under the porch stars

in the dream
i was in trouble with lavina
for teaching a young amish man
how to drive a car
(which was somehow speeding/driving
some daring route i’ve seen before
in a movie
so i knew to tell him where not to switch lanes
and when his visibility would be nearly zero
but i did say oh shit at the border
because i forgot there was a border there
but somehow, he transformed the
framed clock
into some certificate or diploma or something
that granted him the you’re fine wave on
the swirls of mosquitos

that find us everywhere
(the kale, the romanesco, the beets, the lunch break spot, etc)
on this randomly 80 degree day
after days and days in the 60s –
summer’s last gasp
sleeveless and barefoot
celebrating the breeze on my bare limbs
under the porch stars
juniper and i gazing up
while a few windchimes ting
a few notes into the mellow night

light song and light bodies

the green! of all that
whoooshed parsley
becoming chimichurri in the food processor
and the jars
labeled chimi 2019
stacked in the chest freezer

how i eeew when the unusual piece of gravel
i reach for at the side of the road
surprises me by being soft
and almost tugs back
because ki was not a rock, but a mushroom
the mostly black cat
with a white nose and white kerchief
and a white paw or two
that appears on the gravel road
after juniper says imagine the white-nosed kitty

cedar waxwings,
light song and light bodies
flying overhead
from tree tip to tree tip
while the creekwater runs and gurgles
feet from our feet

one of the season’s last sweat bees
on the zipper flap
of juniper’s rain jacket
as we stand overlooking
read’s creek
thinking about
how land is formed
by earth and growth and water – moving

especially the crickets

in the dream
our guests were on the lower level
as i saw a tree glide by
out the window
(reddish purpleish leaves)
and realized our house (trailer)
was afloat
on a body of water so vast, there were no
other signs of humans, except for a barn top,
the rest under flood waters

in the dream
lisi-cat emerged
oily and otter-like
from a red vent/piping
in the floor
so that’s where you’ve been
coming in from i say

in the dream
dad points to a map… peru, ecuadoar, panama
as he talks about a cruise
to alaska
she made my heart sing

students singing around the porch table
alongside the sound of  everywhere-crickets
and the sound of some vehicle backing up
in the distance with a lawn mower going
somewhere in there too

how i want to hold on
every year
to all of this,
especially the crickets
and especially the leaves still on the trees
and especially wind in hair without a hat on
and especially sun on skin
and especially kid sounds, exclamations
and laughter, coming from the sidewalk
as they pass
in short sleeves and stripes
and especially boots-off
and especially beans still coming in,
gold and green, from the garden

celebrating the farm weekend

sipping from the the non alcoholic margarita (pretty much a smoothie),
mango flavored while juniper sips from
the margarita without salt
and soon ann sips
from her bottomless horchata cup
celebrating the ‘farm weekend’
before the ‘school week’ begins
(since i farm
monday through wednesday
then wednesday night is the farm weekend
before the thursday-and-friday teaching ‘week’

cinematic swirls

not the same as the unweaving i’ve done
of the baling twine holding up the tomatoes at sandhill:
instead of untying and rolling it up for next year,
we slice the twine at each Tpost,
keep the plants standing,
and pull the twine into bins
that we leave in the dumpster
the bright red of blood
at the tip of andrew’s finger
turns out those knives are sharp he says
and i unwrap a bandaid
the cinematic swirls of leaves
in the wake of the two dumptrucks
(first one red, second one blue)
on the road in front of me
hauling their massive weight
around the highway’s curves and bends
the amber light
glowing on the weather radio
for a tornado watch
that goes from 7pm until midnight
while the temperature drops outside
the feeling of bruises
(hurts  like a bruise, but no bruise visible)
on my forearms
from hauling the hemp harvest
(plants with stalks like trees)
out of the field
and up the barn steps
over and over again

strong and sustained

how someone said on the radio show the other day
that all the monarchs you see now are the ones
who will be making the great migration to mexico
wish them well travels the show host said
and so today
to each monarch
glowing orange against blue sky
that i see
i say buen viaje! travel safe! have an amazing journey,
may you remain strong and sustained

because i want the light to last forever

potatoes parboiling
in stainless steel pot
while onions and red pepper sizzle in the skillet
while i crack eggs
into a bowl
and juniper cuts up tomatoes

you’d think we’d have figured it out by now
juniper says about the eternal
salt-clumping-in-the-shaker problem
that is sometimes solved by rice
but sometimes not
the photo of jane goodall
that gina sends
saying her and i have the same
gentle eyes
couch-curled in a snoogle
as we wait
for the skinless rabbits
to arrive
the crunchy scabs
atop lisi-cat’s head
and by his neck/ears
i say something like
i thought you were done with
stuff (fighting) like that
noticing how, generally, i don’t mind dusk
but fall dusk (which would work as a knuckle tattoo: fall dusk)
is hard
because i want the light
to last forever

dig in

not drizzling but misting
a tiny gratitude
for words that are just right
and the feeling of satisfaction
of using them, knowing how well they fit
how i dig in
with the plastic spoon
to the blueberry cheesecake bar
that mom holds on a paper plate
handed to her by the mennonite bakers
at their market stand

the light purple color
of the boba-less taro bubble tea
that juniper and i pass back and forth
as we wander
from art tent to art tent,
mom and dad zooming ahead,
under a grey but not raining sky
dad massaging mom’s shoulders
as they sit on the picnic table
while the vendors take apart their booths,
piece by piece,
as juniper and i amble up

a tenderoni noodle jennifer says
about michael perry after reading his bio
in the program just before
we sit back to listen to what he’s got to say on stage

all the things we say
at the end of the night
while chomping on maple kettle corn
from the market
about how we fit it all into one day:
farmer’s market
country drive
farm visit
art festival
guest speaker
dinner at the fancy place

on a whirl of wind

wide and fast
reads creek
moving under the bridge
as i roll slow over ki

dried thick yellow leaves
skating up the street
on a whirl of wind
while we gather
around the thoreau porch table
knowing the number of porch days we have left this season
is unknown but shrinking

the mini-mountains of food
we leave in the cat dishes
and the ajar-ness we leave the door
when we step out

the shriek of a baby
among the din of many voices
raised over each other
gathered around tacos
everyone in town must be here
dad says
the bookstore socks
(typewriters on mine
stacks of unread books on juniper’s)
along with the candy corn print cloth napkins
in the little gift bags mom hands us
for our birthdays
the smooth bananagrams tiles
clicking against each other on the
gray wood/cement living room table
the joy in mom’s voice
at calling out her first peel

how we frame it

velvety purpley, the color of the morning smoothies
i make for juniper and i
out of frozen freebie bananas,
farm strawberries,
and farmer’s market blueberries
plus a little half and half and
a lot of almond milk
we get to think about how we frame it
i say

about the narrative
of this moment
in this world
we get to tell the truth
but we get to choose how we frame it
i say after reading the writing

about songs to orcas


smudge of moon
halloweening in night sky
while this song plays
on the radio
two pairs of shoulders
simultaneously un-hunching
in separate rooms of the same house
when the neighbor’s air conditioner
that had been running for hours straight
finally stops
3.5 inches of water
in the partly tipped-over rain guage
which means there could have been more
the red warning light on the weather radio glowing
regarding flooding

five leaves of kale
wilting in the back seat
on this day that might be the last of the warm days
of this season
which means sunbathing on the roof
is a must