday.Larry W. Smith/European Pressphoto Agency

(which is a shift/turn
because mostly i haven’t paid the whole affair
much attention since:
1. it seemed anytime ‘same-sex’ marrige
was passed somewhere it was just as quickly repealed
so there was this pattern early on of
excitement followed by disappointment which
taught me to just not be excited any more
2. it will never
release all those without documentation
held in detention centers
it will never bring back
michael brown, eric garner, oscar grant (etc.)
it will never end the
violence of militaries and corporate greed and
all the wars/death that comes with it)
liana reports two deaths
one in the mountain waters
and one in el rio
which reminds me of the tale
of the hungry hungry river
once upon a summer
complete with suspension footbridge
and dog antics

i’m waiting i joke
until it’s legal to marry that
(animal print mashup) unitard

fox i see/point
scrambling into the corn cover
while we head out of town
something sorta thelma & louise
about trish and i on the backroads
in the truck navigating
where the flood didn’t go

travis lake drive or
something like that the sign
says leading to the property
whose fence posts are adorned
with all varieties of stuff:
pots/pans, satchels and purses,
winged figurines, an upside down mop bucket
flanked by vacuum cleaner
strapped to fence post
several examples of the kinds of kid-magic
fostered at dayna and gavin’s:
1. lofts built into every room
with a catwalk/bridge sometimes
connecting them
2. gavin closing the curtains and
queing up the music while
someone operates the spotlight
(flashlight) from loft railing above
by training it on the solo dancers
who take turns
in teh middle of the room
3. trampoline in the backyard
without any rules so we all pile in
first cicada of the season
heard from edina porch
while western clouds

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like meeting a mountain

meeting those elders/women
was like meeting a mountain
cynthia says
humble and fierce

we don’t even know
what whole is
she mentions that crow story:
how crow flew too close
to the sun and was
charcoal-blackened and
that is when crow let out
that first caw
still too wet to weed
but i pull some grass up
from the zinnia beds anyway
and separate mud
from root
cheers, whoops and howls
drifting over to the ultimate field
from  a pondwardly direction

cynthia asks if i was
ever a gymnast or athlete of other sorts
based on my walking down-field
kartwheels and waiting for
the disc to be hucked handstands

pile of freshly inflated innertubes
piled/stacked/pyramided on the dock
plenty of floatage to be had by all
underwater swimming with
prayer hands atop my head
imitating shark followed by
trish and mica imitating scream

alyssa loading a cart already piled with
just-harvested garlic
green-yellow tops and
white rooty earthy bulb bottoms

chimney swifts
dive-bomb circling
not quite sunset while i
walk the cistern to inspect
opened sunflowers
(maroons, golds and lemon yellows)
orange thread zig-zagging
out of machine onto
leopard print

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