the swarm of ants
scurrying about on the log (that is their home) catching blaze
in the coals of the stove
how i whisper my apologies and blessings upon this discovery

up til three a.m. i say, moving slow from undersleep
reading a book

the bright rainbowed variations
of flags printed (by kate, the boatbuilder) with a linoleum cut image
of the grand canyon
flapping and flipping between the two posts they are strung to
in the wind

orange glow and continuous crackling
from the fire in the stove 
as it heats and cools
leaning in for a closer look
at the colors woven together in mica’s
rag rug as she 
selects strips and up/downs them
(i don’t recall all the colors, but i do recall the light blue)

i had to walk myself through, outloud, getting into that shower
matt says about a disgustingly dirty shower
in a disgustingly dirty place he and caroline and henri
visited last year

hot box, we could call it i say of the cedar room
under the influence of a fire in the stove
built with logs big enough
that i’m down to a tank top and skirt
to do yoga
on this 40-something degree day

the bucket brigade baigz says
as i pull up a bucket to sit next to  him on his bucket
at dinner in the kitchen which is what one might call a full house

the act of

cynthia shaving curliques of wood off edges while i
trim the pieces up on the table saw
slowly, these piles of wood becoming
on this day of cool and rainy
all the cats curled up in the same spot
(on the blankets on the drying racks in the bike shed – gibbous and ashby curled up while moonstar rolls solo)
for its entirety
the perfect texture with the 
perfect sized air pockets at the
perfect warm temperature
of dottie’s sourdough
sliced and spread with butter
next the the chili in my bowl
for lunch
the brightness and rainbow 
of kate’s canyon (prayer) flags
that i unfurl from their rolled up wrapping
in the mail
be resolute cynthia says
about the decision/act of leaving

won’t you take me to – smoky town i sing to darien,
commenting on the impossible smokiness that often results
from opening the door to this woodstove
before we descend the steps towards dinner

the blooms of heat
opening on me/in me
while i practice the steady
rise-fall of breath, 
of lungs emptying, filling, emptying, filling
cold nose (running),
and a hood up over my hat
and the will to lay these words down
because when my nose insists on staying cold
the only thing i want to do is climb deeper
under covers

like an egg

_______i’ve been having dreams about it (leaving, getting out)
and i never remember my dreams she says
how i make jokes about mushrooms and rainbows
and nebulizers and contact high farts
in the back seat
while we move through the wet green rises and falls
of the hills that make us
the grief i sit on 
like an egg
and how i practice passing it around
and how it mostly feels horrible
which is why i call it practice

the tufts of white and orange fur
that drift in the air after gibbous (cat) pounces on mama (cat)
for the second time in a week or two
the subject of cannibalism comes up and i say
ya’ll can eat me
as long as i get to eat the cake

the sound of spring peepers rising
everywhere in the dark
that comes at the end
of a day
hazelnutty flavor of the teaccino i brew/steep
in the french press i aqcuired at the quincy salvation army for a dollar

to stack wood

everyone i mention my pottery/ceramics class to joolie says
makes a reference/joke about pattick swayze (and that scene in ‘ghost’)

the silver shine of the locket draped
by a thin chain around mica’s neck
and the silver shine of a small disc hanging,
one from each ear
perhaps there is a word
for how satisfying it is
to stack wood, paying attention to the arrangement and
knowing that it is the source of the heat
that will warm us in teh next year

twenty five cents at a rummage sale  angie says about her trifle bowl/dish
which is clear glass which means
when she serves the trifle,
one can see the layers of poundcake, hand-whipped cream and berries blue and purple and red

something about the scene of the sliding door opening
to the powder-pink morning sky against purpley dark mountains 
that strikes me the same way the glimpse
of a lover might

green greener

emory and i each sucking on a pomegranate chew
(like a starburst but ‘natural’)
while kurt helps us deal with the flat tire on ruthie
by hooking up the air compressor
and letting it rip

gray haze
turning the new growth green greener
against reainwet brownblack leaflitter
the beginning of a woven basket
in kaya’s hands
(kaya still in the dino onesie)
as he turns it and
holds it on his head and explainds
the double basket for fishing
the ever-lingering scent of flax seed oil
the air in the cedar room so thick with it that i
can nearly feel it in my throat
which is a little heavy but is better
than that mold/mildew

only one

the nina simone song
(that involves loving like the wind) darien plays
while he adds legs to a bench and i
trim a pile of black elastic zoids
in what might be the first farm to farm text
joseph reports that he fixed my flapper
which means (fingers crossed) the stove in the cedar room
(that is very much like harry and bessie’s stove at black mesa) is now useable
last summer’s cherry flavor taste
in tonight’s crisp
that dottie serves
for dinner dessert
at three minutes each (or so)
it’s difficult to watch only one episode
of R. Kelly’s hip hopera
and so we crowd around for a few
laughing in the office
from the water world: 

