the slowly changing landscape

the few flecks of snow (!)
i observe hurtling from sky to ground
out the office window
(though one has to be watching
with a very keen eye to catch sight of them) –
though it’s nothing
it’s still a little hard to take
after those 70 degree sunny days
of last week or so
after mentioning facebook
in a hand-written letter that i tuck in a blue envelope
which is headed to isabel in chicago i write in the letter
it’s so gen x of me
to mention facebook in a handwritten letter
though maybe we’re actually xennials –
look it up on wikipedia

showing juniper the return address
on aforementioned blue envlope
and how we both get a little celebratory
about the first time using the new address
whose street address line
is a matching length
to the city/state/zip code line
which is a relief
after the imbalance of the numbers and letters and two-word road name plus the lot number
against the city/state/zipe code of here
the slowly-changing landscape
of real human headquarters’ interior:
floor stacks of books
and books stacked in boxes
in the living room
and now and then i go to reach for things
(the blank cards for writing and sending,
the book titles lined up on the shelf)
that are no longer there

i wish i could sing the whole city a lullabye
i write to kp and sabrina in minneapolis
one that would magically soothe people
AND end white supremacy and police violence –
i mean, police terror

to heft the weight

not a cow i think
but i grab the binoculars to be sure
and there, out the front window,
far off in the pasture/corn field
a coyote
fluffly tailed and taller than
i would imagine a coyote to be
and not low enough to the ground to be a fox
i take the cast iron off the stove
where it was heating for eggs
so i can stand at the window
with the binoculars
watching and watching and watching
until eventually coyote
crests the cornfield ridge horizon
and dips down below
out of site on the ridge’s other side

 the weight of the unbearable cruelty
or is it the unbearable weight of the cruelty
or is it the unbearable weight
of the heartbreak
the rage
the crack in our spirits
at the news, the wrapping of one’s mind around
another young person of color
after another young person of color
after another young person of color
killed by a cop with a gun
words are kindof broken
(not brutality but atrocity)
but i still try lining up the letters side by side
juniper talks about a general strike
as we pull up to the mailbox –
something has got to break
to turn
to shift
to make never again become actualized as never again
to hatch
to hold accountable
to heal
to lasso the bullet
back out
to rise the body
back to upright
to unfuck the fuckedupness
to tuck the gun
back into the holster and to
unbuckle the belt of the holster and
(what do we do with it?…)
empty out the bullets
and give the metal back to the earth
use the leather for something better
which is anything but a gun purse –
take it back a century
turn it into a bookstrap
to be used only as a bookstrap
or to be used to heft the weight of words today
to heft the weight of hearts
stone-heavy with rage
stone-heavy with grief

in flight

a word for the moment
when one looks up from the gravel road
at just the right time
to catch the sight of the wide wings and
long legs
of a heron arrowing overhead in flight

up the river

lisi the cat curled in the morning
in the doughnut my legs make
mostly patiently awaiting my overslept self
to put his harness on him
andd take him out for a walk
the flushing shitake log
that i bring in from the cold
and lean against the wall in the tub
and the water i bring to the log
several times in the day

my role isn’t really clear either i say
into the phone to shawn up the river from me
while packing books and files and saved magazines
into cardboard boxes


the apple core i put
in my bright blue winter jacket
while walking down mainstreet
in the unexpected cold
in the unexpected wind
in the unexpected gray,
how i will extract this apple core from the pocket
hours later while eating a late dinner
of black bean/wild rice burgers
and sweet potato fries
and the season’s first ramps
so bright green they sing

the two bunnies
doing the rabbit dance
in the dark under flickering stars
and the streetlight
(they face each other
then dart directly at each other –
one of them hopping over the other
and then turning around to repeat
again and again)
lisi cat and i
both peeking out from around the curtains
to watch
the books still on the bookshelf in the office
but now, sealed in boxes,
ready to be moved


the small white moth
fluttering against the windowscreen
(on the other side of which i sit and write this)
in the drizzle
drawn to the yellow-gold light
that glows above this hot pink desk

chicken diapers

veda tells me
about making diapers out of socks for the chicken
that they are tending to tenderly
who suffered frostbite on ki’s feet
(and now is missing toes and healing)
diapers, so the chicken can spend nights indoors

how unexpected it is
to walk out from the darkenss
in which we watched minari (highly recommend)
to a dusking but not-yet-dark sky
through which i drive with windows down
and roll slow when i get to the gravel road
to take in as many spring peeper sounds as possible
before i make my way up the hill

knocked to the ground

the slight squeakish sound
of great blue heron wings
as a pair of them flies low overhead
against the dusking sky
seen from just outside the trailer
where i step out to catch a view of the
rising full moon that
knocks me to the ground
once i step around the corner
and see ki hovering huge and gold
over the horizon

if the killer was winter

the faint migraine-ish headache i wake up with
that makes me wonder if the aura i experienced
in my sleepdreams
was an actual aura kaleidoscoping
under my closed eyelids as i slept
first the hunks of deer fur
(mostly the white belly fur)
and then the deer carcass itself
on the leaf-littered ground
in the woods below the pasture –
how i stand looking for a long time to see
if what i was looking at was
the scraps of some hunter’s kill
or if the killer was winter
or some other animal

the hair i tug out of my scalp
as an offering
to the once-animated deer,
now spine and hooves and skin

it feels scandalous i say
about us choosing here for our gelato orders
(butterfinger for me, chocolate covered pretzel and vanilla for juniper)
instead of to-go
and plunking down on the blue chairs
in the very spacious
and mostly deserted gelato place


telling the american bittersweet

on the zoom call, ernesto and i joke
about the mandatory ratio of poets
to other humans on a zoom call
people who are hungry for life ernesto says
about who he’s got time for

juniper telling the american bittersweet
that she’s moving and that she wrote a book
about ki

a tenderoni moment
while we walk up the gravel hill
acknowledging the loss of
instant access to wildness –
all the things we have seen/heard/met along the road
or from the window of the trailer
or down at the pond
or the creek:
the turkeys
the deer
the muskrats
the beavers
the red-bellied woodpeckers
the owls in flight and their who cooks for you calls
the sandhill cranes
the great blue herons
the groundhogs
the raccoons
the coyote song
the ridgetop sky
the rose-breasted grosbeaks
the eagles
the chickadees
the titmice
the orioles
the red-tailed hawks
the pheasants
(and on and on)
the season’s first worm
seen in on of the rootballs
as I pull up last year’s annual flowers
and how i wince
when pulling put the snapdragons
that i notice too late
have new green growth at their bases
lisi perched in the moonlight
in the back bathroom windowsill
perhaps asleep, even,  in the bask of it all