called by the clouds

the slight sweat gathering
under pant legs and sleeves whilel i
wrestly poison ivy
along the down-sloping path
_______

the staggered ding! of the wind-up kitchen timer and the beep beep beep of my watch timer
while i stand in front of the two mighty pots
of water boiling before me
and the mountains of kale and collard leaves
that i drop in and then scoop out
_______
called by the clouds
i walk up on slaters hill and through clearings then woods then clearings
all the grass that was once there yellowing
in bales scattered
the jingle jang of jack’s collar sometimes alongside me sometimes up ahead but rarely behind
and the thunderclouds looming
clearer into view
and later when corinne tells me it’s solstice, i feel bad for not realizing/knowing
and then i don’t feel bad because i celebrated it
in my own small way
by being called
and heeding it
and walking even when the day was long
and celebrating: the deer prints in the wet earth, the black eyed susans coming up, the white tail of a deer scrambling off after my human presence rattles them, all the ornaments hung and flickering on night trees and sky (lightning bugs), the bat that seems to have taken up residence on the exterior eastern wall of my room
etc
_______
the cat who is called ashby
curled up on my loft bed as i write
_______
how most nights
the sound of so many bugs
colliding with screen over and over again
sound something
like rain

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a sheen

the way the heat of the large skillet brings out
the greenest-of-green-things green
of the rare / few-times-a-season
treat of twice shelled fava beans
and the way that greenest green
seems to sweat from the inside out
on the heat showing a sheen

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encounters with the wild lives

never, until this morning, have i stepped out onto my porch to stand within three feet of a bat
as the bat cleans themselves
the quick flicks of their tiny pink-red tongue
and the bathing movements similar to that of a cat and bird
_______

we’re on a mission! emory says as we paddle our way
around the pond searching for tangled fishing line
that we pull out of the willows
_______

no real exact words
for the pom pom burst of milkweed blooms – sturdy purple-white flowers
opened
and their powdery lilac-ish-but-not smell
filling the room in which i dwell
where they are tucked in a small clear bottle
next to photos of some of the dearest
who have passed on

_______

i learned them as potty shots i say to emory who calls them granny shots
which i, in response, call them grampy shots
and we sometimes count from one to three and then say shoot while we simultaneiously each hurl a ball towards the net
_______

the small bouquet i arrange including day lilies
for a father whose first father’s day in 40-some or 50-some years
goes on without his daughter alive
_______

like a surgeon and their assistant  i say of emory, the lego assembler, and i, the piece-gatherer
as we follow our way through the instruction booklet
for the blue car with monster-ish wheels that, once assembled, one can pull back and then release
to set the vehicle in motion
_______
like going to church i say of my encounters
with the wild lives
that come into close range of my woodsy-edged dwelling
not the kind of church i am forced/expected to go to
but the kind of weird church i make 
and choose

_______

tropical  say of the sunset, which is this florida beach spring break neon pink orange kinds of colors
all under an arrangement of purple gray clouds
against powder blue sky

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our power

stepping out onto the porch in the morning
following the gaze of mama cat which is set on the wood siding of the east facing wall of the cedar room
where a bat is attached and presumably asleep
_______
our power snack mark says
holding out the bag of salted pumpkin seeds
partway through the nemo birthday frisbee tournament
_______
robin wall kimmerer
providing a possible answer to a conuncrum i’ve been turning over for years now:
a pronoun that isn’t ‘it’ for referring ot trees or sun or rivers or raccoons etc.
her proposal:
ki (pronounced ‘key’) for singular and kin for plural,
ki coming from aaki which is the part of the potowami aakibmaadiziiwin (‘being of the earth’) that means ‘land’
 _______

hail the circumference of a
50-cent piece 
held in the palm of my hand
outside the memphis theater
grabbed from the sidewalk and tossed back down again
_______

the plum-colored skittles package that matches
the plum-colored shirt that mica wears
and the sound of the candy shell as it crunches in between my teeth
while we situate ourselves in the front row
for the memphis community theater’s production
of oklahoma
_______
the lightening that has scattered itself
across the sky in all directions
lighting up and going dark
lighting up and going dark again

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the silver shining

the silver shining streak
cutting diagonally across the sky over me
while i lay, pre-sunset and post-dinner
on the flat concrete of the cistern’s surface
birdie the cat curled on my chest
________

from the water world:

Children jump into Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, Turkey. – voice of America, day in photos.

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further away from endureland

remember what you care about he says and move towards that
i want your pendulum to swing further into righteousness and further away from endureland

_______

plucking some of the season’s last strawberries
(their bright redness!)
from the plants as we weed and
later navigating the brambles of black raspberry, as we pluck some of the first fruits

_______
sun on our skin as we air dry
post-swim 
under a bird with some black-white something
gliding over while a bobwhite sings
off to the west

_______

the sewn travel silverware pouch
wrapped in gold/silver paper and the
free xmas card disguised as a birthday card
sealed in its envelope
how i set them on the couch next to mica
as we spoon the last of the cherry ice cream (somewhat sticky/freezer burned as ice cream gets over time, but turns out i don’t mind in the slightest)
into our mouths

_______
sunset walk down the back road:
how the sky is blazing in neon pinks and dusty purples and how
the midwestern version of mountains along the horizon is clouds
and how the lightning flickers behind one of the thickest ones (clouds)
and how the glimmer (of fireflies) is everywhere: decorating trees, adorning open spaces, flickering 
neon green blink on
neon green blink off
and i apologize for not having been in a while and i thank
that the sky, the road, the green of the trees, the magnificent clouds are still there
and that, while we may not have oceans or mountains, we have this
_______

the sweet soft high whinny
(almost with a purr in it)
of an eastern screech owl
tucked somewhere in the patch of woods
between cool ranch and the chicken yard
heard in the twinkling dark (fireflies)
11-something p.m.
_______
the mighty winds and bright
shocks of light and the tiniest mist
sometimes blowing in the loft windows
and a cat who normally prefers minimal touch
being the baby spoon while i 
click out the light 
and the elements weather everything
beyond

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the prayer in me

float-flitting about and about again
back-forth-backing
the small bird seen from loft window
as morning makes itself
the i.d. book tells me is a gnatcatcher
_______
my only wish if it were my birthday today
i say on the way to harvest the last of the  peas to baigz whose birthday it actually is
would be for rain
_______
the particular plunk of blueberries
(the diameter of a nickel)
as we drop them into plastic buckets celebrating
first bloobs of the season

_______
tyler in the kitchen letting out a whoop
at the first drops of rain and from the lab,
i yell out a yeyyyyeeeeeessssssssssssss!
and from somewhere down the way
I can hear baigz cheering too
_______
how the first crack of thunder
(after a flash of bright so brilliant it is visible even
in the daylight)
splits everything around me in half
including myself
so holy there is no difference
between the prayer in it and the prayer
in me
_______
the tineiest of tiny elderberry flowers
i pluck from the tree for identifying – 
turns out they are indeed elderberry
and later gift them to baigz
birthday elderberry! i proclaim while giving it to him
(and later, i pick up hail – birhtday hail! – and gift him one
and put two in my apple cider and fizzy water drink)
_______
the bright red of unripe berries and the 
deep purple of the ripe ones
found several yards outside my door
a delicious walk
_______
the something like opera that comes out of my mouth
when i encounter a raccoon about four feet from me
at face level
in the beam of my headlamp
and after the opera
how i tell raccoon loud as i can
to go away
_______
how some nights (like tonight) are oil lamp nights
even though the electricity isn’t out
it’s the lightning and rain that made me do it

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