like the opening scene

the tiny indigo butterfly
whosename i don’t remember
but is remarkably small and luminous
flickering in the coming-up cosmos and zinnias
in the front porch flower patch
at cool ranch
the percussion of persimmon blossoms
dropping one by one onto
the cedar room metal roof
and the small waxy flowers
gathering on the cedar room porch
hung from the white pine
dangles the emory-and-baigz-made pinata
that we take turns throwing the frisbee at
but not too hard emory instructs
(and then we go on to going after it with a found stick and then
we take turns roundhousing it)
lauren scrubbing and chopping potatoes
(yukon variety – my favorite)
while nina simone sings low in the background
as i saw my way through the abundance of hot dog
welome to my office  i joke
sprawled out on my stomach on the table
in the dining room
checking my phone messages and eating
rootbeer ice cream for a small stainless steel bowl with the short wooden darien spoon in my hand
how cool cynthia, tyler and eric look
approaching with the sunset at their bakcs
meaning they are all silhouette
sauntering towards us 
on the bridge over the tracks – 
so cool, that once they meet us, we take our own turns
walking against the orange pink ribbons of sunset and looking like
the opening scene from a movie
or an album cover

to the skyclouds

in the dream, i was visiting the bay area
and the streets were filled with rage and fire
and i didn’t quite know my place (out there or indoors)
and so i spent time on the porch
welcoming the swell and receeding
of street protestors and neighbors and friends
washing in and washing out
the smallest massage of 
ashby’s cat paws walking on me
(upper back) before he 
alline pouring fabric scraps out onto the table
saying it’s criminal, how long it’s been since she’s made a quilt

a collapsable box we joke on the phone
about how to survive
how about a coffin  she says
not quite what i was thinking, but, you say tomato and i… i reply
and in many ways it doesn’t even matter
what the joke is it just feels good
to laugh
it is a long and warm day in the field
with the tractors and the sorghum/tobacco transplanter
and the mishaps and troubleshooting that comes with the territory of the ancient equipment
but as we’re walking out of the field
i point to the sky/clouds out to baigels just before
cynthia points the sky out to me
and all that deep skyblue with all that bright white shaped against it
is enough to take away the headache and  the sense of defeat
and make it feel worth it

somehow they all fall

quite a spread i say of the
home-made nutella spread,
eric’s unbelievably thin crepes,
the powdered sugar alongside lemon slices,
the fluffy frittata
the slices of bananas and
slices of first strawberries
plus orange juice all
set out on the butcher block for
the grandparents
who came out for emory’s 9th
birthday blowout
the bright red notes pulsing
on the song of the cherry trees
from dawn til dusk in the
backyard orchard
i was listening to eminem and he 
reminded me of you
 eric says
on the front porch during our dinner of
with the mantra to cull hard or go home (even though i am home)
i sift through files and papers
while wishing i could do the same
to the collection of journals and letters
but somehow they all fall in the keep category

the storm that never hits

a name for the cool pond water
on my frisbee-sweat skin
how i swim the length of it
(or is it the width)
smooth and slow
and exit the water
the big storm that never hits which means after dinner
i bring water to the edamame and asters and snapdragons and celosia and marigolds and cosmos
canful by canful
from the plastic cistern connected to the gutter
just outside the kitchen window on the north side
of the whitehouse
how, after baigs’s mom shares that she sails
on lake michigan (in chicagoland),
i share that i also so the same with my dad, but in milwaukee-land
and i like thinking about the average amount of time it takes pretty much perfect strangers
to find a common denominator between them
the thinnest sliver of the giantest moon
patinad against the black sky
and how if i situate myself just right in the orchard or
on my little walk through the woods path
i find it framed with arcing branches
filled out with their spring-almost-summer leafing
and all of it embellished by the off on signaling
of fireflies
dipping and rising

eric, darien, tyler, cynthia and i
as part of the after zendo after after party
make our way down to karma kitchen to 
sample joseph’s vanilla (soon to be dotted with cookie dough)
ice cream – one of three flavors he’s been putting in the hours to make
for the annual home made ice cream tradition
for emory’s birthday

