one bowl sticky with oil and maple and sorghum
and the other one huge for mixing everything in
and then, the smell of sweetness and cinnamon
swirling from the oven heated to 300 degrees

the accidental early

the accidental early rise
(6:30am wake instead of 7:30)
due to a watch set for an hour ahead
and the magnificent quiet
and pastel sunrise
it brings
gibbous ribbous she calls gibbous
the skeleton wearing a cat suit
who keeps finding my lap to curl up on
and whose ribcage i can feel risefalling
on my thighs
on the couch
in front of the woodstove
the dust burning rubber haze
drifting in the office
from the vacuum cleaner
whose belts are burning
and whose motor/body was probably
never built for the dust/dirt/pebbles
of a farm
the dinner
coooked in the cleanest version
this whitehouse kitchen has been:
redeeming greens soup
with brown rice
and the soy sauced chickpeas

the orange zest whose flavor i mistake
for orange juice
in the sweet potatoes with toasted pecans
tonight’s sunset color report:
unicorn blood.
(the hottest brightest pinkest bloodiest magenta along the horizon
with some pastel pink blue patches  while the hazey moon glow looks over it.)
robin wall kimmerer’s words
across the last braiding sweetgrass pages:
The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilities for all we have been given, for all that we have taken. It’s our turn now,  long overdue. Let us hold a giveaway from Mother Earth, spread our blankets out for her and pile them high with gifts of our own making… Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and dance for the renewal of the world.

with a c, no, with a k

the aged sandhill granola recipe card
whose brown/yellow color matches that
of the beeswax candles that it is
propped up between
on the hexagonal kitchen table
the spices i sprinkle on
the sandhill-grown popcorn:
sandhill garlic powder (grown, peeled, food processed, dried and food processed here),
chili powder, nutritional yeast and salt

the bird of prey
most likely red-tailed hawk
but possibly juvenile eagle
lifting off the side of the gravel road
and swooping up over us to land
in the corn stubble to the east
as the jingle of jack’s tags gives us away
eric answering the phone
this is eric’s twin brother whose name is also eric
with a c, no, with a k
but they know each other really well
so you can ask me anything about him
the sunset report
from viroqua wisconsin:
today’s sunset is fire as depicted in church window stained glass.
from here:

tonight’s northeastern missouri sunset report is frozen strawberry yogurt in a tube (on the edges) and something more sorbet-ish in the middle.

lean a little

the view from the old maroon nissan two door hatchback
permanently parked on a hill in the neighbor’s woods
how the forest floor looks almost orange and
how all the tree trunks
in their shades of browns/grays
seem to glow
seem to be arranged on a stage
that goes on forever
em and i taking turns cartwheeling
down the slater’s hill
taking breaks for the dizzyness
before continuing in the bright sun
and cool air
shabbat shalom cynthia says handing me
a pair of hand-dipped beeswax candles
that lean a little
in one direction or another
tonight’s sunset: eyesahdow case
(the kind with whites and light purples and medium blues)

we’re going to be watching meteor showers
with each other for a long time, i hope she says
and i respond with a field of yeses

light snowswirl dusting
on the ground and in the air
in the cold under a bright (clouded) moon
in night-dark
the glowing

since those spring-like days
the squirrels-in-the-ceiling season
has commenced
the peace of nights uninterrupted
with skittering and squeaking and more skittering
from the water world:

The cafe ‘Les Nautes’ in Paris, France, partly immersed in the the water of the Seine river. The swollen Seine rose even higher, keeping Paris on alert, though forecasters said the flooding should peak by the end of the day. – voice of america, day in photos

something like a heart

the sun through all
the opaque and partially filled plastic containers
linked to the scattered maple trees
by bright blue plastic tubes
something like a heart and veins,
like the wiring of a creature
beginning to fill with sap
jack and i walking a loop
from the backroad, down along old canada road, and up
sandhill road
how he trots beside me
in the muddy leafy terrain
sun at our backs,
sun at our sides,
sun on our faces
the bright orange disc
against the bright blue sky
the colors are the best, the brightest
when the frisbee passes overhead –
sun glowing through
blue bright orange bright
so bright they almost sing
pat’s mango upside down cake
and pineapple upside down cake
and plain upside down cake and
some with brownsugar pecans and
some without and all made with love
for jeauxseph’s 39th birthday
(one decorated w/ a beeswax taper candle
due to lack of actual birthday cake candles
and the other decorated with a
crepe paper fold out flamingo
atop a bendy straw)

while the breeze moves through

the rhubarb peach pie with latticed top
that baigz makes for dean’s 72nd birthday
and how dean asks for a small slice,
his stomach still filled from fish fry lunch
the incredible lightness of being outside
in the near-full moonlight,
sometimes cloud-shrouded, while the breeze
moves through leafless limbs and over cheekbones

mama cats cowering/scardey-ing
at the sound of kris’s snowpants reminding me
of the weeks and months and hours
it took – this trust gained
metal against metal
the creak and flap
of a loose metal rooftop patch in the strong winds
on top of a fallingapart chickenyard shed
screech scritch scratching
the shock of red – a cardinal –
that keeps swooping into the fallen persimmons
and back out again
from the water world:

