mostlty rusted

how both eric and i do a costume change
for trailer de-con detail
due to all the poison ivy lining its perimeter
where we unscrew the corrugated metal skirting
mostly rusted
while baigz revs the chainsaw
in ordet to take down the trees surrounding it

the big silver pot
turned upside down on the dining room table
that conceals the treats for the adults
that trish brought back
from the dented can store
at the end of the day
i close my eyes and see the seemingly endless beds of tomatillo plants and
that terribe horrible rhizome grass that
is slowly creeping its way into the western edges
of south garden 

this is the sound

crinkle, plunk
crinkle, plunk
crinkle crinkle, plunk
the sound of me
separating the contents of three
5-gallon buckets
of tomatillos from their papery wrappers
and dropping them into an empty bucket

the only detail that needs to be written

the only detail that needs to be written today is this:
i sleep in a loft and there are two long skinny windows up there – one at my head and one alongside me.
this morning, i woke up to catch the copper-orange sun glow in the sky, mottled by the woods i live tucked in, but still some of that redorange light meeting my greenbluebrown eyes.
i was super sleepy and heavy lidded and in this glimpse, i also saw what looked like a bat – perhaps the one that sleeps everyday on the exterior side of the wall that i sleep on the interior side of
so i laid my head down again before i turned over and propped myself, resisting with a ferociousness the heavy sleep wanting to roll back in, on elbows to just watch (one of my most favorite activities of all time – just watching, especially in a more wild setting)
another sight of a bat flitting by but then
(here is the magic) one small owl landing on the young maple trunk that leans more horizontal than vertical
gray in color and when i say small i mean about 8 or so inches tall
and then another swoops in and they do their funny head dance and for a while it is just them on that trunk probably not more than 20 feet from me
and then i notice a third on that very same trunk
and then one by one they swoop off to other branches and limbs where i can still watch them until they each swoop off yet again and this
is the world saying good morning
to me

another detail (can’t resist)
wherein the phrase comes into my head
that goes you
have so much
to look forward to

and a third, irresistable detail:
moonstar the cat
(who i must carry to my room
if we have a sleepover
because there’s a certain point where she seems to get too scared to follow me
through the dog terrain)
meowing at my window tonight
and how i can’t stop telling her
how brave she was
ok, and a fifth:
the owl calls and hoots and shriek
10pm (barred owls, eastern screech)
going off overhead
and i feel like i am in a treehouse
sleeping with them
and in a sense, i kindof am

this wildness

the white ones eric says in the small sea of dark purple-pink light pink and white cosmos
smell like george michael
which i find fucking hilarious because
none of us know what george michael smells like
but in a weird way, i sortof get it
not that i necessarily agree
a burst of sun and then the relief when it grays over again
while the crew of us
(baigz, trish, kris, eric, ryan and me)
tug away at weeds that i resent
for being allowed to become this wildness
how i curse the hornworm damage
or is it blister beetle
(dififcult to tell – perhaps both)
in the tomatoes and ask them
to please take only what they need
and save the rest kindly for us
the small graybrown snake
squiggling itself across the wooded path
past the mushroom yard
towards cool ranch
and then, a good look at the groundhog
that sometimes pops out from under cool ranch
whose fur is much whiter/grayer
than i remember
the double-wow of the two heaping apple pies
that eric produces from the oven
left to cool in their glass pans on wire racks whie we all play a round of affirmation
we can’t talk eric says to kris and i
until we see a cow
as we walk the gravel back road
on kris’s last night
two of us wearing shoes
and one (kris) not
and at first we are reverent
but then, we are moonwalking and
gesturing and laughing
on our way
since we have such good tea parties
we could be called menage a tea
eric says in the candlelit sangha
after the second bell has rung

the velvet royal sky
dusted with star sparks and then the moon
waxing, but not far along from new
turning sepia/gold
slowly as it lowers
from the water world:

Commuters cross a flooded street on a wooden plank after heavy rains from tropical storm “Nesat” inundated some parts of metropolitan Manila, Philippines. – voice of america, day in photos

A bonnet macaque drinks water offered by a devotee during the Hindu festival of Nag Panchami, which is celebrated by worshipping snakes to honor the serpent god, inside a temple on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India. – voice of america, day in photos

sunflower summer 

wrestling ginormous weeds
(foxtail, lamb’s quarters, pokeberry and other six foot wonders)
from the pea beds we clear out
to plant fall carrots and beets
and afterwords we (kris, eric, baigz and i) are covered
in the drydusty earth we kicked up
incoming i call out as emory and eric
launch potatoes (fruits of last year’s spring planting experiment)
across the south garden beds we are in the process of making over
(de-trellising, weeding, removing mulch, hoeing up the beds and cutting furrows down the length of them
no need to walk when we can just swim wherever we need to go  i joke about
the thousand-percent humidity
the day has come to be made of
sunflower summer is what i call it
because of the great presence of towering glowing beauties
parading up the edges of beds in north garden
and along the greenhouse’s western wall
and some in south garden too
and a few popping up along the cistern and near the old north garden compost pile
the sound of aeresol cans being shaken
heard on the train bridge
where meat curtains becomes great curtains!
and cock becomes cock-a-doodle-doo! 
and where someone also asserts that
dj nasty pants like to party amongst other exclamations that simply state:
pool party
unnamed phenomenon: that time of year (here) where everything in its natural and wild state becomes just a bit too unbearable:
all the layers of the night insect chorus  so thick and intermittently piercing
woven tight and so loud
that ti’s difficult to hear beyond five or ten feet in any direction
the grass and weeds sprung up and gone wild
sometimes 10 feet into the air (pokeweed)
which means anytime one must walk past them (along the path in the herb garden to the shitter or up the stairs to the whitehouse or into karma or the bike shed or down the path to cool ranch or swimming deep in them while uprooting them in the old pea beds or cosmos beds or edamame beds) they brush against bared skin (which, at this time of year, is a lot) and it’s too much
one might say even the heat at this time of year (mid 90’s for four days straight – heat index registering at 105) is too much
the dark of a new-ish moon night
decorated by the trillings 
moving back and forth (call/response)
of eastern screech owls
who are my sweetest favoritest bird sound
of the summer 


from the water world:

Commuters use a rickshaw to cross a flooded street amid heavy rainfall in Dhaka, Bangladesh. – voice of america, day in photos

A man walks on the dry riverbed of the Ticino river in the Ponte delle Barche, Boats Bridge area, in Bereguardo, near Pavia, northern Italy, July 25, 2017.

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

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

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
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

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

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