sun rise sliding in
later and later now
like a student getting lax
as the semester passes
today’s gold glow
bronzing at 6:05ish a.m.
the first gold/yellow bursts

of the volunteer sunflowers
sprouted from fallen birdfeeder seed
evergreen holding one yellow pepper
me holding another
like a telephone
(little stem an antenna)
saying hello, who is it
at the end of the day
before we get into the cars
that whisk us along the curves
and up down the hills
to our respective homes
end of july
and on the eve of this night
that’s predicted to dip
down to 54 degrees
i’m wrapped in wool socks,
a beanie
and a shawl/wrap


nusrat fateh ali khan
on full blast
as i drive the hills and curves
air blowing in through the windows
and sun glowing its late afternoon glow
the ecstatic quality of the sound
how i scrub three times with a brush
and still the dirt clings to my cuticles
and under my nails
and in the lines of my knuckles
after a day of harvesting beets, sweet onions, zukes and cukes,
trellising tomatoes, and
removing diseased brassica leaves

when the lightning strikes

the all-day love affair
of jennifer in the kitchen
making tamales and molé from scratch
for the local queers
how we hang out
under the kitchen table
because juniper feels safe there
when the lightning strikes

the mini-mountain of fresh gravel
in the driveway
that i hang the car up on
in an attempt to make parking space
for the potluck guests
and the potluck guests
who help dig me out
and push me out of the danger zone


in the ring of firelight

like when i was a kid
right before we’d go on our summer week-long
road trip family vacation
and the night before i’d be filled with wonder and anticipation
about what it will be like
to be in places i’ve never been before
i say

about this transition point from all this
planning and idea-ing
to doing
at the faculty meeting
during the week before we begin


when there is a lack of cutting boards
using the arm of the lawn chair
while sitting in it
can also work

they used to be my neighbors in missouri i say
about the eastern screech owls
that we can hear whinnying
from somewhere up in the trees
while we sit in the ring
of firelight
how i reach up to grab a little bit of the milky way
from the night sky
out here on maple dale road
to put it in my heart
for later

just how big this dance party is going to be

all the brown eyed susans/black eyed susans
blooming along the trail
that goes along the lake/pond
at sidie hollow
especially wonderful now
in this pre-sunset light
jennifer and ann and i discussing
as we walk through the forest
and all the wild things
whether or not one would go forward
or one would go back
if they could
and how far
and where

there are murmurings and beginnings and i’m imagining
just how big this dance party in the street
is going to be

like cairns

 like cairns i think
about the sculptures in the dug-through field
of bundles of garlic
leaned up against each other – a distant cousin of a shock of wheat
and how, yesterday, i was the only one making them, eventually joined by justin
and by mid-day today, the whole field was cairns
which was a double satisfaction:
1. making the cairns
2. looking down the long bed and seeing,
like a little village,
the cone-shaped cairns all down the bed
and then a third satisfaction:
when the wagon pulls through
and we move along the fields to pick up the bundles
the cairn pickup (bend down and hug/grab them)
is so much easier than leaning over
to grab individual bundles off the ground
some people are satisfied
by moving like an arrow
swift and fierce
through their work
and some people
are satisfied when
1. they get to make it beautiful
2. they get to make it efficient

i leave leaning

the winding up and winding down
of cicada sounds
(similar to a tornado siren –
not in sound but in that winding up/winding down quality)
coming from the treeline
while we clip handfuls
of summer savory
a pink/purple blush
on the thin white skin of the garlic that we pull from the mulched bed
in the afternoon sun
and the clods or dirt that come with it
and the little stands of 10-head bundles
that look like mini wheat shocks
that i leave leaning against each other
in the field
for pickup

arctic wildfires

the best color palette currently in season:
the antique white of wild carrot blooms
alongside the perriwinkle of the chicory petals
and the light purple clover flowers
edging the highway and the farm fields we roll through to get from the cabbage to the scallions to the peppers to the eggplant to the lettuce

looks like a wildfire sun i say
after juniper points out the orange color
landing on the peely white of the birches on the hill behind the trailer
historic juniper says
about the wildfires
raging in the arctic
and if it wasn’t such a tasteless thing
i’d say that arctic wildfire sounds good, like a band name,
like the title of a poetry collection
but it doesn’t sound good
(well, it kindof does,
but how can i say that
when we are, in brief,
sizzling up our forests,
our wildife, our future)


like an easter egg hunt
we move along the rows of cucumber plants
lifting vines and leaves
it’s all knotted up
says paul

with his metal pail
in the garlic beds
of the new-pink worm
twisted over and around itself
that he holds in the open palm
of his dirt-covered hand

the light is changing cate says
while carefully wrapping a blue rubber band
around a bunch of ten stalks of garlic
so it doesn’t break
and i say i noticed that!
thinking that she is talking about the seasonal angle of the light

but maybe she is just talking about how it has changed
now that it’s an hour later than it was an hour before