the phoenixing

in the dream, joseph was working the bar (two for them, one for me!)
and trish and i were having a conversation
at a table with no artists i could name
but many who were in their 50’s and older and
made an interesting mix
(from intentional community hippies to brooklyn writers, west coast painters and traveling musicians)
with eccentric but not too eccentric clothes and one
seemed to be a cross between sark and dodie belamy/kevin killian and i was
delighted/impressed that we could get such a crew of established/not established makers
to gather out here in the styx and the last time i glance the clock
it’s 2am and the party is still going
dan kelly is also most certainly here
in the other dream, i am walking down the gravel road, about to turn back but there’s tyler and maybe cynthia going
to deliver/return something to a neighbor
who’s maybe mennonite and maybe not and someone is
at the table in the background stirring something on a hot plate
while the man we visit with
who first asks what do you want
shows us the skin on his arms and how it’s infected and how
he hasn’t been to the doctor and
it is pink and thick and, in one spot,
a hole/a scar – the source, maybe, of the infection
and tyler says it looks better than last time
but we are all still concerned
two clear things hanging
over the faucet of the handwashing sink
which may be intestines
(from the processing project of the deer
that was dying roadside
when moe and joseph encountered it)
which i maneuver around to wash my hands
yoga-ing under blue-blue sky
when i notice on small puff of cloud
whose white surprises me
in its solo-ness
drifting/shapeshifting eastward
fire shadow craig from the missouri department of conservation says
about autumn olives that can get so big
that there is no fuel (dead things/brush/undergrowth) underneath which keeps
fire from getting in
when it comes to fire he says
if it can burn then it should be burned
maples don’t get along
with fire at all
ecology 101 he says
the closer you get to the north pole,
the fewer variety of species growing
and the closer you get to the equator,
the larger the variety of species
while cynthia, baigz, ty and i tromp
over the pond dam and through the tall grass
into the wonder-world of the woods
when quails hatch he says
they are the size of a bumble bee,
the weight of a ping pong ball
and then i turn to cynthia to tell her how
at no more deaths camp
i saw quail close up all the time
scuttling around on the ground with those
cute red topknots sticking out
like the dangly light of an anglerfish
which then makes me think of how i got to know
my mapaches and javalinas there too
red oaks love to die craig says
a 90-year-old oak is an old tree
whereas 300 years is old
for a white oak
pussy toes cynthia names
the fuzzy gray/green flowers i point to
amongst the autmn olives and cedars
i pluck one and pet my face with its
silky white fuzz
the way the light comes down
through the trees and
lands on so many shades of green
(a sea of them surrounding us)
plus the light purple patches of
sweet williams/phlox everywhere
the bark of the ash tree
whose texture makes it looks so fuzzy
i feel an affinity
and then, the string of brightly colored
miniature prayer flags
strung from a branch ahead
where something path-like
begins to form
the four butterflies perched, still, in a little grove in the woods – wings open
how they look like flowers
in bloom, splashes of orange/blackwhite/brown perched atop tall stalks
and the field note/drawing i make
so i can remember their patterns/colors
to identify them later


the bright streak of a male oriole
flying to land in the top of a tree
where the orchard meets the roadside
accompanied by the tropical sunsetty pink orange grays of a female
in the canopy a few trees over
what comes next i say to cynthia
while she peels potatoes and i wash lunch dishes
is phoenixing.
but i don’t want to be in the ashes anymore
she says 
party of four rachel says
two time zones away in oakland
and i compare this arrangement to
50 shades of gray but say
only it will be so much better
from the water world:


a boy swims in a dirty pond on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India.– voice of america, day in photos


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