some of them splayed

tiny frog leaping
on top of the thick thick mulch
in the tomato beds
in lookfar as we carry more mulch
by the wagonload
by the cartful
by the pitchfork
to cover the paths
_______
the small dot of blood
in the place, just below the ear,
where ashby’s fur gets thin
_______
the dust rising
off the road that has not yet been rained on
(since grading)
even though the weather has been saying
60% for the past two days
and i think about/try not to think about
the sorghum starts in the fields
some of them tucked properly in the soil
some of them splayed
roots exposed to the dry heat
_______
tienes lycra trish says
(lycra is pronounced leeecra, in this case)
on the dinner couch,
and the magic of being transported,
simply by a phrase that was often repeated
during our three weeks in ecuador
several winters ago
_______
and then there is mark darkly’s voice
and laugh in my inbox and how this too
transports me
not so much to a time/place
but to my own laughter and how
it has always been like that between us
laugh summoning laugh
until it’s sometimes hard to even see
the seam that holds them together

_______
from the water world:
549B3D62-DA92-460F-9C07-7DF16455BCE6_w974_n_s
This handout picture by the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) shows the shipwreck of an overcrowded boat of migrants off the Libyan coast. At least seven migrants have drowned after the overcrowded boat overturned, the Italian Navy said. Five hundred people were pulled to safety, but rescue operations were continuing and the death toll could rise, the navy said. – voice of america, day in photos

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last shreds of light

for fishing and picking and defending
emory says about the sharp hook shape
at the tip of mama duck’s bill
_______
the open spaces (where the limbs
have fallen off) make me feel weird i say
to emory in the white pine
where we each perch in our own formation
of branches that remind me
of the birds nest on a tall ship
_______
it’s stickier closer to the tree
(meaning trunk) emory says
hugging his unshirted upper body
to the stickyness of the trunk
and all around us,
a neon yellow dust/film
coats each limb
pollen, mo explains from below
shaking out of forming pinecones.
that, and the cottonwood flufff
as seen from up here
carried slowly
across the farm
by a light breeze
_______
glass gallon jar shimmering
with water and the green of
spearmint/peppermint sprigs
stuffed in
_______
cracked i say about the surface
of the lookfar soil
like one might imagine
when people talk about droughts
only we aren’t in one
_______

the rusty rebar that i use
to dibble holes into the aforementioned crusty surface
soil into which i plant several varieties
of tepary beans imported from the
pima county seed library
and rachel’s garden
working until the last shreds of light
slowly dissipate
chasing every minute in this window
of dry before the window of wet
opens again
_______
one syllable i say
for names
that all sound obnoxious when listed together
but just might work
one at a time:
gage
chance
sloan
jett
scout
or maybe silas

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skin maybe

in the dream
i was arriving in new york
emerged from the train station onto a street
i somehow recognized and before
consulting maps, i see who i think is tuesday
sitting at a bar at a cafe
and upon advancing, the suspicion is confirmed
i want to plop down next to her
so that when she swivels around and sees me
she’s all NO WAY!!!!!! FRANNIE!!!!!!
(last time we pathcrossed in waking life
was around eight years ago)
but she and her pals get up to leave
before i make it to the seat so instead
i hayyyyyy her from the sidewalk as we pass each other and she
not out of rudeness or icyness but out of
pure truth says
i’m sorry, do i know you
and then i remember i have these huge sunglasses on
but even when i take them off
i have to explain who i am
(in waking life, we dated for three years)
to which she responds with an apology and says
ever since the bike crash
i’ve had a hard time with my memory
_______
first sight upon waking:
cockroach crawling
along the line where wall meets ceiling
_______
how is their sky so blue?
i want to know about that
izzy writes about rome and italy
_______
bethany, (i know her name because
it was what was called out when she rose
from the waiting room)
in a near-neon super-saturated yellow
mennonite dress,
the sheer intensity of the color itself somehow
rendering the standard mennonite dress
to be not a mennonite dress at all
_______
the gigantic plate of chocolate chip cookies
at one of the smallest potlucks ever
with no kids besides dennis who is just a year which means
there are still cookies for their maker (jen)
to take home
_______
the tub of deer parts
legs, skin maybe,
on the karma kitchen floor and the countertop
coated in salt
_______
this is my sunset walk arrangement i say
about the wildflower bouquet
(grasses, purple clover flowers,
something that looks fennely and then
a bright purplepink (and tiny) flower
whose name i don’t know)
arranged in the quart mason jar
on the butcher block

