i chop the apple small

5:30ish a.m. already light
but no sunrise to be seen
for all the fog/mist tucking itself
into the ridges and valleys
and the fields that contour themselves over
i chop the apple small
along with the walnuts and hickory nuts
that I mix into the pancake batter
boring adult stuff i say
about the voicemail i left for
a feral nine-year-old turning ten
the rhythm of me
and the grub hoe
slicing, slicing, slicing away
at clover, dandelion, an unidentifiable (by me) grass
and various other things coming up
in the wild garden

a cave of light

it’s like putting a pass on the wrist
of a festival-goer
i say

about the price tags we write
on strips of plastic
before fastening them
onto the branches of shrubs and trees
adrienne offering me a cinnamon roll
which she says she made out of the wrong kind of wheat
but i can’t tell – eating it while tending to the lilies
its wholeness reminding me of something
baked at sandhill
all the wild life (a space there on purpose)
i’ve been lucky to see today:
a trutle walking alongside the gravel road i bike up,
one deer bounding along the other side of the road a little further up,
and later another deer, leaping with such impressive height
across a field,
the yellow and black and slight bit of blue of a tiger swallowtail butterfly
lilting along on the wind and a red-tailed hawk
(or something that looks red when seen from underneath – wings spread)
the rain filling our buckets
off the slant of the roof how i whoop
when they are overflowing in the wildness
of the storm
sunset seen in 360 degrees where green acres road
meets highway J i joke about how
we should have walked with our lawn chairs out there
and how the sky features many clouds of textures and colors but one
that looks like a cave of light
someone could walk up into

leafing and leafing up

between a cat and kitten
small and white and black and other colors too
sinus infected
sneezing a string of snot
out its small nose,
the glitter on its red collar
the palmful of black locust blossoms i bring in
and arrange in a tiny vase
the sweetest sweet smell
on this hot day we eat
sitting in the hallway in front of the fan
placed in front of the side/back screen door
and take turns tossing the cloth napkin in its
breeze to laugh at which way
it will unpredictably dance
each time
the clink
of an ice cube
in a small fine white with gold outline teacup
the fava sprouts
that have punched through the hardness
of the once-wet then dried clay-ey soil
and are leafing and leafing and leafing
the pine needle tea
in a glass pitcher in the sun
clear water slowly
becoming peach/gold

just bleeds, just spreads

two koi fish
orangey white pearlescent
belly up in a tub of murky water
in a garden cart parked at the edge of
the nursery pond
the light just bleeds,
just spreads
i say

from behind the wheel
into the highway at night
pearl’s tags jingling outside the bathroom door
while i shower the day’s heat off me
on the other side

a baby bleating as it crosses the road
in front of me
and we watch each other, fifteen feet apart
while say hi and slow-pedal past this fawn
still spotted with white
the wingspread
the long feet out behind
the silhouette of blue heron gliding
against gray sky on my bike ride
dragonfly with four wings
climbing around the bottom
of a plastic pot
its colors goldish
and shimmery
the wheezy kitten
(white with black and brown)
with a bell on
whose sinuses i wish i could heal into being
the clear passageways
they are meant to be

they say squirrel

the three of us are talking about some shrub
or perennial and one of us points up into sky
where an eagle flies nestwards with something
dangling from it’s talons
the shape and looseness/limpness of the dangly thing
makes me think snake
but someone else can see better
and they say squirrel and yes
that’s what it is
tail flopping in the winds

paying attention to the rainbow recipe

up at 9am stretching
into the day there has already been
so much light out
gray cat stalking push mower
as i, turn by turn, chop off grass tops
in the yard a reasonable size
for such a thing as a push mower.
not vanilla
but a sweet smell
where i bury my nose in the
hard-boiled egg yolk yellow plus brown/red colors
of the petals
a great migration of plant babies
(so many green sprouts)
fromĀ  exposed places to the shelter
of the porch
in the looming of a storm that, in the end,
never really arrived
when a plastic bag of plastic bags rustles
down from the top of the fridge and i
startle or flinch at the sound
post-rat-trauma i say
a number of people
taking a chance to step outside the cafe
under the steel-gray sky
seeking a rainbow that surely
must be being made in that light
how usually, i am the only one
paying attention to the rainbow recipe

hand over the plastic pots

leslie perusing the cards in the hardware store
while jennifer and i determine the right cutters
for the gauge of mesh we’ve got
how we all laugh in the walmart parking lot
about two strangers meeting
to hand over
the plastic plant pots

with a grub hoe and a digging fork
creating a future bed for flowers
how it feels good to dig up lawn
how my body knows this work, this rhythm

with a hammer and nail
pound/punching hole after hole into the bottom of a
tomato tin can (quart sized)
until i have what resembles a watering can rose
which i then use to water
all the sunbathing starts
as the temperatures climb
to the mid 80s
the smears of potting soil
across our faces
our arms
our legs
and the array of green green seedlings and
plastic pots on the porch


and bringing water

the cool clear moving water
rippling over my bare feet
just this part of me submerged
after a day on my feet
and in the sun heat
shuffling plants
and bringing water
to pots of parched shrubs


let’s just say there was a shop vac

front porch potting-up factory
where the peppers are upgraded
from studio apartments to one-bedrooms
and the
sunflowers and zinnias and cosmos
get upgraded from a group dorm
to single dorms
(which some people might say i am ridiculous
for starting rather than direct seeding into the ground
but i’ll take all the extra growth and time i can get)
gray cat hunting its new toy:

the plastic strip ripped off the top of a
25 pound bag of potting soil

it’s probably best not to mention the rat remediation
but let’s just say
there was a shop vac
and formula 409
and a half eaten tub of mink oil leather conditioner
and flashlights and spray foam
and a saw and particle board and another saw
and a mini pry bar named richard
and how we toss all the clothes we were wearing
into the wash machine
and neither of us could scrub
hard enough
you’re already leaving she says
to the glasses-clad one
over chili and spinach sunflower sprout salad
and homemade bread
i can hear it in your voice

the setting sun a smudge
coppery swabbed by wisp swoosh clouds
over silos and green fields
as seen from green acres road and highway J
are we ok she asks in the light
of a single beeswax candle bought
at the farmer’s market and made
by verna’s sisters