Visitors make snowmen beside a pool at a hot spring in Hangzhou, in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. – voice of america, day in photos

all the frozen things

the soft smooth tan gray pink yellow blush
of waxwing bellies as seen
from the falling apart porch positioned
under the persimmon trees
the sun singing a spring song
all the frozen things melting accordingly
the sunset color report from several hours north:
first 1970s outer space movie haze
then now it’s orange marmalade

rather than coil the root back in
i cut it off at the base
where it was once attached
and toss it like a bone
saying here, it’s yours
what a guy!
i ask rachel to tell tony
who’s making dinner when she can’t uncurl herself
from the ball she’s in on the couch
and i can hear him say i’m manning up
in response in his light and high sweet voice
which makes us both laugh
for a good minute
it’s not that it wasn’t full on/that i wasn’t full-in

it’s just that i wanted someone here more she says
while i rock the light pink stitches
up down up down
through all the different colors and patterns of patched fabric
under the bright bulb
from the clamp light


we wrote the sun

tereza at the seat in front of the fireplace
and the rest of us flanked around
notebooks open
keyboards ready,
the sun breaking through sky after we write
and read and write in a way that makes me want to say
we wrote the sun out into the sky

huge canine paw prints in the the mud moosh road
measured by my hand:
from the bottom of the palm to my second knuckle
and where the paw prints are
a big boot print accompanies
off-roading it i walk
the uneven terrain of field-side grasses
yellow gold swirls of dried things
purple brown branches of brambly things
pitfalls and inclines
along fencelines
jack trotting in front or behind

eric, kris and i gathered
around kris’s sweet potato pie
which is the thing she said she ate for days straight
(and loved) while working the harvest
on the sweet potato farm
baigz rumbling past on the tractor
whose attached wagon features
all the maple tapping accoutrements on board
from the water world:

A fisherman and his wife catch fish in the waters of Vembanad Lake in Kochi, India. – voice of america, day in photos

how so much fruit grew and fell

the persimmon trees above me alive
with the sweet light whistles of waxwings
who peck at the fruit that still clings to branches –
preserved by sun or wind or time, dried
the wonder of the persimmon tree stand –
how so much fruit grew and fell – roundripe – from the branches
in the season before snow
feeding humans and possums and raccoons and jack the jack russell and squirrels
and how now, the fruit that clung gives calories and sweetness
to the waxwings, the robins, and still the squirrels
the blue sequinned light-up cowboy hat
that ted hands me that was purchased
at a thrift store with thoughts of me
in mind

matt’s flute solo in his and apple’s and alyx’s band
while they play sweet dreams are made of this
how i whoop and holler
in the back row of the audience
which might be the first time i have whooped and hollered
for a flute solo
the white cat whisker in my sheets – how somewhere along the lines
i learned that a cat whisker meant good luck

the cold ambient air of a winter night in a two-and-a-half-season space
meeting the hot air from a too-big woodstove
and it’s surprising that this collision
doesn’t bring on a thunderstorm
one front smashing up against the other
from the water world:

A man takes photos of piles of garbage washed ashore after a storm battered the Mediterranean country at the Zouq Mosbeh costal town, north of Beirut, Lebanon. – voice of america, day in photos

People ride on a horse carriage through a flooded street after heavy rains caused the Paraguay River to overflow, in Asuncion, Paraguay. – voice of america, day in photos

on a day that the light was so bright

5am, still dark as dark out

the high cackle sound of the new rooster

(inherited in the flock from dean)

calling from the inside of the coop

as heard from falling-apart cabinroom porch


walking between buildings in the charcoaled night

how, in the porch bulb light, we see the snow-rain, neither snow nor rain but also both

not white

not thick

but falling slow and landing with a little icy snow sound

on the earth


the utmost care that goes into picking gibbous (the purring skeleton wearing a cat suit)

up into my hands/arms


here/there both of us listening

to the weave and whirl of sentences that give way to other sentences

when it comes to talking about what is a poem

recorded on a day that the light was so bright it almost made our eyes ache and the air was so cold it made everything brittle

except, perhaps, for the eagles perched in the treetops on our way

between here and there