in woven flight

the dusty swirl of hay bits
twirling to the ground
as derek shakes the bale on the spear
up in the air to let its sheafs loose
in the cucumber beds field
where we work til we wish we had electrolytes
or other bloodsugar-boosting snacks
with forks to cover the paths and bed edges
two butterflies in woven flight
in the new green growth
of the giant locust tree towering over us
at dinner on lisa’s porch
from the water world:

Women carry water pitchers to their houses in the Thane district in Maharashtra, India.

Women carry water pitchers to their houses in the Thane district in Maharashtra, India. – voice of america, day in photos

the color sings

finally, the sun comes out after
the day upon day of rain and gray
and i say, on the walk to the greenhouse
down from one of the upper fields
i didn’t know when
we would see it again

orange flashes of bird zipping
from the woods on one side of the gravel road
to the woods on the other side of the woods,
the way their color sings
in the light

gray kitty hiding in the tall grasses
ready to pounce the manual (body-powered, not gas-powered)
mower that has me sweating and pushing and
removing my longsleeve shirt and feeling good
about this capable body

i am something of an animal

the sunset goes on forever
both in distance and duration –
the reward after an all-day gray,
what begins as a light peach light
in a strip along the horizon
blooms everywhere into every color i’ve ever seen
in a sunset, and i’ve seen a lot:
the purple grays
the magma redpinks
the neon oranges
the great golds
the iridescent powder
and on and on
and how each time i look away,
when i look back,
it is a remix
of what came before
and i am something of an animal
pacing from window to window
not out of restlessnes
but because i want to consume
the whole entire view

eight thousand varieties of corn

i’m starting to distance myself from cars craig says
my driver’s license expires next year,
that might be it
he goes on to say that his car is dead
and he shares with his neighbor
and how wild it is
all the miles we put on
to transport just one person
in one car

the relief that comes,
thinking of even just one person’s movement away
from cars,
and from a time when it is not unusual
to drive 400 miles
with no one else in the vehicle
the deafeningness
of the onslaughtof rain,
walls of it,
rushing down and down and down
on greenhouse plastic
while i go about seeding
42 trays of imperial broccoli
in a tshirt
while the rest of the crew in their rain gear
gets all the pepper plants they can in the ground
before the ground gets too soft

winona laduke talks about
making america great again,
in other words, making america a place
where we once again have 8,000 varieties of corn
being grown (without pesticides, of course)
and when 50 million buffalo are alive again
on the plains, thundering through
and when we had a billion passenger pigeons
in the sky – now that,
that was great
she says

the pleasant burn

the pleasant burn
of the vinyl patio chair straps
warming in the sun
as i lower myself in the seat
it’s part of your faculty benefits package

jacob says about how we all get to
figure it out together
instead of having to figure it out alone

smell of lilac blooms
drifting under the back porch umbrella
we all meet under
passing the  bowl
of bright red strawberries

the mucousy snarfle
of the cat that’s been sick
for the duration of a year
(the first year of her life)
that belongs to a neighbor
who claims he took her to the vet
and was giving her medicine

five drops of rain

they kissed me i say
of the lilac blooms that left dew on my lips
after i leaned in to sniff them
the five drops of rain
that fall on the last leg
of the bike ride, sun still out,
clouds still dotting sky,
how perhaps even all the people in all the cars
of all the traffic rolling past
didn’t notice
because their arms and foreheads and thighs
weren’t exposed to collect the drops

not that there is such a thing
as the cutest cat in the world, but…
i say about foxy cat

sprawled out on the porch, asleep
and who later
trots alongside us
as we walk our bikes to the road
do you see the stripes she asks
of the pink strips
stretched across sky
almost the same color as the lilacs blooming
in lisa’s back yard
but not quite

your bloom betrays you

your bloom betrays you
i think to the wild garlic mustard (invasive)
that we identify by its white flowers and clear out
of the woods,  moving
from clump of white blooms to clump of white blooms
tugging until it all (including the root) comes up
and we put the plants in plastic bags
that we toss into the dumpster
now and then: the smell of sweet sicily
in the air

we bring hot water bottles
to the box where the small scratched-up patched-fur badass champion of a cat
whose gaunt face makes him look like a fox
curls up and sleeps
while cold rain
comes down