let’s just say there was a shop vac

front porch potting-up factory
where the peppers are upgraded
from studio apartments to one-bedrooms
and the
sunflowers and zinnias and cosmos
get upgraded from a group dorm
to single dorms
(which some people might say i am ridiculous
for starting rather than direct seeding into the ground
but i’ll take all the extra growth and time i can get)
_______
gray cat hunting its new toy:

the plastic strip ripped off the top of a
25 pound bag of potting soil
_______

it’s probably best not to mention the rat remediation
but let’s just say
there was a shop vac
and formula 409
and a half eaten tub of mink oil leather conditioner
and flashlights and spray foam
and a saw and particle board and another saw
and a mini pry bar named richard
and how we toss all the clothes we were wearing
into the wash machine
and neither of us could scrub
hard enough
_______
you’re already leaving she says
to the glasses-clad one
over chili and spinach sunflower sprout salad
and homemade bread
i can hear it in your voice

_______
the setting sun a smudge
coppery swabbed by wisp swoosh clouds
over silos and green fields
as seen from green acres road and highway J
_______
are we ok she asks in the light
of a single beeswax candle bought
at the farmer’s market and made
by verna’s sisters

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to get at that lavender

suited up in light blue raincoat
and black rain pants as i pedal
through the mist,
traffic roaring to my left,
creek tumbling to my right
and all the green bursting three hundred sixty degrees around
_______

the snip sound
of lightweight blades
clipping off the dried/yellowing bits
of more daylilies than one can count
throughout the course
of a rainy day
_______

bright red flash
of hummingbird throat
belonging to the tiny creature that keeps
swooping into the greenhouse
to get at that flowering lavender
_______
arriving to two beautiful
home-baked loaves of bread
laid out on the cutting board

_______
the thud of a treadless basketball
on the wet green grass
under the hoop
at the edge of the trailer park playground

made of blueberry lavender

five a.m., me up and sitting on the kitchen table
feet on a chair
how i snuck quietly in there to ‘hunt’ the rats
(locating the sound of where they party
to understand more about where they’re coming in
and where they’re partying around to)
_______
apple’s hilarious suggestion
to literally punch the time clock
(as in, with a fist)

_______
what i call groundcherry jam
she calls groundcherry syrup
made with the intention of being jam –
either way, we love the way the softened fruits
fall perfectly into the empty waffle squares
_______
the sunset sky some sort of neapolitan
but made of blueberry lavender and
fuschia strawberry and cool vanilla
striping itself over the curves of green field
laying themselves out the front windows

 

twelve pounds of tyepwriter

12 pounds of typewriter in my pannier
slowing me down slightly on the ride
up the hills
then down them
on this gray sky morning
into town
_______
david, who’s maybe 6
leaning in while i’m at the typewriter
to help with the poem about garfield
telling me in a classic whisper
(hand held to ear, voice all hushy)
about how garfield peed… in the sink
_______
she brings me lemon water fizz
she brings me pastries
she brings me encouragement
she brings me light
_______
the bar of soap david’s mother brings me
in exchange for the poem
that david runs away from the table with
while that yellow piece of paper flaps in his hand
_______

the bright blue
of a cast wrapped
around the skinny back leg
of a goat whose name i forget

the blur of animal

in a vast sea of plastic,
some leaves, some roots, some flowers, some branches, some blossoming
in other words: a 21st century nursery
_______

the coolness combo of shade and water
as i simulate rain with a hose and watering wand
feeding each petunia 10 seconds worth of wetness
while i stand in the shade the baskets make
_______

wobbling and cursing – unsteady on terrible gravel
on a shoulder wide enough
alongside a too fast highway
this
is what breaks me
_______
the blur of animal – first i think fox,
then coyote but the mystery is still unsolved

i just know it was feral
crossing my path and i thank it
for showing up
for showing itself
for slowing me
for reminding me to look up and around
and to consider
what makes a struggle a struggle and
how sometimes slowing down
can shift such things
_______

how i am held
in a spot that a lot of holding happens
on the floor
curled
and crying

 

in the dusking hour

how i must lay a towel
over the partially-done (and extremely difficult) puzzle
in progress on the kitchen table because i cannot
pull myself away
_______

it was the final straw several straws ago
but when we realize the rat who snuck in
and stole my cookies also snuck in
and stole jennifer’s jerky sticks
it is the final final final straw
_______
the buzzing and clumsy flight
of thick big junebugs
in the dusking hour
as we visit the garden
to see the mulch and the possible sprouts

_______
in absence of an actual deck
i draw (literally, with pens and markers and colored pencils)
four tarot cards on my last liberated unjobbing night
some cards made up, some that already exist:
sun/joy
thriving
four of bones
and garden of growth and learning

the first green thing

how the asparagus is delicious and also
how the asparagus makes me sad
because it is not sandhill asparagus
coming from the apple-tended patches
or the cynthia-tended patches
or the garden crew -tended patches
(because it is not the first green thing
coming in first a few spears at a time
and then by the bucketful,
asparagus for many many days)
_______
we stay up until two a.m.
because i can’t leave the puzzle alone
(each piece landing into place a success)
and because of the after dinner ice cream with choclate in it
_______

it’s been ten years
since someone else owned me
for seven hours a day
i say
as i adjust to my new orientation
to capitalism
_______

the june bug buzz in the dusking sky
as i drizzle out tin cans (bottoms pierced to make a collection of holes, just like the rose of a watering can) full of water
over the lines of edamame and beans that have been planted
but have not yet broke up and out
of the earth’s surface