all the hurt animals

it’s not that i don’t like the taste of the licorice-flavored jelly beans,
it’s that it’s always paired with all these other fruit flavors juniper says
of our discount easter basket treats
which consists, not of  a basket at all, but a small pack of jelly beans
and a 3 pack of chocolate-dipped peeps, which sounds gross but surprises us both by being oddly good
nurse-tending to gray kitty with an anti-biotic wipe
to the ouch on his skin where i just plucked the plumping tick from his shoulder flesh
the white blooming flower that robert and lean over that might be bloodroot
just off the path
it has  grown on me i say about sidie hollow
but what i don’t say is why: the huge white pine
that i can’t wait to come back to and climb again
sun shimmering on the surface of the water as we walk around it
this particular glimmer (sun on water) is one of my favoritest favorite sights
how we stop to listen near all the cattails
to the hilarious sound that we take to belong to frogs
whose voices sounds hoarse after waking up from winter slumber
the limping black/gray/brown cat with white belly that juniper sees out the front window and who is possibly afraid of humans
and how i want to care for all the hurt animals

a new kind of conceptual

i got you an easter basket juniper says
returning from walgreens with discount jellybeans and peeps
and earlier she emerged from the co-op
with blushing pale yellow tulips grown by local farmers
something about how i’m going to miss the month of april
because i like writing its name out in cursive
the dried leaf that catches my eye out the window
as the wind lifts ki up from the ground to at least ten feet in the air,
swirling diving dancing over the shed rooftop in the 20something mile per hour wind
all while the zoom video meeting continues on on my laptop
these are the kinds of times that has one sending texts such as:
i’m glad i’m not alone being aboard SS what-the-fuck

a new kind of conceptual/experimental poetry:
the video blips and glitches of a zoom poetry reading
by Raquel Salas Rivera Lara Mimosa Montes

the almost half-moon brightnessing in through the west-facing window
among the star glitter set into the deep blueblack of late night

there are so many of you experiencing this

how i go outside to look at clouds (gray and low to the west
and all renaissance painting blue sky pink orange light to the east)
and to pet a cat
and when i glance up, an eagle is gliding just overhead

the bright green curliques of citrus skin
that i zest off the lime to add to the macaroon with almond flour batter

there are so many of you experiencing this right now
bruin says of the struggle to motivate to get things done/
to do the things that make us come alive

the fizz of baking powder in vinegar for shower head cleaning
in order to remove the caked calcium buildup

the sound of peepers coming in through the open back bathroom window at night
and when, leaning out to listen closely, the sound of the day’s rains
slow-dripping from branches to earth in the darkness
clean up crew juniper calls lisi the cat
while she cuisinarts the chicken livers and i mash together the ground lamb and ground turkey in the big metal bowl

lisi the cat curled in/at juniper’s feet
that stick out from under the edge of the orange blanket at night

first butterfly

i kinda stopped watching the news because it scared me sarah says
all seen in the walk to the creek and back:
eagle hovering overhead
heron gliding across sky
turtles, small ones, popping heads up through the ponds’ smooth surface
and the season’s first butterfly along the roadside
yesterday’s foraged nettles in tonight’s bean and rice and sweet potato dinner
the deep green infusion
warm and scrumptious before us on the candlelit dinner table
the light drizzle coming down as i woods-walk the back way in from the mailbox to the trailer
the pit pat sound around me on the dried leaves on the ground
and on my blue rain jacket
the smell of spring/summer sun-salt on my skin
as i arrive at the video meeting indoors
where jacob says something
about his zoom-related injury
and i’m sure he’s not the only one these days

one of those go-on-forever days

unshoed, unsocked feet in the cool clear creek water
and thin pink hanky, pulled from hoodie pocket, to dry them
before reassembling the footwear back onto my feet

wet earth/soil squishing under my toes as i press peas
into the ground next to the porch lattice

juniper’s scarf bundle of nettle tips that i tuck into my hat-as-purse
and carry up the heal as we head back

it’s a beautiful day, no? one of those long go-on-forever days isa texts from chicago
yes, a barefoot, hoodie off kind of day
the same fabric the days davie and i were made of
twenty some years ago

