bucket of husks

in the dream tyler lifts the plastic
cab cap (semi-truck sized) up onto
the pickup truck rack
efforting but succeeding
roadside

in another dream mom
takes all the paintings she made/gifted me
down from my walls and sets them out
with the trash in a stubborn
you-can’t-have-it-anymore move
accompanied by a refusal to talk to me
and a leaving in a huff
and i have a feeling it has something to do
with the kid in the rooms
whose walls are now bare
(the kid who never appears in the dream
but whose presence is present
meaning i am a parent)
later we (mom and i) bump carts
in the grocery store and maybe
there is some softness there
it is also slightly wintry
and an r.v. is involved
_______

wooden serving bowl stacked with
pancakey sweetness (joseph-made)
plate-covered on butcher block
complemented by a dollop of
apricot jam
_______

scuffle-hoeing sparse carrots
in south garden beds dry as dust
the sheen of sweat on baigz’s face
the crumple overwhelm and exhuastion
in trish’s posture

_______

you are showing up she says
you are right where you need to be
you are putting the work in
now put that scorpion tail/tale away
_______

peeling papery sheaths from
all roundnesses/sizes and shades
(ranging from eggplant-purple to green
to yellow-white) of 5-gallon-bucketfulls
of tomatillos and arranging them
on butcher block in rows according to size
the kind of art installation i can get behind
_______

trish and baigz spidering in the hammock
peeling papery layers (that pile on bellies)
from shiny-smooth garlic cloves
you peel i peel we peel i sing-say
dumping a bucket of
husks (tomatillo) into compost pile
_______

two tablespoons of oil laird says
medium-high heat
similar sizes at once
sizzling to yellowness and squishy
cast iron by cast iron this
is how we roast batches of tomatillow
_______

mica in hammock-swing over dinner
imitating (with face and voice) the
hum-buzz-whine of our most
unfavorite window-vicinity dweller
the bush katydid
reminds me of a car alarm i respond
_______

sky hazed by west coast on fire
sun an orangepink orb
still slung high an hour or so
before horizoning
_______

up and down: being sparkly and making
jokes and
crying into my dinner i say

more stable and i’m getting my nightdreams back

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canyoning

emory and i in sun/glasses
wearing our tshirts featuring animals in sun/glasses
holding our stuffed animals wearing sun/glasses posing
for the propped up camera
_______
in an off-season xmas card featuring cardinals i write:
for being one of the forces

carrying me and my heart
through this current
transition of breaking open/breaking through
i thank you
_______

sprinkling spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom)
into almond butter cookie dough
after mixing in oat flour
i roll the mix
into small spheres and
crosshatch with thin-tined fork
_______

welcome homo sign
with scribbly heart
and arrows indicating
almond spice and
cocoa almond spice
cookies cooling on wire racks
_______

nina and i cruising into
hazey sun we talk refugees in the
21st century how it is
that we can yoga and pond dip
while bodies of washed up migrant refugees
gather on italian shores
kids too
i want to write but don’t want to turn
content into more content i say and she
shares about her friend who volunteers
providing childcare and leading yoga
with the women at refugee camps scattered
outside of berlin
_______

sunscreen scent rising off
trish’s skin while we perch
couch-side where we are regaled
with tales of a sassafrass chicago grandma
_______

it’s the word cheese that makes me laugh
and then sledge says
there’s an entire book about

how cheese came into being
which makes me keep laughing

for which i am grateful
_______

a lot of times
when money comes
into your life it can
wreck everything around
you she says
_______
even though i’m a double taurus
which means i’m stubborn and
can’t stand change i appreciate
who you were, who you are
and who you will become
you say sometime after i try
to give language to the unmappableness
of the land canyoning around you

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i ride through

in the dream i am
competing in the water and
simultaneously the coach
something about silver bracelets and
ice cream dripping out the bottom
of a soggy cone right there poolside
(and the reason i know i am the coach
is because someone sitting behind the judges table
calls me so)
at some other point i am maybe
in LA
_______
what i gave up: (to be completed)
what i gained: the long-awaited return of sleepdreams
_______

mica and i pedaling
side by side on county highway
how she moves over for me after
the car behind us passes
we’ve been talking about how
the rainlessness makes the gravel roads
so dusty she asks if we’ve turned on
the irrigation in south garden
_______
plume of smoke spotted
in the southeast
to the rhythmsound of
grassblades against shoes and calves

