the grassy perimeter

ann and i walking the grassy perimeter
of the cemetary encountering
what we think is most likely a squirrel skeleton
(some fur still stuck to bones,
some bones bare/exposed)

under a pine tree
how, when i look close, i am surprised
at how long the bottom teeth are:
brownish and arcing up to fit between the top arcing-down teeth

the white of this

the passive aggressive looks
i give the kids shrieking in play
up and down the rows of stacks
while i attempt to concentrate
on some very important boring adult business
still and silent (except for the loudest eye roll)
in my seat
how the white of this

april 27th’s snow
on the new green
of fields and lawns
registers as strange
in some subconscious realm
and also in a very conscious realm
as we roll through the hills
from town to home
in a vehicle powered by dinosaur bones


how we tell the bees,
the butterfly,
the green branch buds,
the first dandelions,
the cats,
to take the day off tomorrow
and spend it snuggled up
in some cozy and dry hideout
because snow is on the way

into the cool earth

the circle of rocks we arrange
as protection/defense
around the wild cucurbit
sprouting up alongside the road
but not completely off the road
and we want to see what it becomes
how it takes a while
for the usefulness of my hands to resume
after being out in the chilly rainwet
planting onion start after onion start into the cool earth

in the wet night

the rhythm we keep
with the speed of the tractor
on the transplantor
dropping zoey onions, kohlrabi, napa cabbage
into the dibbles
the water wheel leaves
in the beds

arriving home to the chorus of peepers
in the wet night
of rain

walking out

i hate walking out i say
about walking out in the middle of a poetry reading
to sit in the sun
near the magnolias
on the yellow chairs
in the part-shade part-sun
after spending most of the weekend
(with its 70-some-degree days)
in roomfuls of other writers

the gross rainbow

that was invigorating i say
about our 8am session in the field
uncovering the garlic
that spears its white to yellow to green
(form the ground up) sprouts
under a cool sky
exposed to the ridge winds whipping
straw mulch all about us

j and i jumping up and down
in front of HQ
to catch more glimpses
of the sun (molten) that has gone down
beyond the hill in front of us
but has not set yet
on the horizon
the gross rainbow
(mostly primary colors)
of the balloon bits
i pick up off the rainwet drive
gritty with gravel

double happiness

how the song/sounds
of the meadowlark and killdeer
keep us company as we work
with pitchforks
up and down the beds
removing too-think mulch
from the garlic
bursting green up through the soil

my bones i say
about what feels bruised/what aches
in my wrists and forearms
after three hours
of maneuvering the pitchfork
in the ridge wind
the double-happiness donation
in the virtual tip jar
just days after i mentioned that you
ended up being one of the most meaningful parts
about my time in san diego –
gratitude doesn’t feel like enough

into the wind

the patches of nettles (and dock and winter cress) we discover
on the creek’s gravelly island
that formed a few years ago
when the flood waters widened the creekbed
how we ask permission,
how we thank them,
how we carry the tips we’ve plucked
back with us
in a red hankey bundle

juniper singing the tigger song
into the wind
as we climb the hill home
The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
I’m the only one