into early light

in the dream, i spotted a bobcat
only the bobcat was missing the telltale ear sticky uppy hairs
but clearly, the cat was still a bobcat
and the land was somewhere i’ve never been
and perhaps more new mexico than missouri
and we stayed kind to each other
and perhaps curious
_______
pedaling into early light
(6:50am) on the gravel
a hoe for the sorghum fields poking out of my pannier
_______
on a blanket
under the cedar tree
some of us stage the onions and some of us select as we go
using twine and some knots and our concentration
baigz, eric, trish and i
(with an emory peanut gallery and sometimes jack too)
braid the onion harvest
to be hung to dry
_______
mama cat in all her calico-ness
(or is it tortoise-shell-ness)
climbing the six-foot sunflower
like a ladder and the resulting rustle
of the rough branches and leaves
_______
a day so hot (and it’s going to get hotter)
That two of the cats that like to fight
are lying feet from each otehr
without saying a word
(minus one half-hearted hiss)
_______
next thing you know, i’ll just be wearing a black censored strip (like in a photo where  some publicly unmentionable part of someone’s body is exposed in public)
i joke at the butcher block when cynthia says
you can tell it’s getting hotter by the shrinking of frankie’s clothes
_______
be brave and lead with your big heart i write
to a sister heading south

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all orange

the second tomatoe harvest
cradled in my palm:
all orange
_______
a bit warm for a run i say
as i run past the white-cut-off-tee’d and blue-jeaned farmer man
who’s walkign down the gravel road between trucks,
a road that, in my four years of running here, i’ve never encountered another human pedestrian
_______

the smallest of pink petals on the tiniiest zinnia (thumbelina variety)
blooming by my front porch
how it feels like the flower is saying hi
so i say hi back
_______

a serious-looking wasp-ish creature
the likes of which i’ve not seen before:
bright yellow antennae,
black tail about five inches long
and from where i sit on the saw horses
with moonstar in my lap
i see one mounted on another and then a third joins in
_______
the oncoming slow burn
which has me recognizing the blister beetle blister by feel
before i confirm it by sight
received most likely by being on my knees in the tomato beds
_______
just as i head out for a back-way walk
through the neighbor’s treeline i catch a view
of the radiant orange-pink
of the great sun-star
skinking into horizon
from the water world:

Participants cheer on a portable shrine carried by others as they parade through the sea during a purification rite at the annual Hamaori Festival at Southern beach in Chigasaki, west of Tokyo. – voice of america, day in photos

Izabayo, 13 years old, leaves the boat where he spent the night with 10 other fishermen after another fishing night at Lake Kivu. – voice of america, day in photos

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shining through

name four things you can see from up here
that you can’t see from down there
i say to emory
both of us in our respective branch perches in the white pine
whre we do our best to
lounge in a shady spot
which means we don’t climb
as high as we can but rather
strategically locate ourselves somewhere between halfway and three fourths up
i can see the top of the chimney on the whitehouse he says
i can see over the chicken yard fence i say
_______
emory in his long trunks and me in a sports bra and short shorts
swinging up into the air
side by side while the sprinkler
hits us with cool cool water
and the distant thunder rumbling as we kick up and up and up
_______

it’s the kind of sky i can’t help but regret
not seeing the entirity of
an an unnameable quality of light
blasting through the edges of the brightest-white puffiest clouds
but to the west the clouds are a veil
of antique cloud colors
and to the east, whisps float in and 
the sky is the bluest blue and 
later there’s that ember-like glow of the sun as it lowers
shining through the branches of trees
_______
the rainbow that arcs in the east
as seen from the tomato patch
where i use my entire body
to hold up falling over plants
while i unravel and draw the trellis twine taut
row
by row
by row
_______
from the water world:

A man carries a basket with wild mushrooms on a flooded street after a rainstorm in Kunming, China. – voice of america, day in photos

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wrestling and weaving

the round sweet juiciness of my first peach of the season for breakfast
a small orb of a reminder: how lucky i am
and how grateful for all of this
_______
mica and i hi-fiving with our butts
(which we call a low two)
for the drone cam that whirs and whines over the field
sometimes at the same height a frisbee in the air
could be at
_______
might not be a good edamame year
or a good cucumber year
but damn if it isn’t a good sunflower year
i say of the towering 
orange-red petaled,
lemon yellow petaled,
maroon gold petaled
brightest hummingest yellow petaled giants
some of whose very tops
i’d need a step ladder to reach
and then the half gallon mason jar
filled with them and water
on the front porch (flowers saying hello) because
_______
wrestling and weaving and wrestling and weaving and sometimes weeding too
this is how i move from one end of a row to the other
in the tomato jungle
taming
like breaking a horse say
_______
first dahlia bloom open
in north garden
just like last year
right in time for sharon and dennis
which means from this day forth
the first dahlia has delcared itself
dennis and sharon’s dahlia
_______
how i slice and arrange
the first tomatoes in a circle (like sun rays)
on top of the tabouleh-ish sallad
which features fresh parsley and spinach and onions
some of which seem ready
to haul in 
for the season
_______
the orange not-quite-setting-sun light
dipping below treeline branches
and laying itself across birdie the cat’s face
as she sprawls on the sun-warmed cistern
stretching into a knocked out pre-hunting time sleep

