naming tribes and bands

jacob standing in front of the giant map of wisconsin
in the thoreau house kitchen
naming tribes and bands
connected to this land
while we pass around the neem clove oi
to tick-repel ourselves
how this is healing
in the back of the vanagon
i note how
it smells a little bit like a vanagon i knew well
driven by the esteemed debra mazer
as we took it cross country
drinking vitamineral green
and crying outside cowboy stores
chai spice tea smell
rising from picnic table
and twining with the afternoon pine light

looks like pearls i say
gooseberries liz says
about the unusal array
of round green growing things
stuck to the top of a plant leaf
in a variety of sizes

the small light pink-topped mushrooms
sprouting from a downed tree
gone almost powdery in the proces
of becoming soil
and how those little pink mushrooms
smell slightly like strawberries
how i brush my fingers through the ferns
that gather on the north side of the hill slope
to bring their spirit back
for juniper
climate change we say
about the canyon ripped into the ground
that wasn’t here last time
in the middle of the coulee
a trench five feet deep
dug by the assault of water
from a thirty-year storm
that took place in the span of 30 minutes

the ache that snakes

the rustle of plastic bags
that dangle from the hands of the couple in front of me
as the walk down the sidewalk in the breeze
pausing to draw on a quiet sidestreet
the queen anne’s lace flowers
and later, a branch with pine needles
the ache that snakes
from shoulder up into neck
and along the back of my head
arcing over
into forehead
we went from zero to one hundred fifty i say to robert
as we round the corner towards the co-op
about how student orientation is going
the little metal shovel
that sarah brings out
to move the overcrowded cucumber plant
into roomier soil
i’ve had it my whole life she says

the nettle stalks
we work at stripping
around the patio table
while turns are taken for talking
i observe my neighbors
to learn by watching/doing
stripping off the fibers
from the stalk