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in the field

recognize this jar gigi asks handing me
a small bouquet of something lilac-ish but not quite
in the bottle i used to send a birthday bouquet her way
at least a month ago if not more
_______
the go-pro imprint on
trish’s forehead while sheri
follows us up/down the field
with her larger camera recording
movement (of working directly
with the earth she says)

_______
the song we sing in the field
(and when i say field, i mean great expanse –
300 foot rows, maybe)
as we press the starts in
and cover them with dirt:
sun’s going down
beauty is unbound
day to night
night to day
blessings on you on your way
oh way oh

and the songs we sing on the transplanter
sometimes working out three part harmonies
which is a feat in itself
but even moreso while multitasking
with the sorghum starts:
i’m going up on the mountain
ain’t coming down til morning
i’m going up on the mountain
ain’t coming down in chains

and will sing this song
and i will rise up to the night sky
and i will sing this song
i do believe i’m back on solid ground
yes i believe i’m back on solid ground
_______
check this out i say to cynthia
sitting next to me on the transplanter
(it’s near the end of the fieldwork day
which means we are getting loopy
and the starts are getting smaller and
more difficult to work with)
as i toss a handful of starts
in the general direction
of the rotating wheel rather than
placing the start, in turn, into the
rubber grabber basket
one at a time
i just want to start tossing them
over my shoulder i joke
_______
trish and emory, milkshake faeries,
pull up in the borrowed too-clean truck
with a mason jar of milkshake
(chocolate banana) and more mason jars to sip out of
we clink glasses and
throw the sorghumsweet sips back
_______
out in the field emory asks me
if i’ve heard the rinse and repeat song
(which i ask him to repeat
several times because i can’t hear
over the sound of the tractor)
to which i answer no and then
before dinner we watch the video
and i can’t help but dance in the office
(this is not how i woke up
but this is how i look now)
_______
you live with your friends
in a house of stupidity nine
emory singing and splashing loud (improv)
in the bathtub after dinner
along with royals and a few other hits
and me laughing at the kitchen table
where my finger (slightly sliced on
rusty machinery) soaks in a bowl of saltwater
and an orion magazine is open before me
_______
similar to riding roller coasters all day
and then going to bed and feeling impossibly still in motion
in my end of the day winding down
there is still the motion of that transplanter wheel
clacking and squeaking in front of me
while the soil rolls by underneath

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goldening

rectangles of peach light
goldening on the floor
and moving slowly across its planks
as seen from living room couch bed
6something a.m.
_______
oh frankie, mica says, well then
you haven’t had my oatmeal
when i tell her i don’t like oatmeal very much
and after spooning her nut butter/butter/real cinnamon/honey/oatmeal
concoction (made by putting everything in a bowl
and then pouring hot water on top and covering
with a plate) into my morning hunger
it ends up being very true
_______
literally
saluting the sun
my mat rolled out before me on mica’s deck/porch
while cricket, next to me, literally