somehow we get to joking about cool ranch doritos
and how it would be a great name for the room i now dwell in
down at the sugar shack
like this: yeah, so, just take the back road and once you hit cougar town, hang a left (or right, depending on which direction you’re coming in from) at the mill
and you should be able to find cool ranch from there

something like summer camp

in the dream, someone in a white button up said i’ll wait for you here, no matter how long it takes
as i go off to retrace my steps to figure out
how i got there
(which includes visiting some sort of seminary with a greenhouse
and everything is 1970s/80s – especially the repair of the place
and the breadmaker there is going
perhaps breaking a plastic container into the dough
and the seminarians
are upstairs asleep until i wake them with my wandering and i wonder
how can this be part of the story
of how i got where i am
(max and their pug who dwelled in a room down the hall were also in the dream in the earlier phase where i lived in a communal house/apartment complex
and still didn’t know some of the folks who were also living there
and at some point, there is a series of rooms with flowers
something like a memorial service only
it is nothing that somber just rooms
filled with the deeps and brights and lights of so many 


the brilliant vibrance
deep orange
of the baltimore oriole
swooping past
in the bright sun dappled
by the green leaves that spread out overhead
on a blanket under the redbud in the orchard
ashby sprawled out on one side of me and 
birdie on the other i read rachel
in this time of transition
her tarot in the form of cats instead of cards

something like summer camp
lounging on my loft (bunk-like) bed
reading and reading and reading
(in this case, a book titled “this assignment is so gay: lgbtq poets on the art of teaching”)
while the mosquitoes whine
and gather on the other side
of the screens
i am in two kinds of pain
both different but near each other
one originating somewhere in the low spine or hip socket and rocketing in flashes down my leg (sciatica)
and one is perhaps somewhere between the lower vertebrae, more on the left side
a pinching 
a back out
a don’t arc back or bend forward
and you should see me walk
along the uneven path
and hear me letting out
the kind of gasp
brought on when the jolt goes down the leg
emory’s chittering chattering howl
rising up the stairs and when i descend and ask what happened
he’s got his palm on a towel-wrapped bunch of ice
and explains how he thinks he might have broken his finger
after scoring a three pointer
and jumping
in celebration

they say mountain lion

working my way down the spinach and pea bed
while trish works her way down the salad mix bed
the morning dew dampening our feet and shoes
reminding me of sauvie island farm mornings
where we woke with the sun
and went out to the greens
so that we could get to washing them before noon
the wildcat sighting tyler reports 
seen on the gravel road on his way to town:
a bigger cat like creature and her young
from the size of it, he was guessing bobcat
(and later, emory and althea go out to inspect the tracks and scat
and, looking at the tracking book, they say mountain lion)
did you measure the tracks with your hand  i ask
you are rich, i like having rich friends darien says
rich in kindness

smudge of sunset
a short walk between meditation and calling it a night
light hues already disappearing into the beyond:
peach pinks and dusty purples
evaporating from horizon

life and passage

yoga-ing into the early and dim light
of the beginning of a day
one cat snoozing on the porch and one cat
sneaking out the back way
to the ant dying on my desk
in the lamplight
while joolie tells me about her visit with her mom
who’s in the hospital again
and how complicated it is because it’s not a single and easily resolvable issue:
i honor your life
and your passage

trish and i against
emory and eric on the basketball court which is
on a rock/gravel road
and how we whoop and shout and howl
while we toss the ball
sometimes to each other
sometimes into the hoop
and sometimes clear over the backboard

mama cat and the mouse she caught
tossing and playing on my porch
while she does that i just caught something meow-yowl
which reminds me of how i wanted to learn more about ‘cats leaving gifts for their owners’ because it is so human-centric and probably something else entirely
(and what i found in my reading is how the behavior
is a hold-over from parenting,
a part of teaching their young to hunt