_______

fingers to neck
on slick-sheen of sweat
after uncountable laps
(enough to fill 25 minutes)
around the frisbee field
_______

sun patch opens up on
gravel road above creek
dusty light, almost pink-gold
i ride through
_______

two scratchy-legged
wild haired
dirty-skinned kiddos
plunked on front porch dog cushion
each with a kitten in their lap
_______

unnamed phenomena: the taking of a picture
or the mental noting of something with the intent of
sharing later with person x
only you’ve dislodged the bridge
that connects you to person x
so the photo or mental note
cannot be sent out on its course
instead, it is relegated to someplace purgatoryish
stored in some betweenland or nothingplace
and something like a ghost
or a haunt is what the span of time is between
the can’t wait to send this sparklyness
and the realization about how that
exchange is no longer yours to access
_______

bb-sized bubbles rising in
glass half gallon
as it fills with
filtered raingathered water
_______

agitated and bummersville reported before
run and bike
feelin alright reported
after run and bike
the magic of motion and our bodies in it i say
_______

somehow sunset that seemed eternally at
8:30pm is now at 7:45

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as she emeralds

morning cynthia jokes is this the women’s
yoga retreat headquarters while we both approach
the whitehouse with mats under our arms
_______

ian at butcher block pours
gen mai cha into a tall shotglass
and says now it’s mochi time
(talks about how the bitter
of the brings out the sweet
of the glutenous rice with black sesame)
_______
just before she heads out on the
40 mile ride home i appreciate marie’s
consistent quality of presence
open always i say the shine of tears in her eyes
_______

cynthia giving pointers on the
right-angleness of
forearms-to-biceps for a
farewell/so-long tripod headstand
in the sideyard
_______

hummingbird hovering several feet away i freeze
mid-broccoli harvest sending hellos and love
to kate on wings as she emeralds
up and away
(followed later by a similar visit
outside the bike shed where i
patch a flat)
_______

another kind of pride/satisfaction:
somewhere along the line i learned
how to splice wires together which means
i just went in there and fixed that little
bike computer i once got for free meaning
it will once again track miles but not tell me
what time it is because the small button on the
back no longer works

_______

dear fran, dr. mutulu shakur writes
your heart is as big as the missouri sky
at the bottom of a typed/copied letter to
family and friends which includes news
of being considered for release
onto federal parole
i look forward to being reunited with you all
outside of these walls
_______

avoiding the charred/blackened parts
mica and i pick at kettle corn failure part one
while nina lifts stirs the gigantic pot of
tomatoes on the karma kitchen stove
_______

tufts of feathers (black)
accompanied by a chicken head attached
all the way to the neck
littered along the back edge
of the greenhouse/compost pile area

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hearts/arms to sky

in the dream, m-lo and i are
dinnering with my parents
and s/he refers across the table to me as sweetheart
which s/he follows up by asking
can i call you sweetheart?
(a term we never used)
and i say oh hell no joking

but really not caring
all of which is a gesture/suggestion
that six years later
we finally made it
through all the bullshit
_______
long morning light
casting shadows of all seven of us
(marie, nina, cynthia, annie, liat, emory and me)
lined up on the cistern and lifting our
hearts/arms to sky
somewhat synchronized
_______

cynthia standing along my mat
guides me through my
first forearm backbend
_______
perhaps a mixture of pride
and satisfaction is what to call it
(it = weighing out our harvest
[orange of carrots, dusty of potatoes,
husked wonder that is tomatillo, etc.]
and portioning into CSA boxes)
_______

when nina asks i say
this one’s for my watch and this one
is for a little vibrator we laugh
_______

like a cat on a hot tin roof
cyn says while marie and i
work our way with drills
across the tin roof we are
drilling down to the purlins
with roofing screws

we move methodically up and over

_______

box of potatoes, carrots and the smallest
array of eggplant perched/balanced on my head
as we walk the path to laura’s from which mica
points out the scarecrow in the corn patch in the distance
scene enough to stop and take it in
_______
decisions that i think
will make me feel good/better but instead
only make me feel horrible i say followed by
could be all those heavy(ish) boxes i just carried

but i feel light (for the first in a while) i say
while we circle and snack on apples and popcorn under
the swirl of ceiling fans
_______

sun bigger than sun redder-oranger
than the burn of lava and neon
as it lowers itself
flanked by cloud bouquet in the west as seen
from the back of a rusted toyota truck
hurtling down a county highway
all while a powder moon (swollen)
traces its own arc westward
_______
put a lid on it joe says
about the tallow candle left aglow on
butcher block so
i can see the slice of bread i
spread butter and liliquoi jelly on