we meet the farmer on the street

how we meet the farmer on the street, the back of her van opened up
i set down the cooler for her to place the eggs and milk and dilly beans in
and i hand her the cash
it’s all like i said a while ago – how many things start to look like drug deals during isolation
the big sugar crunchies and the bright red berry spots
in the berry citrus scone i order through my mask
at the kickapoo coffee window
and how i savor it, the novelty of the first coffee shop pastry since the beginning of march
the sound of bagpipes drifting in through the cracked-open car windows,
lilting through the spring-warm air
how i drive us around and around until we can find the source
and when we do, i park, roll the windows all the way down, and we steep in the sun-drenched sound

heron lifting up from creek edge to arc overhead
it is heron who i think of when i need a little encouragement
to keep running up the hill
each time i try to run a little further up the hill, try to go a little faster
i say about logging the sixth fastest 1-3 mile run in my running app

the thinnest crescent of a moon
and the round shadow of the rest of the moon alongside it
i sharpen the focus on the light/opposite of light with the binoculars
darien’s mom gave darien and darien gave me



to watch us watching

deer bones
i pick up a sun-whitened vertebrae
just to hold some of that deerness
before placing it back on the earth
with its fellow vertebrae and femurs and skull

how the people in the car going by on the gravel road
turn their heads to watch us watching birds
and here is what we see by the ponds and the creeks:
yellow rumped warblers we could watch for hours
flitting and fleeting branch to branch in the lowest beaver pond,
belted kingfishers on the electrical wire,
and a ruby crowned kinglet by the small creek before ki meets the big creek
the nest a pile of feathers
that’s all i can see with the binoculars
of where the goose was sitting and sitting and sitting
presumably, the babies have been eaten and the parents took off to join up with others
we walk nearly the whole perimeter of the pond
to be sure of what we are seeing,
goodbye geese

get a bigger cutting board – it will change your life

in the dream, no one’s keeping six feet distance
and i’m like oh, i guess this is how we’re doing it now
as we gather for some rehearsal outside the co-op at night

a homeopathic dose i say
of the northeast missouri bird sounds  and roosters cockadoodledooing in the background
to treat the homesickness
get a bigger cutting board – it will change your life
i say to myself while the tomatoes sizzle in the spiced onion and garlic
on their way to becoming dahl and veggie masala
dilute it juniper says about the 1 drop of oregano oil in 4-5 drops of almond oil –
a suggestion for my cat-scratched finger pad
name three things blooming she says
crocuses, daffodils and grape hyacinths i respond

the shifting light

how i bolt up in bed because of the shifting light and sure enough
i stumble into the living room to find a faint rainbow glowing in the west
how, instead of kicking lisi the cat off the yoga mat while i attempt to move through my asanas
i get another yoga mat so there’s one for him and one for me
while jennifer and i are stopped at the lutheran church off J and M
to decide which way we’ll turn
and out of nowhere, a woman in workout leggings appears, asks where we’re headed and suggests some turns that will loop us back in a new way to J
down by ellen’s house (an ellen we don’t know, but the community is so small, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we did)

incredible, the view from the top of the ridge:
how the land folds up and down around us for miles, like a blanket,
how we can see all the greens and browns and all that sky in all the directions,
all alongside an unbelievably steely blue foreboding sky to our south
where i see a distant crackle of lightning that i don’t tell juniper about
the echo in the woods of the bat-meets-the-ball crack
generated by the kids pitching and hitting in their home-built batting cage in their yard
as we’re about to turn onto highway J on our bikes
a kid in the 4-wheeler pulls up to us saying
i hope you’re close to where you’re going
it’ll be here in about a half hour (
gesturing to the deep dark gray blue moving in)
how the storm winds kick up just as we finish loading our bikes up into the shed

two more rainbows (one of them triple) appearing in the afternoon to the east
brilliant color against dark sky, how i stand out in the sunshower to marvel and beam back

write a love letter

the shimmer glitter sparkle of morning sun (which is so different than the quality of afternoon light)
on the beaver ponds and little creeks leading to the big creek
this plus the cool morning air on my skin makes me feel spirited, vibrant, alive
nearly hidden among the cattails and other dried prairie grasses on the edge of the pond where the goose nests on the tiniest island in the middle
juniper points out a big bird, thinking perhaps a juvenile great blue heron
(back at home, the bird book clues us in: an american bittern)
the three sandhill cranes staying in formation (a short diagonal line)
as they surf the wind currents high up as seen close up through binoculars
how their white glows silver when the sun hits it right
and then the eagle tailing them too
write a love letter to yourself lo says while fixing a snack in a kitchen 1,600 miles from where i sit in a nest of blankets in the back room

the squeak squeak squeaks of the bunny dangling from gray kitty’s teeth
as seen through the front windows in the street lamp light