_______

from the water world:

17th FINA World Aquatics Championship. Solo Technical Women preliminary, Budapest, Hungary. Yukiko Inui of Japan competes. – voice of america, day in photos.

A woman holds an elderly woman on her back to cross a flooded street after a heavy rain in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China. – voice of america, day in photos.

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against the almost-iridescent

a word for the very specific satisfaction
that comes from crossing things off a to-do list
especially when using a broad and bright marker
to do so
_______
(detail from a pervious day, but remembered now, thus written now):
it might have been a fox someone says
about the death of seven chickens while i was away
_______
the mellow and bright yellow of snapdragons against the pink-lemonade pink of the other snapdragons against hte deep fuschia and white and pink raspberry combo of cosmos against the almost iridescent pink-orange thumbelina zinnia petals agains the shiny crisp white and marron of the strawflowers
all tucked into a small queenline jar
that i fill with water
_______
at night among the insect chorus i hear a splooosh
of some creature landing in the pond
which is not so close which means it must have been a big creature (super huge bullfrog?) making a big sploosh

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into a sky of lightning

up until this moment
i have never seen a bat yawn
but because there’s this one that sleeps
on my exterior wall under a window pane
and because i couldn’t help but move the hinged-down window just the slightest
to make sure the creature was still alive
the winged wonder awoke and resettled themself (i’m pretty sure ‘themself’ is not a word, but i really do want to stop calling living creatures and elements ‘it’)
yawning once, twice, then a third
exposing the tiniest and very sharpest looking fangs i may have ever seen
_______
the bowl of sweet bing cherries (black)
that i set on the table for lunch
and how i like thinking about how two days ago
i was plucking them from branches in the foothills of the coast range
wind in my hair
and how they traveled through time zones with me
(tucked in my pack as we rode north towards portland, and then as we took off and landed in portland than chicago, and then as i rumbled along on the el and on a bus through the rain and then
as i sidewalked in the drizzles and then as i hurriedly made my way to the brown line
and rocked to its rolling and then walked with the rushed throngs downtown to union station and then
settled myself into a window seat on the amtrak which eventually took us into a sky of lightning and then
tossed in the back seat of the cab of a white toyota that cynthia drove along the curves of county highways and back up the gravel driveway that i left out of two weeks ago)
_______
the unbelievable amount of minutes/hours it takes
to weave tomato branches into trellising and to weave trellising from post to post and to try so hard not to snap a branch but to hiss a curse everytime i do
_______
the new layers added
to the already mighty night chorus:
the long hurts-your-ears high pitch of what i think is called a prairie katydid,
the one off buzzy vibration of what might be grasshoppers,
and the once and a while cicada song

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rattled by the rough

lightning in the darkening sky
to the east as we descend into chicago
and the massive amounts of water coming out of the clouds
all at once shortly after we land
_______
handing out bible literatures  says the extremely kind/nice woman
wearing impressive amounts of mascara layered on
who sits next to me near the baggage claim
and there must be a name
for moments like these where i tell her about my dear friend
and her first baby but i don’t mention her wife (the baby’s second mama)
and i’m so relieved that because she’s taking a break
she has no bible literature to hand me
_______
the pack of tissues the woman one seat up hand sto the woman in tears next to me
and the hand i put on the crying woman’s shoulder to tell her she’s doing a good job
and the please don’t yell at me again she says to the amtrak ticket collector
after she apologizes and tells me that it’s always like this – being rattled by the rough transition of coming from tokyo, where she lives, where even on the train people bow and respect, to here
where everything is rude and mean and yelling
_______
the welcome-homes, in no particular order:
a forever night sky alive with light traveling cloud to cloud,
the burst of molten as it drops just above horizon and just below the shelf of clouds stretched paralell over the horizon,
cynthia in the same spot i left her – as if she just statued there outside the train station for the past two weeks,
a possum sitting up in the middle of the road and the curl of its tail as seen in the brightness of headlights and the fact that we are able to swerve away from hitting it,
all the frogs hopping across the sheen of wet highway, some we miss, some we don’t

_______

from the water world:

People cool off in a swimming pool in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China. – voice of america, day in photos

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