downward dogs
_______
the falling-apartish mini pavilion
we happen upon on the outskirts of town
along old lake road
(is it the lake that’s old? mica wonders earlier
or the road? or a new lake old road? or…)
young tree growing up through the picnic bench
that mica and i sit on either side of
to chomp our various versions of
lentils and rice for lunch while brent
across from us partakes in
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
and we take guesses/make bets
(without betting anything) about whether or not
the old nearby spigot works for attempting to wash
the dried mud clots from our bike frames
_______
the abandoned coming-apart buildings lining edina town square –
ghosts that hand us hints of
what it was once like
and an unknown name (unnamed phenomenon)
for the sense of
what a shame that these beautiful beautiful buildings
are not what they once were or could become
_______
the glint of water we see
off the gravel to our left might be
the lake i call out to mica in front of me and
not long after this is where we encounter the
huge loping dog all black and soft-coated
and huge pawed which means this sweet
creature is not even full size yet

_______
brent shares a song in his head
from the (something?) sisters
(musicians from the twenties)
while we bump along the sometimes-easy-to-bike,
sometimes-not-so-easy-to-bike gravel
north and east
to which i respond i’ve got this one in my head:
everyday is a gravel road… (sung to the tune of cheryl crow’s
every day is a winding road)
_______
moisty brent says
about the air/temperature almost-rain kindof feeling
as we round the bend on our final leg
of today’s bike extravaganza

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mist mast

shall we mo suggests
holding the hat with four letter words
to begin our work party with
knuckle tatt fortunes
an while i don’t remember all of them
here are a few selections:
mist mast
hott time
chop vine
_______
the unusual timing of
the dinner/lunch bell ringing at three
for faspa (a growing-up tradition of stan’s
at his family farm – the snack between lunch and dinner,
radishes on buttered bread served
alongside french toast with rhubarb compote)
_______
how the rainbow appears
(arcing over the soft green curves of
missouri hills
and the treeline that cuts through them
which includes a stunning huge white dead one)
just as we sit ourselves down on the deck/platform
with our bowls of dinner
(salad, miso tahini dressing, lentil rice pockets and
fermented dilly beans)
while the baked pear with pecans and farmers cheese,
imported from trish’s cookshift
waits on the counter inside
how we can see the whole arc of
red orange yellow green blue purple
in its entirety from here
_______
the clouds i say on my back
where sky is all i can see
how they look like ribs and dinosaur skeletons
_______
reason one of kazillion
that it is difficult to believe
i live in this world/on this planet:
8E87BD06-0BFD-490D-84B4-BB8366A0276E_w974_n_s
A poached de-horned rhinoceros, left to die by poachers, walks with bandage and stitches after being treated by South African veterinarians on a ranch in Bela Bela some 150 KM north of Johannesburg in Bela Bela district .  – voice of america, day in photos

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laughing at the enormity of it

tray of fermented raisin sourdough
morning breads
set out on butcher block
how i slice some cheddar and pair them
together for a quick out-the-door breakfast
_______
attempting to hang laundry fast
a task that seems impossible
to do quickly
_______
what i think is a heron (its feet out behind it in flight)
gliding into view
above me against bright deep sky
as i approach, pedaling, the clearing
where gravel meets pavement
_______
the huge pile (at least 10 feet tall) of brick
caleb points out saying
i asked them to save me some and both of us
laughing at the enormity of it
right next to where there was once
a huge old beautiful building
_______
the costume box out in the front yard
as i bike past while emory and cole rehearse
their last-day-of-sandhill-homeschool-for-the-year play
(the gods and goddesses bake-off)
which we will all later
simultaneously watch/participate in
and which will end in the reveal of an actual cake
under an upside down sawed-in-half
50 gallon blue barrel
on the falling apart kid wagon
_______
and then
there is this part (1:11-2:00)
in this version
of miserere mei deus
that can be found nowhere else
(the song can be found everywhere sung by everyone
but the very particular lilt in this version
can be found nowhere but in this version)
_______
from the water world:
D9D293E7-9EBE-4731-9C2E-08E5D8CE4798_w974_n_s
A Buddhist monk cleans the statue of Lord Buddha ahead of his birth anniversary, in a monastery in Bhopal, India.

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