with each swift stop

the sound
of blades on ice
shaving its surface
with each swift stop
while coverall-suited players
take cracks at the puck
and the calls and whoops too
from the water world:

Men pour cold water over themselves during the annual cold water endurance ceremony, to purify their souls and wish for good fortune in the new year, at the Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo, Japan. – voice of america, day in photos



ami pretend-balleting down the carpeting of a downtown minneapolis skyway bridge/tunnel
just after we’ve watched the sugar plum faeries and christmas toys and the rat queen
dance across the stage – the tap of their toe shoes audible
in the quietest scenes
her eight year old telling her to stop and
a woman passing us in the other direction saying don’t stop girl
this flair
is one thing that i love
about this sister


dark grey tiny feathers
ruffling in wind
stuck to cool ranch porch slats in the morning:

the clicking/rattling of
the wood stove cast iron
as the night fire gets cranking
in order to raise the room temp up
from 45 degrees

the spectre of rejection

the scribble scrabble scratch of squirrels
waking me
at least an hour before the alarm
is set to go off
with tears
sharon congratulates me
while we balance our dinner plates in our hands
for having the great knowing
in reference to the messages 
that have come through to me
regarding picking up
and carrying on

the spectre of rejection she says and i say
invite them to tea
i can go from zero to fuck that shit
in a matter of seconds
 i say about
how reactionary i can get
about the racket of the literary biz
and what someone means when they say
it’s about who you know
from the water world: 

pastor louicesse dorsaint with his wife Maria dorsaint in front of their Church, Haitian United Evangelical Mission, which was damaged by flooding from hurricane Irma in immokalee, Florida – Reuters/Stephen yang


the day begins with many things, but this is one:

victor (our 80-something? year old neighbor) and i talking through a rolled-down window on sandhill road
he hands me the empty washed jar i sent flowers in at news of his sister’s passing and also, a box of taffy from his daughter in florida
as soon as i am handed that empty jar,
i’m filling it again
with dusty purples and sharp reds and cream whites
and marching it up victor’s hill
to place on his porch
this report just in from dreamworld:
her sighting of four rainbows
one of which happened to be diagonally striped just like my skirt
she says
all the gold/yellow
leaves pirouetting down
as the storm gale plucks them
as seen from cool ranch’s front porch< gazing woods-ward
it’s a bagel moon phase tattoo baigz explains
to ghana while they head out past the garden shed
from the back door
post-stormy sky as seen from highway:
gray smudges to the south
(these are patches of rain – distant, falling),
to the west – a just-washed crisp clear (everything lined in the shine of water)t
and a cloud
which looks like a collage of several clouds
of all different types
glue-sticked together
mama cat and i both
standing along the mushroom yard
as the storm front blows in
(picking up speed and force)
and how that first thundercrack
sends mama cat under the house and i
throw my hands up to my ears and my body goes
into a high-shoulders pose
outside at the picnic table with
sampha in my ears as i halve the cherry tomatoes
before arranging them on dehydrator trays
the clouds pink-seeped against the west slate sky
the reflection of a moth’s eyes
in the beam of my headlamp
on my night commute
down to cool ranch
from the water world:

Indian villagers attempt to cross flood waters with the help of rope and empty canisters next to a washed away portion of a bridge at Palsa village in Purnia district in Bihar state. – voice of america, day in photos

when the gusts pick up

lean in i say lean in and savor it
not that he’s asking for advice
but this is what i offer
in the strawberry patch
regarding his current matters of the heart
how are you with bird sounds
i ask and ask around again 
while we dig up strawberries for runners and while we crunch on crackers and carrot dip
so i can know the name of the bird
whose sound keeps captivating me
(later, after mica searches ‘magical sound’ and ‘forest bird’ she finds it: the wood thrush
and when i look it up in the bird book
i’m punched a little by the phrase declining in numbers in recent years)
the wind shaking juniper berries out of the cedar tree
and the tray of ground cherry halves i guard
when the gusts pick up
so the detritus doesn’t land
on the sliced open fruits
laid out across the dehydrator trays
the green smily face in the middle of the cross section
of the ginormous cherry tomato i just cut in half and when i see it
i cannot help but laugh
emory tossing each clean item of his laundry (tshirts and shorts mostly)
just plucked from the line
onto the porch floor – which is a notoriously dusty surface
to fold them
emory, eric and in
seated around the computer screen in the office laughing
at the beginnings of home alone 
which, turns out, is surprisingly more engaging
than i had anticipated
how the moon
not yet full, but getting there
sends light through the trees so that i don’t need
do flick on the headlamp
on my way down the footpath
behind the priv
along the mushroom logs
to sugar shack

from the water world:

People sit in water and play mahjong at a water park on a hot day in Chongqing, China. – voice of america , day in photos

the kind of blue that lets light through

yeah, we could call it burning the man
i joke while we all joke on the front porch at lunch about how sandhill
becoming a festival
at which dj deep dish is a wedding officiant
and attendees can choose from a menu of five options
of what kind of ceremony they’d like
(hip hop being one of them)
wearing steel toed combat boots and walking in formation to sit at a desk in an office kris talks about the weird comedic experience
of being a fema/americorps volunteer
and how we wore these shirts that said FEMA in huge letters on the back
and it was like wearing a ‘kick me’ sign, people hate FEMA
a kind of summer victory:
tightening the final knot of the final string of twine of the final tomato trellising
not that the plants are done growing
but that the Tposts are only so tall
there is something quaint
about tying brown bags around already-bloomed sunflower heads
to catch their seeds before the birds pluck them out
some things are just
that simple
the drone/whine/buzz
of two hummingbirds divebombing the red-yellow sunflowers
at the south edge
of south garden
me in my sandals and skirt and sleeveless tee
walking west on the gravel road that i first cut my gravel-road-biking teeth on (literally)
sentence by sentence whispering intentions
my finger hooked through the water bottle cap
which dangles and sways with each step
and the sky:
broad feathery streaks
of luminescent cloud
painted across it,
the sky itself a dome
painted the kind of blue that lets light through
and beginning to copper and gold-rose
at the edges
from the water world

People take a foot bath at a park in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, Japan. – voice of america, day in photos