the sky behind me

the sharp eagle cry/calls
and whistle-clucks
sounding out in sky above
as i, barefoot, spray down the puzzle-clumps of just-dug dahlia tubers – this autumn work momentarily abandoned
as i follow the birds riding currents (one adult, two adolescent
perhaps another handful to the south)

_______
snipping willow
at the west edge of lookfar pond
while the sky behind me
blooms its magenta bruises

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the pastoralism problem

we’re asking it to do a lot sole says
about how much we ask the willow to bend
in the business of fastening the handle onto the basket
which requires a tight wrap
around around and around
_______
the persauder mahogany calls the phillips screwdriver
that we shove in between the basket rim and handle
in order to sew the last tip of willow through
_______
the farewell call of the sandhill bell
whose rope i pull as solé and mahogany slowly roll
in the mini-van down the gravel drive
the knell marking a departure, yes,
but also the fact that, while there is no doubt we will see each other in the future,
this is quite likely their last time at sandhill
_______
something to be said for making/fastening a willow basket handle
to last year’s basket
in the absence of my teacher,
a kindof graduation,
a sortof rush of i can do this
_______
feet on sink edge so i can reach
to pull the clock with the loudest tock (and no tick)
off its nail
and remove the battery
granting the quietest silence
in the kitchen
_______

the problem of pastoralism
we laugh about the great pull
to be in a garden
when there are so many other things to tend to
like words that make money

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this big light

all the blue lights
pulsing and silent
but approaching fast behind us
and then from ahead of us too
then the red and white ones
flashing and whining
an ambulence whizzing past
a firetruck
and later we hear about the j4 on top of miller’s grain bin
(a dead man on top of the grain bin dean says
he’s had a couple heart attacks recently )

what we (cynthia and i) see on our drive home:
the cherry picker up at the top of the illuminated metal grain bins
this big light in the otherwise moonless dark

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how we get good at this

conscious leaving he says
and reframes my version of not living up to my potential
calling it the mythic potential – 
a great place to get into the practice of shaming oneself
_______
practice this colossal risk 
 he says
lean into it
_______
a pie trifecta (piefecta):
mahogany shaping and cutting crust
for three pies in glass pans
made with sandhill’s red red apples,
one vegan
one semi vegan
and one all dairy butter
_______

in the greenhouse
we begin
with clippers and willow whisps,
first the spokes, six of them
and then, the “god’s eye” wrapped around that
back to front, front to back
small end to small end, thick end to thick end
it is a wonder
how my fingers, my muscles remember
_______
buttercup squash
green skin gold insides
how the texture of it reminds me
of the applefruit whose name i don’t recall
that we ate, fallen from trees, on the big island in hawaii
_______

how we get good at this rhythm:
mahogany holding the plastic-wrapped slats in place
while i drill
and how i do the same.
how i know when to fish a screw out of my puffy vest pocket
and when to go for the staple gun

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from the desert i am

mats rolled out on cistern
sun on our fabric-ed limbs
we settle
we bend and stretch
_______

clippers in our hands
we walk along the fabius riverbed – the dry parts that go underwater when torrents of rain flush down gathering willow
(reds, gold-browns and gold-greens)
_______

minus a kingfisher call here and there
and the occasional car rolling across the overpass,
the quality of stillness/quiet
all while the sun folds around 
feels like a direct import
from the desert i am missing
this winter

_______

bald eagle
twenty feet up
wings spread
body sailing
and a sngle downy feather
fluttering from sky to riverbed
where we walk
_______

sole and i and one for mahogany too
pulling four letter words from the blue glass knuckle tatt jar
and coming up with things like
tall jazz
and
leaf buoy
and
buzz rock

_______
the rhythm the three of us get into
with the plastic and slats and screws and drills and staple guns
sealing up each window against
the cold snaps approaching

_______

the almost-oranging light hitting the lemonyellowing maple leaves
on the cool ranch tree as we gather up the weatherizing tools from the porch of varying stablenesses
including the drill with the precariously loose bit

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reckless optimism

reckless optimism says nastalie
about the forces responsible for shuttering the doors
of an arts organization and gallery
that had been around (and flourishing) for 40some years
_______
sami, nastalie and i sorting through the grey mammoth variety sunflower seeds on a sheet tray at the kitchen table,
first separating seed from chaffe and then
sorting out the seedless casings (crushable between two fingers) from those with the idea of next year’s flowers tucked inside them
_______

the sun that finally comes 
after what feels like months but has only been weeks
and how it walks with us
up/down the kale rows for what i’m guessing might be the last harvest
of the season
________

the bright shock of yellow/green 
with an occaisonal red/orange flourish
of the silver maple leaves stll attached
to the tree i call my maple
because of how it arcs over the path that leads to the room/cabin i live in
_______

inheritance mahogany says 
about his hand on his dad’s heart
as it beat its last and
being in the room that changed/filled
with his huge spirit
and sole talks about the impulse 
to throw anything open – a window, a door, to make room

_______

the good that it feels
to look at a hand-carved spoon and know that the light-ish blond with dark swirls and the deep dark wood is black walnut
(something similar to how i said the other day the thing about
the years it can sometimes take
to learn things,
and how sandhill has been
one (of the many) greatest teachers
_______

rhymes with spruce sole says
about mahgany’s given name
and there we sit near the heat of the woodstove at night, the three of us
each knowing what it’s like to name ourselves
_______

a cold that merits double hot water bottles
(one for the foot of the bed and one for place my core will be once i tuck my body between the sheets)
in a 35 degree room at night

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knot and wear

39 degrees reads the thermometer in my room
as i rise and wrap the deep/bright green scarf with almost magenta roses around my neck 
wool the tag says
i don’t know/remember whether or not grandma siedlewski used to wear it
but it was one of her things that mom set aside for me
after going through her things after she passed on
and this morning i knot and wear it for the first time
(in the past, it never felt like it fit right, maybe it still doesn’t, but it’s warm)

_______

postponing breakfast
until, log by log, i’ve carried
a substantial woodstack in
to store in the back porch corral
nose running but hands warm
inside the leather of the work gloves
that are sharpie-tattooed with: fast song

_______

my knees on the cold concrete of the back porch
as i chop kindling into a small pile
with the heavy hatchet
practicing 
_______
the sweet light smell of the lemon-almost-neon-colored blooms
of the snapdragons in the greenhouse
that i perch near to cuddle birdie the cat
whose nose has faded like a piece of construction paper in the sun
from pinkpink! to the palest shade of it
_______

the unnameable shade
of mica’s superhero blue hair
as we simultaneously hold onto and let go
of the two perfectly fine rugs
rolled up and tossed into the landfill
_______

it is always a sun worth cheering
but especially today
after much gray
when it pops out after noon
signaling me to toss laundry into the washer
so i can hang it in the bright light and lilty breezes
_______

nina simone on the speakers
as i chop garlic and onions and kale and pepper
while the quinoa and sundried tomatoes come to a boil and
the tofu cubes begin sizzling
in the middle pan on the stove
_______

the remarkable loudness of a possum
foraging along outside of my cabin/room
in the dried leaves searching
for fallen persimmons

_______
the moon
cloud-shrouded
so much farther north than a summer moon
coming up off horizon
framed by wide window
as i write
_______

the high pitch of hot coals
when wood is red
tinkling
like icicles
like glass
_______
from the water world:

A woman wades through a submerged street at the UNESCO heritage ancient town of Hoi An after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam.

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