in the darkest of dusk

how, at first glance, it could be an orange street light
come on in the darkest of dusk but instead
what i have caught in my eye is the night jewel,
the big rose quartz pendant
the moon
pink pearl orange
glowing as it rises

it’s the sound that catches my attention
and as we stand observing/watching
it is the cat creatures
emerging from the woods
to eventually, with plenty of inspecting,
swirl around our ankles
one white with greyish spots and the other
a more steady color

this song, this sacred

spring peeper surround sound at
all hours of the day
this song, this sacred sound of emergence
chorusing in from the south, from the north, from the west and east
heard even through closed doors and windows
heard under star-slammed sky and
noontime sun
heard from the patio where i draw
hearts and whales and stars and tulips
in the five colors of sidewalk chalk in a bucket
heard from the other side
of winter whose final snow (fingers crossed)
fills the dips of the trails
with puddle-pools of water seeping
into forest mud floor

sun spilling everywhere

the clatter of a loose front fender
on the black cruiser bike that i ride around the circles
the neighborhood is made of
special bike wind in our hair, ami and i
commenting on how the frogs go silent
in the mini wetlands
as we pedal past
and the sun
spilling everywhere on us/around us

we tried

birds mourn she says as we walk
through the bright bright bright
of sun thrown of the still there but
rapidly melting snow
with the body of a dead robin
(wrapped in fabric)
taking turns being carried
by one of us and then the other
back to it’s other robin people
where we try to say that
we tried to help
about the bird we took in yesterday
and gave warmth and food to
without realizing he was impaled
through his hip/torso
by a stick/thick grass
meaning: we provided the best hospice we could
without knowing there was an injury to tend to

because it is a poem

the candle flickering next to the grand canyon photo
of a.m.’s mom
with her business in the front party in the back hair
pulled past her face by the great wild arizona wind

tears in the eyes
of those who stand around the poem
on pink paper that i, seated at typewriter at the tuscaloosa open air market, read aloud
tears because it is a poem
that tells a young woman
she has universes under her skin
that deserve nothing short
of great honor and adoration

make me cry a.m. says
of drum lines as we approach
the pound and rhythm of a drumline
winding through the druid city artfest
past the gazebo
on our way to the car
to get max to his nap


baby max telling us everything
in simple gestures:
the reaching toward
and the pushing away

in a cupped palm

jnfr stepping off the trail
to fetch what had just fallen
seemingly from the sky:
a bud big enough to fit well in a cupped palm
from the tulip poplar
singing its bright orange, creamyellow, lightgreen song
a small circle of humans
gathered within a bigger circle of books
lining shelves and walls
and the humans sip beverages and the humans
take turns reciting poems from memory
written by humans other than themselves
the bright flash of lightning
and how i say someday maybe you’ll watch
a thunderstorm with me
and how she says it’s not that i can’t watch a thunderstorm
but that they get scary when they get close
and how i say

someday maybe you’ll watch a distant thunderstorm
with me

the tiny tuscaloosa

at the tiny tuscaloosa station
where our train has pulled in nearly
four hours late
grant meets us and hands us
sandwiches in bags (one gluten-free)
plus ginger candies
and a banana
before we zip off
to the library for workshop
number 7

the look of fellowship

the bright-colored and
shiny-shine of mardi gras beads
tossed into telephone wires and
tree limbs and street signs
draped there
bright in the afternoon light as we walk
out of the edge of the park and
onto campus
two kids fighting over a bike
that doesn’t belong to the neither of them
nel writes a scene

filled with sound and movement and personality

you can just rip it in half i say to nel
in the community college classroom
about the half of the fish po’ boy
that i know is too big
for me to finish myself
now that’s the look of fellowship
ali says about the glance
that jennifer and i pass back and forth
from our places
in the circle of desks gathered

the wind pulls all of her words away

are you editing my hair she asks
while i rearrange the grayblack swoop
across her forehead

tomb tops we, perhaps appropriately joke
and misspeak at the same time
(what better official wear
for the city of new orleans)

how the wind pulls all of her words away from me
before they can land in the nest of my ears
as we walk ourselves clear
across the city of new orleans

some kind of beacon

it’s wild in here i say about
the unmowed green things growing up
on all sides over the sidewalk edges and
sprawling out from there
from the mostly unpeopled northeast end of city park
spirit house it is called
the teal/blue house public art sculpture
cut like a papercut art
and filled with light
in the median

some kind of beacon in the night as we wait
for bus 51 (st. bernard)
to scoop us and send us
(*where we are staying for the next
three nights)