 A local resident wades through water on a street in the “El Indio” settlement on the outskirts of Piura, in northern Peru. – voice of america, day in photos

at the red

the discipline it takes to keep myself
from trimming zoids (it will only be an hour)
on friday, the day of writing
how, from the loft bed perch, i lay and stare
out all the windows:
at an american persimmon and its mottled bark swaying in the wind,
at the red of a cardinal inthe foliage along the chicken yard
at the big drips of rain rolling off the corrugated metal roof edge (which are different than all the little drops in the background which are imperceptible mostly, but create a gray haze),
at all the branches (bare) that will soon be filled in with green
kayah, five years old, in the dinosaur onesie
swinging (by holding robs hand on one side and baigz’s on the other)
at dinner circle

because the trauma is still the same

roadside buck stew
heating up on the stove
as i chop garlic,
whisk dressing,
saute onions

two kinds of wine sipped out of little jam jars
and two kinds of grape juice for the kids
and a city food array of cheese and crackers
that catherine and nathaniel imported from st. louis
and how we gather and snack at the picnic table
near the end of a surpise balmy day

sampha playing through the speakers
which seems like a perfect smooth lilt
for spring
as i scrub carrots and slice onions

the email that says your grandma was never in a work camp
but was taken to germany under false pretenses where she did forced labor in the agricultural sector for the war efforts
and how this changes everything and nothing at all
because the trauma is still the same

mica and i laughing at the image of her
showing up to the kids’ nerf gun war
with an automatic nerf gun and strapped
with hot pink foam bullets
criss crossing her
how catherine and i groan on the couch
because of the too weird echoes of the actual world about actual guns
when emory says it’s not safe to show up
to the crew of kids with nerf guns
if he doesn’t have his too
the one-person-at-a-time rule
on the tour of the cedar room
which smells still thickly
of flax oil

under a sunbright sky

listening the the country station low
as i drive the curves of the county highways
under a sunbright sky glowing blue and wrapped
in cloud ribbons as i move along the mostly dry brown/gray scape
intermittently marked with new green growth and some black patches
from recent burns
how i cannot see the needle
but can make out the general shape of it (angled)
and its silver shine as dr. ball brings it to my gum line
pinch is the word she says which is sort of it, but there’s also a sting and pierce
and while i can handle this (especially thanks to topical anasthetic)
the thing that makes me cringe is when the nerve is exposed
and even the air on it is too much

the weird numb face afterwords
doesn’t make me want to cry this time
like it did last time but i still pretty much left my body
for most of it
(unnamed phenomenon: the special kind of trauma/terror
of having dental work done
even when the dentist is a good one)
smell of flax oil mixed with lavender and lemon
and maybe it’s because i’m on my knees
or because of the repetition
or because the space is mostly empty
or because when i pour the oil drops on the floor it’s like annointing
but it feels like reverence

the three daffodils i pluck from the karma patch and place
on the butcher block at dinner circle

superb is the word i use
with cynthia about her dinner
which consists of nettles cooked with garlic, banana bread with black walnuts, oat flour mini quiches with chickichurri (chimichurri made with chickweed), pazole and whole sweet potatoes baked in a dutch oven tossed in the woodstove fire

how last night i woke at various points
and could, in the view framed by the loft window, trace the moon’s path
across dark sky

from the water world: 

An indigenous woman collects water from public tap on the eve World Water Day, outskirts of Hyderbad, India.- voice of america, day in photos

with every step

lemon and sugar is always a good combinati0n (was it darien or joseph?) says
as they bite into a slice of the dutch baby
still oven-warm in its skillet
this time without pumpkin


smashes all previous records amy goodman says
on democracy now
about a recent report issued by the world meteorological organization
which states unprecedented increases in global temperatures
and rising sea levels
another news brief from amy goodman: the high court in india
has granted human rights to
the ganges and yamuna rivers

how i often don’t like the fruit in pies
but the sweet bursts of peach
from the potluck pie
in all its orange splendor
are perfect
boot smoothie darien calls the vinegar and banana peel combo
in his galoshes
fighting fungus
with every step
d-day  i call it
about the three discs i knocked down
(new personal record)
in one game