the kind of blue that lets light through

yeah, we could call it burning the man
i joke while we all joke on the front porch at lunch about how sandhill
becoming a festival
at which dj deep dish is a wedding officiant
and attendees can choose from a menu of five options
of what kind of ceremony they’d like
(hip hop being one of them)
_______
wearing steel toed combat boots and walking in formation to sit at a desk in an office kris talks about the weird comedic experience
of being a fema/americorps volunteer
and how we wore these shirts that said FEMA in huge letters on the back
and it was like wearing a ‘kick me’ sign, people hate FEMA
_______
a kind of summer victory:
tightening the final knot of the final string of twine of the final tomato trellising
not that the plants are done growing
but that the Tposts are only so tall
_______
there is something quaint
about tying brown bags around already-bloomed sunflower heads
to catch their seeds before the birds pluck them out
some things are just
that simple
_______
the drone/whine/buzz
of two hummingbirds divebombing the red-yellow sunflowers
at the south edge
of south garden
_______
me in my sandals and skirt and sleeveless tee
walking west on the gravel road that i first cut my gravel-road-biking teeth on (literally)
sentence by sentence whispering intentions
my finger hooked through the water bottle cap
which dangles and sways with each step
_______
and the sky:
broad feathery streaks
of luminescent cloud
painted across it,
the sky itself a dome
painted the kind of blue that lets light through
and beginning to copper and gold-rose
at the edges
_______
from the water world

People take a foot bath at a park in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, Japan. – voice of america, day in photos

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through the thin curtain drawn

somewhere between
the chicken coop and the whitehouse
before breakfast
i give myself over
to the impressive weeds in the fava bean bed
and come out of it all with that north garden sandy soil
coating my knees, calves, forearms and there’s probably some
on my face too
_______
kris and eric and i
clinking our mugs of summer blend tea
(with oatstraw)
over the butcher block
where dinner takes the form of peanut butter cookies
cooling on the racks and jill scott plays
in the background
_______
while back-forth stitching
black thread on black elastic
i meet luma mufleh
being her empathetic, badass and courageous self
on the center stage of a ted talk
titled don’t feel sorry for refugees,
believe in them
and it’s exactly as it should be  i think
when the audience standing-ovations her
at the end
_______
and something about jill scott in the background
and the lowering sun through the thin curtain drawn aross the kitchen west-facing window
and the way we three just sit and sip makes me feel
like we are at a sidewalk cafe
and the novelty of such a thing from here
makes it all worth it
_______
the heat breaking finally
just enough today 
that my sheet of eclipse stamps
is returning to the darkins
of it’s at-rest state

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but then we become the breeze

what wakes me is the rattle-rumble
of thunder (heard beyond the fan-in-the-window-hum)
moving in from the northwest and so i sit
in the early light on the porch in my pjs
(which, curently – due to the extreme heat, is a pair of underwear)
to feel the cool lilts in the breeze
move over me
before the first drizzle drops 
(a tiny bit of cool relief)
hit my skin
and i want to say something about this light
the whiteness of it
at an early hour
_______
already warm mica says
tying her cleats on
at the edge of the field
8am
sun pushing clouds aside and landing
everywhere between the end zones
_______
but then we become the breeze
and the motion of moving through
brings the built-in-cooling-power
of sweat
_______
the blighty dots on the leaves and some of the fruits
chopmed and damaged
how i curse the blister beetles in the tomates
as i pluck gold orbs
(some damaged, some not)
from the branches
_______
the bones suit
providing answers and guides
propped up against
my desk wall

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where the heat is even hotter

a day so hot
(heat index of 106)
that the sheet of heat-sensitive eclipse postage stamps
aren’t changing color at all
_______
tyler or is it cynthia
says something about a program on NPR
that talked about the conditions of a st. louis prison
(in the city, where the heat is even hotter than here)
without air conditioning and how those being held
are screaming to be let out
_______
i put myself in the passenger seat of the hyundai
not because i’m going anywhere
but because yesterday, on our way to the store, it felt good to sit in such heat
so today,
i sauna intentionally
in the front seat
where i watch the sweat rise up to the surface of my skin
first, down near my ankles
and then on the tops of my hands and then my brow
and then everywere, a sheen, dripping
and besides the funky hyundai smell
it is a fantastic sauna 
allowing every muscle
to loosen its grip

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into a darkness flickering

the victory
of harvesting
two five-gallon buckets
of the season’s first tomatillos
that i thought were all going to be decimated
by the great tomatillo-eating worm
that decimated them last year
_______
ice cream advisory eric says about the current and predicted weather conditions
which boast a heat index of 103
_______
exiting the movie theater (stan’s old room with the AC unit on in the window – tonight’s feature: footloose, the original)
into a darkness flickering
with two layers of light:
lighting bugs and lightning that illuminates great swaths of cloud to the north
how i cannot help but keep walking down the gravel road
to take in/to honor/to be with
all the light coming in
_______
from the water world:

Boys play under an overflowing dam along Powai Lake after heavy rains in Mumbai, India. – voice of america, day in photos

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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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