cold-warm-cold

enlarged stem trish tells me in the greenhouse
about yesterdays detail collector misquote regarding what a tuber is
i stand corrected i tell her
a flat of brussels sprouts in my arms
_______

cold-warm-cold is how i describe
the temperature of the post-frisbee pondwaters
while making my way to the other side and back

_______

on the gravel road drive back from frisbee
in the cab of the maroon toyota
tyler and i cracking up about the dining room no one ever dines in
and for that reason (and because there is a massage chair in that room
that whirs whines when it is used)
tyler names it the massage parlour

_______

i broke my self-imposed no-seconds rule
i tell mica (tonight’s cook) because the gado gado with extra peanut sauce
was that good

_______

sorren, margo and emory
shrieking with delight
on the front porch
and in the yard

_______

from the water world:

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 8.00.28 AM
Officials say that three months’ worth of rain has fallen on the Balkan region in recent days, producing the worst floods since rainfall measurements began 120 years ago. At least 40 people have died with thousands more displaced
. – bbc, week in pictures

-1
from dunedin, florida, sent by sledge

 

under the possibility of falling

stan, walking up the drive
pulls granola’s medication out of his bag
says wanda [the vet’s assistant] says it’s time [to put her down]

_______

tarp full of unripe apricots
at the base of the ladder june stands on
clippers in hand

_______

butter melting on stovetop
while i mix oats, cinnamon, sugar, wheat, sorghum and a pinch of salt
(step 1 of three towards a rhubarb crisp)

_______

forty five to sixty pounds
is what mica guesses
when i ask her the weight of
the 3 gallon bucket of sorghum
i hauled (hugging) from the sugar shack
to the white house
_______

three mason jars
just washed (ting!) and one-quarter full of water
plus pink peonies
dark purple irises
white irises
dames rocket
bleeding hearts
eastern columbine

a double-long table in the orchard
covered in table cloths waiting
_______

we form a chain
passing cinderblocks from hands to hands
off the flatbed and into a stack
on what used to be the horseradish beds
_______

benches and blankets arranged in a circle
we settle for show and tell featuring (but not limited to)
barefoot tapdancing on grass
a three-piece  serenading (cello, accordion, guitar)
a flute/accordion klezmer piece
a miniature replica of a hand-made bow (as in bow and arrow)
a bug collection and butterfly/moth catching demo
a pair of antlers (one passed in one direction, one in the other)
a parable
a bike/heart grafitti-ing on a red pannier
a home-made calender and small story of may
several issues of the sandhill paper
a mini deck of cards from the new orleans worlds fair, 1984
earrings and rings made of deer bone
a hand carved honey press
a ceramic bowl and vase depicting black walnut
a small ornate bottle dug up from the landfill
a hand-made journal (paper from the copy machines at the library)
a song on a steel guitar
a framed letter with a painting and chinese characters that read something like so, this isn’t really the best but i’m just learning and here’s what it looks like and a photo of baby tyler with his other grandma

_______

falling sleep in candlelight
with my hand on granola’s back
risefalling
_______

two rounds of three rings each
the bell at one am
a call to gather under the possibility of falling stars
with a spoonful of nixtamal ice cream
accompanied by that crumble stuff

_______

from the water world:

Manjunath takes a bath inside a bucket in a slum in Mumbai


Four-year-old Manjunath takes a bath while sitting inside a bucket outside his house in a slum in Mumbai.
REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A view of the ongoing construction of the Teles Pires hydroelectric dam in Paranaita
A view of the ongoing construction of the Teles Pires hydroelectric dam along the Teles Pires river on the border between the states of Mato Grosso and Para, in Paranaita. The dam is part of a project involving the construction of six dams to create a navigable waterway for the transportation of Brazil’s agricultural and mineral commodities from the interior of the country to the Atlantic Ocean.
REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

Screen shot 2014-05-24 at 12.02.21 PM
Paramedics carry an injured officer into a police ambulance following clashes with residents in San Bartolo Ameyalco, outside Mexico City. Residents are protesting about the installation of pipes to draw water from a well for surrounding areas which they believe will mean water shortages for the town.
– bbc, day in pictures

 

something like sungold

cement truck at the bend
in our gravel road
sending its cementy mix down the chute
while trish, robin, joe and tyler
spread it to settle and smooth
at the bottom of the hole

_______

emory on his stepstool at the stove
waiting til the heat gets hot enough then
dropping potato slices into the pan
i’m making potato chips!

