it’s a mess out there

how the sky was two parts:
your average usual daytime sky
and the dark grayblue curtain (juniper called it that)
pulled over it in waves/layers
until the wind swirled the tree branches
rattled the windows
and ushered in the storm trifecta:
rain, lightning, thunder
_______

it’s a mess out there the woman in the blue rain coat
says to me as she walks into the landmark building
and i walk out,
raindrops dotting my shoulders
my feet
my back
my arms
_______

squirrel-watching
the creature perched on neighbor’s side/back porch
crunching through sizeable shells to their sizeable meat
running circles around the cat mint to find a way in through the caging
digging in wet earth,
this is where the feast is stored
_______

righting the tomato plants in their pots
lining the ‘driveway’
that the storm gales toppled over

seeking comfort

buck the big black dog
seeking comfort in the garlic beds
after the thunder rumbles and
lightning flash
under this 180-degree view
of cloud upon cloud upon cloud
we can see weather for miles here

on this wet morning

how the heads of lettuce
crack and squeak as i
try to place/arrange them in the gray plastic tote
attempting to do as little damage as possible
_______
the clumps of mud weighting my boots
so that the walk through the field
with totes of radishes and lettuce
is weebly and wobbly
on this wet morning
while the drizzles come and go

_______

a sunset that is all the colors
and that goes on for at least a half hour
if not more
sortof deserty in the way it reds and pinks
in the cooling at the end of the day
sortof mountainy in the way the horizon
looks blueblack against it
sortof absolutely epic
(an overused word, it has been argued,
which is true, but seriously
this thing kept going
while i washed dishes,
while i made tomorrow’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich,
while i cleaned the counters
and filled the water filter)on

the honeyed

the honeyed smell
of clover and pea flowers
rising from the field as we
roll over it riding the wagon
attached to the tractor
bringing this week’s haul of kohlrabi
into the pack shed
where it will be iced and hand-trucked into the walk-in cooler
_______

strawberries are on
which means horses and buggies parked by the barn
which means amish hands
moving through the fields
plucking the red ripe berry-jewels
_______

in the ditch
as i zoom past
at 50something miles per hour:
an eagle
scanning with its head up
must be a roadkill feast i say
stunned at the quickness and closeness
the bird and i about 7 feet apart
_______

the snake
skinny and a clay-graygreenbrown
almost shiny
mouth open
in the napa cabbage
dead, perhaps sliced
by felipe’s harvest knife

 

to see from new angles

when the day’s adventure
is just a car ride to town
to grab a few things (most importantly peanut butter cups)
at the co-op,
then of course, one must take roads rarely traveled
to see from new angles
on the way home
_______

from the water world:

Women fetch water from an opening at a dried-up lake in Chennai, India. – voice of america, day in photos

return of the tanned summersong campers

how i cheer
at the return of the
tanned summersong campers
pinknosed and pinkshouldered
and tan-armed and
tired and heart-fed and full
in a good way
arriving with the packed up tents
and bags
and more bags
_______

the deep purple splash
of what appears to be ‘wild’ or re-wilded irises,
roadside
on the gravel walk to the creek
_______

apple and i laughing about
getting one of those pill organizers
for her array of supplements
on this, her 46th? birthday
while her dad lies in the hospice house
holding hands with her mom

_______

the swirls and swoops of swallows
under the bridge, over the creek, along the highway and back again
as juniper and i sit creekside and i ask
if it was us that stirred them/that caused this
and she says they’re hunting, feasting, eating flies

the extreme ratio

the crunch of gravel underfoot
as i walk back up the hill
from the mailbox
where, just around the corner,
beyond the shriveled locust blossoms dangling,
where two travel-trailers are parked,
where a skinny but muscley gray cat follows me,
i see the on/off blink
(greenishyellow)
in the not-yet-dark
of the season’s
first firefly
something about the extreme ratio of the small sight – tiny really
to the gigantic heartsplosion it brings

among the hiss and blast

among the hiss and blast
of the power sprayer
that felipe wields
to knock the clinging soil off the kohlrabi,
among the burbling
of the huge cool water tank
that the spinach bunches swim in
and then the cilantro bunches,
evergreen and i laughing
(the neon orange of plugs in my ears)
at his antics
of new cilantro-bunch-shake moves
(water sprinkles flying everywhere)
at the end of the kind of perfect-weather day
(cool but not cold and sunny and windy)
that comes after a too wet day
_______

 

Women carry pitchers filled with water in Thane, India. – voice of america, day in photos
An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman. It is one of two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz that were attacked — an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels. – voice of america, day in photos

 

fuschia-colored and bright

i think people today live in two different kinds of times
she says, while the wind moves in
through the back and front windows
circling about us
there’s old world time
where climate change doesn’t exist
or doesn’t register
and then there’s now time, present time
_______

the neighbor’s cat who has been struggling to breathe
for almost a year (and frozen in kitten-stage size)
because of (most likely)
an untreated chronic respiratory infection,
shows up on the porch
sneezing green snot
and looking at juniper and i
with eyes that say
help

_______

the printer snafu,
the not-getting-the-garbage-and-recycling-to-the-garbage-and-recycling-place snafu,
the ticket that won’t let me buy it snafu
makes it a mercury-in-retrograde kind of day
and i make a joke about how i’m on the road behind the poopmobile
and the poopmobile is just flinging its shit all over in front of me
and i’m just driving through
sploosh smash smish
and later, juniper takes me into the front yard by the hand
to unpoop my day – showing me the first cosmos flower in bloom, fuschia-colored
and bright
_______

from the water world:

Elementary students, living on flooded Artex Compound, ride on makeshift boat to attend the first day of school in Panghulo 1 Elementary School in Malabon, north of Manila, Philippines. – voice of america, day in photos

wildfire sun

well aren’t we having fun! i say in my
midwestern mom amalgamated voice
as robin and jennifer and i
get into the car
after our first stop at craig the ceramicist’s place
on the winding roads art tour
_______

the spice in the salsa
that makes robin’s eyes water
while she eats juniper’s chilaquiles
and how we pronounce the g
in the word gnats
about the little annoying bugs
swirling around our faces
and sometimes biting
which leaves an irritation
for hours
_______

juniper and i
in laura’s back yard that smells like fried food
because of the proximity to the american legion
breaking down cardboard boxes
one by one breaking down
the overwhelm, the stress
of our friend
facing the last minutes of her lease
with a house still filled
with stuff
_______
the darkest/orangest sun i’ve ever seen
juniper says about the wildfire sun
as seen through tree limbs
from out on lisa’s driveway
_______
from the water world:


Secondary school graduates play in a fountain as they celebrate the last day of school, traditionally called the ‘last bell’ in central Kyiv, Ukraine. – voice of america, day in photos