the five raindrops that fall

because the only thing
that is going to get me through today
(10am and the sun is cranked up to high heat)
is a popsicle, i hand peter 5 bucks
and send him off
to the convenience store
to buy a box of them
a sky full of thunder
streaked with a lightning scraggle
and the five raindrops that fall
that feeling of wanting a rain or a storm so bad
(for the tomatoes who need a serious drink)
and seeming to always be just on the edge
of the storm
the dust kicked up as i pedal
approaching the great incline
a tractor passing me with its haul
of hay bales
in the tractor on the back

happy first tomato day we wish each other
back and forth in the dry (c’mon, rain!) garden
after i pluck the first
orange sphere (nebraska wedding)
from its vine
how i can’t help but look at

every one of the 100 postcards
in the pantone colors 100 postcard set
and how i love how neatly they fit
in the box and how i wish
none of them had word names, just numbers
andrew on the line saying
where i live, the northern part of the state
is burning down
we are, perhaps, time travelers,
and if there is a password to hop in
the time traveling machine
perhaps it is:
or homemade chopsticks
or planting onions
or, of course, kate mcCafferty – she was impactful to me too

from the water world:

A man and his children collect water from a public water pump in Kabul, Afghanistan. – voice of america, day in photos

A patient’s relative catches a fish inside a waterlogged hospital ward at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) following heavy monsoon rains in Patna in the Indian state of Bihar. – voice of america, day in photos

in the moving light

the extraordinary pile of dishes we make and leave
on our way out the door to a picnic
(baskets packed) and movie outing
near the edge of the great mississippi
where its waters touch land
the click of reese’s pieces, that candy shell
bumping against candy shell in the box
eaten in the moving light
of the darkened movie theater
jokingly run by kids

the moon – how we gasp when we catch the first sight
of its rising
an unbitten peach lit up in the dark
dusty, almost
the orange red color most likely compliments of
the wildfires raging in the west

our backs to the brick

the woman who says
one of the things she likes to do with her family
is lay on the ground in the
patch of pines in the kettle moraine area
to listen to the sound of the wind
moving through the needled branches
the racket of a million corn kernels popping
in the kettle under the tent next to me
as i tap the typewriter sound
into the farmer’s market air
the clicking-ish sound

of the library’s metal roof
heating up in the sun as we
sit on the sidewalk – our backs to the brick –
in a patch of library shade
taking turns reading outloud to each other from
sing, unburied, sing

sudden death of sunflowers

the second and third sunflowers
opening in the garden
while many of the others
have wrinkled and wilted so quickly
it has me googling the term
sudden death of sunflowers

the particular whine/whir/buzz of a humminbird
heart not seen while i move through
the zinnia and cosmos
plucking weeds


i love the resistance jennifer says
laughing and slapping her knee while reading something on the phone
she says it in a way that makes me think that ‘the resistance’ is something like a tv show
when in fact ‘the resistance’ she is referring to is
all the ways that people in different spheres
are finding a variety of opportunities
to make life difficult for the people in power right now
such as unmooring betsy devoss’s 40 million dollar yacht
into the wild waters of lake  Erie

the physician’s assistant (who in this case, serves as the physician)
stepping into the room in a great bird dress
and how this instead of a lab coat
changes everything

the moonlight on the mississippi
refracting and reflecting glowing out
towards us
as it rises over the wide and shining waters
from the water world:

A girl plays in a fountain to cool down at a park during a hot summer day in Tokyo, Japan. – voice of america, day in photos

the storm that never storms

the new bright blue and purples bursting
into bloom alongside the already opened
light pink bachelor buttons
salty and buttery quiche crust
crumbling under my fork,
in my mouth
and the bright green of chimichurri
spread across the eggy wedge
the two blue/white plaid lawn chairs
and the matching lounge chairs
that we set up to cloud gaze
watching the storm that never storms come in
while eating mango sorbet
and wearing brimmed hats to shield out the profane glare
of the street light we park under
and how i can’t help but laugh at the sight of us
when jennifer says it looks like we’re suntanning
under the LED street light

what gives you resilience

the monarch flitting around
from zinnia to zinnia in the patch i planted
if there were a good example for a word
opposite of failure, this would be a perfect moment
for illustrating it

cynthia and i laughing on the line
her in a church parking lot in berea
me in the bedroom of a trailer with pink shutters
in the green acres mobile estate
i appreciate your guidance i tell bruin
who’s been dropping some science about being a tracker
and he responds by thanking me
and appreciating my hard work
write down he says what gives you resilience

moonbright light shining
through the arching white birch branches
dangling their leaves in the glow

heading skywards

mere feet from the gravel shoulder on which i bike
(gravel crunch under knubby tires)
a great blue heron lifting up and off
from the wild weedyness
spanning wings
heading skywards

the hummingbird six inches from where i stand
how it pokes its thin beak into the center
of some conical red flower
and rotates in a clockwise rotation around it
(beak like the sharp point of a compass)
and sometimes flopping over
exposing  belly Рflying upside down
its body the size of my thumb
buccaneer and prodeuce
i take note
of the names of the herbicides that have been sprayed
out on the lot where i spend my days
the four new dead birds
carstruck and shoulder-tossed
how i say something like i prayer as i pedal past them
and think i am not far off
from bird-like, i am not far off
from smashed onto the side of the road
and if that ever is my fate,
then my highway death better bring on
the it’s-about-time bike lanes
around here

smoke rising

first, the smell and then
the burn of it in my throat
smoke rising from neighbor’s firepit
tossing plastic bags of trash in
there is no name
for this rage
smoke rising to meet me,
to blow in through open windows
eleven dead butterflies i count
on the highway shoulder bike ride home
at least four monarchs
and three tiger swallowtails
the blue/white swirl superball
bouncing and rolling
on cork floor while gray kitty
chases and swats