_______

slicers and one cherry (tomatoes)
lowered into the holes we bore into moist soil
(tyler with a mattock and i with a trowel)
varieties include:
something like sungold but not hybrid
paul robeson
pink brandywine
german stripe
aunt ruby’s green
pink flag marking where one variety ends and another begins

_______

was i just man-splaining trish asks
about her explanation of tubers being swollen roots
grub hoe with too short a handle in her hands
in the potato patch
which is less like a patch and more like a field

_______

i bring out my beetles
(the ones i smashed in a frenzy the other night
because i couldn’t handle the buzzing)
so mica, darien and i
can give learn their names
(bug identification book and
smashed bugs under the halo of
the end table lamp)
_______

mica brandishes two sharpies
for another knucle tattoo game of chance
and this is where it gets us:
mica: gold hail
darien: grow nest
me: bone wort

_______

11something pm
barred owls calling
across the dark/still night

_______

potd-rockets_2919964k
Riot police use water cannons and teargas to disperse people who were protesting the Soma mine disaster that killed 301 miners, in Istanbul, Turkey. A protester was seriously injured during clashes.
Picture: EMRAH GUREL/AP – the telegraph

 

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.08.45 AM
Sydney is experiencing its hottest May on record, reaching the hottest week for this time of year in more than 150 years.
– bbc, day in pictures

-1
A prisoner washes himself in the old wing of the Najayo prison which is being renovated in San Cristobal. – REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas

deep as we can dig

granola-the-cat’s right eye
sealed shut by infection

_______

i flipped through the photos i said
to hold the narratives i tell
up against the narratives the pictures tell
to see where they line up and where they diverge
_______

breeze carrying
the spring sweetness
of white honey locust blooms
down the drive
_______

88 degrees on the thermometer
cloudless sky
us and the tomato starts wilting
but we transplant deep as we can dig
into cool clay soil

_______

slippery (dry) pummies beneath my sandaled feet
sweat gathering behind my knees
and at the bridge of my nose

_______

so many days in a row of dry
that when hank chases behind us (us in a four-door)
all we can see behind us
is a cloud of dust
and an image of hank occasionally emerging

_______

lounging pond-side
under the osage orange (presumed to be dead
based on lack of green sprouting from it)
and surrounded by the leaves of other greenery
(including gooseberry) flapping against each other
in the breeze

_______

rachel and i name all the birds we hear
from the pond platform
at the right time of night (when they all get going)
rose breasted grosbeak (it looks like someone slit its throat
and blood is dripping down its neck)
starling
bobwhite
whippoorwill
redwinged blackbird
song sparrow
hens low sparrow (shortest song of all birds ever
i ask if that’s anything like playing the world’s smallest violin)
meadowlark
common yellow throat (whose song sounds like witchety which which which)
eastern king bird (they’re pretty, they’re sleek)

_______

that’s the problem with dead birds
i say they’re too gorgeous

_______

medium sized pot over
high heat
popcorn going off under the lid
while rachel mixes the seasoning
(salt, nutritional yeast, tarragon)

_______

from the water world:

628CFDCC-748A-4EAC-9273-81D66F0FAF06_w974_n_s_s
A boy cools himself in a fountain just outside Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. – voice of america, day in photos

-1
Christian pilgrims dip in the water at the baptismal site known as Qasr el-Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River near the West Bank city of Jericho.
REUTERS/Nir Elias

potd-water-cannon_2918748k
Chilean students clash with riot police during a demonstration near the Congress headquaters where Chilean President Michelle Bachelet delivered her annual message in Valparaiso, Chile.
Picture: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images – the telegraph

potd-water_2918754k
A Balinese Hindu man pours holy water for believers as they celebrate Galungan Day at a temple in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
Picture: Agung Parameswara/Getty Images – the telegraph

unfurled

on the cross-legged bench outside karma
you are one of my people i tell trish
if you ever lost your copa spoon
i’d give you mine she says
_______

backhoe/excavator
we’re not quite sure which
but when this much dirt is being
dug up and out of the ground
perhaps the proper name doesn’t matter

_______

the hole we call it
a suitable name for
the 20-foot deep
50-foot long
20-feet wide pit
in the southeast corner of the gardens

the phrase instantly appearing in our conversations
as if it’s always been there
(have you seen trish?
oh, she’s at the hole.)

_______

five neon pink vinyl flags
on bent wire sticks
sprouting from brassica beds
marking leaks in the unfurled drip tape

_______

sun on all the skin it can fall on
while water arcs from spout
rolling down shoulders and arms
first outdoor shower of the season

________

it’s cool down here i say
as in temperature-wise
(it’s pretty cool the other way too
emory says right?)
both of us barefoot
standing on exposed clay of 20 feet down
while looking up at the layers
black topsoil
red/brown sand/clay
gray clay
and all the gradients in between

________

9something pm sound:
accordion three doors down
tap of tyler’s typewriter through the wall
plus the buzz of bugs hurling themselves towards light
and in the distances: peepers and chorus frogs
and a third i can’t identify

_______

from the water world:

C5637847-06D4-4D85-A999-0444C535592A_w974_n_s_s
World Champion Christian Sprenger of Australia swims during a swimming clinic session for children with special needs on the rooftop pool of the Marina Bay Sands resort hotel in Singapore.
– voice of america , day in photos