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of all the fire

you look tougher than when you
showed up this morning june jokes
about my bloody nosebridge point of 
frisbee-to-face contact
_______
first in the pond
whose waters are cool enough to elicit
a yowl and how my body
cutting through it feels like
all the clear-watered rock-bottom pacific northwest rivers
i’ve ever called home
_______
panic is an indicator (canary in a coalmine)
that there’s something to attend to he says
if your first move is attention to yourself
then your ability to show up for others is
going to blow your mind
_______
wherein marie demonstrates a pop-up
on the porch floor and we can see
the ocean around her
_______

ashby’s paws stepping along my back
and sleepsprawling on my arm
in the orchard where i blanket lounge
in state of emotional spentness/exhaustion
post-lunch and pre-afternoon build (rafters day two)
_______

singing/harmonizing along to
gillian welch (sometimes a voice [mine] with
so much vibrato it sounds
and sometimes feels like crying)
while i shred/chop cabbage, carrots and beets for the salad
and saute onions, garlic, spices, potatos, cabbage, green beans, summer squash and tomatoes into masala
sound of hammering drilling and sawing
in the not so distant side yard
_______

laughing up a list
with annie, ty, and ian
of made up names for the discount foods store
whose actual name (hitchin’ post) i can’t remember:
snack shack
treat street
lasso and luna bars
granola gondola
munchie mansion

snack saloon
_______

bursts of uproarious laughter
rising from screened-in front porch
the word loophole over heard multiple times
(presumably in reference to
ways to work around vows
of celibacy) heard from my
hammock-drape where ashby curls on
my chest and the filling-up moon casts its veil
on my bare limbs
_______
i say it’s been getting cooler
it could be you say because of
all the fire
_______
futures
and best human she says

and the ache/weight of
staring down the same vision
through our very different ways of getting there
(and the ouch of this very particular heart curse
that i haven’t figured out how to navigate with grace)

_______

are willing to tough it out she says
may your sky
i say be a million glimmerings

_______
hijacked by us
she says/observes
which is a great way of saying it though
i might rephrase it: hijacked by you
_______
from the water world:

640952A4-6A66-4FD7-9D7C-C12A662AEDBC_w974_n_s
A boy cools off under a waterfall in Kabul, Afghanistan.  – voice of america, day in photos

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i built this body memory

cynthia sporting the burger & fries leggings
for cistern-top group morning yoga sesh
with kittens we
backbend before leaning in
_______

marie’s mom’s home-made liliquoi jelly
in a half pint glowing gold
on butcher block
heaven i say sampling it on sandhill bread
_______

mallet and chisel back in hand
how it feels good to return to
familiar work and how it
hurts to think about
how i carried you in me
when i built this body memory
as opposed to the hollows of now
_______
the yowlp of an alarmed/injured chicken
in jack’s (jack russel terrier) jowls
_______

all 5 of us (cynthia, nina, tyler, marie and me)
lined up along the top plate
(held up by some height-enhancing implements
such as ladders, stools/upside down buckets on tables,
temporary scaffolding a la two ladders and a plank)
chiseling in where the rafters will lay
strong sun and strong wind
on our skin
_______

astounded she says i am the first
(of all bodies she’s ever worked on)
with no lower-back knots
right, i say, because i’m too busy
making the upper-back knots
really good
_______
to receive such attention/care

i say/think about tasha
kneading out my knots
_______

cheering and yelling from above as
the rush of two trains (each on opposite tracks
in opposite directions) occurring simultaneously
roar past
_______

train drill wherein all eight of us
practice flopping to the ground (bridge)
as fast as we can in order to
conduct our experiment test to find out
whether the conductors always sound the whistle
under this bridge or if they only do it when us humans
are leaning out over it waving
_______
hah mih nih nah neeee ayyyy eee ayyy
(aaaaaay doombah, eeee ayyy dumbah)
piled up in truck back we sing/howl out
to moon glow (approaching full)
cast across sky and through
tree canopy
rolling hills rise/falling below us
_______

talented i say about dagny
just like this kiddo i tap the shoulder of emory
who asks if he can curl into me
shortsleeved cold in cooling moving air
we share our warm
_______

how we snack-frenzy storm the
whitehouse kitchen (granola bars,
biscuits, liliquois jelly, pretzels,
granola)
_______

from the water world:
6F3CE513-81AC-4DFB-8A95-45C5741B6DA5_w974_n_s

A migrant quenches his thirst after disembarking from the Irish Navy vessel LE Niamh at the Messina harbor in Sicily, Italy. – voice of america, day in photos

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