POTD_Balkan_floods_2917540k
A flood-damaged Opel Astra lies in the mud in Topcic Polje. The flooding in the Balkans has forced half a million people out of their homes, the death toll is currently around 50. Picture: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic – the telegraph

 

 

pretend dance moves

winding through the subdivision
dad points out gold/brown patches on the
japanese yews
talks about how the cold winter
(several weeks in a row of below zero temperatures)
took a toll
though if there’s still some green, they’re not dead yet

_______

mom buckles tap shoes
onto my wool-socked feet
and the pretend dance moves i do
on the checkerboard dance floor
arm motions included

_______

the three of us walk along
swollen and swirling water
(muddy colored fox river)
not far from the train tracks
and downtown

_______

kelly green accordion
(half size and busted)with a $25 tag on it
at the antique/consignment store
that you could wind through for an hour
and still not have seen everything

_______

tiny plastic ramiken
containing one pink-orange cube of cantaloupe
for sampling

_______

a marking of time
by what chain store/restaurant
was where and when

_______

seems like we’re going backwards dad says
across from me at the table after dinner
where we talk about fracking
and gmo’s

_______

some call it karma
some call it shithead
reads the online article
about the card game

_______

this is the last card i say
as chris and mom and i make our way
halfway through the mad gab deck
laughing at how we sound like
an automated computer voice
_______

from the water world:

A78CC819-05AA-45BD-BEE7-8835E3C0CD0C_w974_n_s_s
A police water cannon is used against anti-government protesters in Soma, Turkey where the mine accident took place. Hundreds of protesters took part in the march against the government and there were clashes with the police forces
.- voice of america, day in photos

 

sister queen

departure under a full-moon
(cloud haloed) 4:30am sky
too early for even the oh-shit birds
to be singing
_______

not far down highway M
the flash of a fox
sprinting across pavement
before us

_______

deep rich earth (brown)
(rolling stretched out hills of it)
contrasted by rows and lines of sprouts
bursting out
field after field of monoculture (corn)

_______

phantogram song
on repeat in my head

_______

grabbing my bags from the back seat
for being my swift and steady driver
i thank joe

a hug in the quincy amtrak parking lot
train on the tracks
a line of people stepping on

_______

warped window i look through
watch fields give way to treelines give way to
grain elevators give way to weathered barns and small town squares
give way to the backsides of brick warehouses and the metal clack
underneath of riverbridges and how each river/creek/stream
looks high (which is information i sometimes think one can only deduct
if they know that river/creek/stream)
how the sight of old brick buildings land solid in me (cobbled streets too) but the
houses with siding are a kind of sickness i don’t want

_______

union station i grab a spot on a big wooden bench that reminds me
of a church pew
with enough space between me and others
man next to me humming and cursing quietly eventually asks
what the book i’m reading is about
water i say
upon which we enter a conversation that feels like being in a
conceptual poem
his eyes are gone but i can’t tell where
but in them i can see the love and pain he’s talking about
(something about how she’s mad at him
and he wants her to be right – with god
and how in he is)
sister queen he calls me now and then
people try to turn me around he says
bill he says when i ask his name
like gotta pay those damn billsyou remind me of what’s her name he says after a while
of this non-linear back and forth ellen
tv ellen i ask and laugh
taking pride in the subtext that i’m not sure he even knows is there

_______

from above (before the winding road down to the shore)
where the water meets horizon it is deep cool blue
this, the great lake that made me
under a cloud-patched sun-breaking-through sky
we walk along it (the lake edge which is not beach
but water meeting concrete barriers)
into the wind

_______

that’s the fun part, you can just make it up! because i have no clue i tell them
over late lunch early dinner on north and farwell
(chicken quesadilla for dad
tempeh lettuce and tomato sandwhich with soup for mom)when they ask about what’s next (after sandhill, after taos residency in new mexico)

_______

flipping through photo albums
just to see
what we looked like then
just a way to read
the stories that made me
_______

from the water world
(what water takes/what water gives):

AC21F4C5-9A21-4910-A582-14A541F2C29B_w974_n_s_s
A Bosnian man views the scene after a landslide caused by flooding in the village of Topcic polje near Zenica, 120 kms north of Sarajevo.
– voice of america, day in photos

242D9A0E-17EB-4A82-9C88-266F466D4754_w974_n_s_s
Bangladeshi residents gather near the site where a ferry capsized and sank in bad weather on the river Meghna in Munshiganj district, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the capital Dhaka. At least ten people dead and hundreds more are missing, police and officials said.
– voice of america, day in photos

 -2
People stand on a terrace of their flooded house as they wait before being evacuated in the town of Obrenovac, east from Belgrade. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

-3
Fire crew put out smouldering embers from the Cocos Fire in San Marcos, California
REUTERS/Sam Hodgson