brambled in the brambles

the goats are out i say looking out the side kitchen window all of them
so we walk to our neighbors to let them know
because one can walk one goat back,
but all three when they’re brambled in the brambles
is a taller order
the book of garden postcards
black and white and waiting to be colored in
that juniper presents to me
from her book order from one of her favorite independent
local-ish (it’s hard to get super local when you live in the rural midwest – unless
you’re talking about farm-grown food) bookstores

falling asleep on the couch
while the clouds shift and roll and spread
and the sky goes grayer and grayer
until the streetlight pops on
and then comes the thunder
and lightning
along with the cool breezes
lifting window curtains
the little ding! my digital calendar makes
telling me that tomorrow i’ll be taking a flight
to seattle for a parent’s 50th anniversary travelventure
which is now a lie in the time of covid
i will be packing no bags
i will be getting on no airplane

talking to pollinators

the monarch lilting and flitting in shirley’s
hillside of perennials abloom
how i tell ki to make sure to come on over
and visit our flower patch sometime
good petaly polleny things await

as we slow

how i keep writing taxes on my to do list
and i never get them done
go figure
heading west on 14 into the deep gray
of storm and cloud
how the wind kicks up as we slow to 25 on main street
and the trees do their great swaying
and how i duck as we drive underneath the huge-limbed ones
while thinking of the 40mph winds that the weather announced

maybe some of this rain

the cold cold big round raindrops
hitting skin through tshirt
how i cower at each one that touches me
like an ice cube to the skin
on the walk back up the hill from the mailbox
but it also feels good
and maybe some of this rain has some of the st. croix in it
which means me and leo
might be hi-fiving right now
(even though i would venture to say
that he might scowl at the offer)


the five blackcaps rolling around
in the white ceramic bowl that juniper brings them to me in –
me, dozing mid day in the hot heat
of summer
the fog lightly lifting/hovering
over the skinny shallow arm of the creek
where búho and i dangle our feet over
from a footbridge and juniper
walks through and through again
the ice-melty water

the assault of sound

how i laugh outloud
victoriously after the hilly and warm ride to town
as we pass the car parked near the farmers market
with the air conditioning on and windows closed
and windshield wipers squeak squeak squeak squeaking
across the dry windshield
(meaning: the dogs did that)
and later, the blinkers are going too
lisi – ping ponging from room to room
while the neighbors below let off fireworks so close
that the whole trailer fills with light
and how, in such a case, can the gesture not be to cover one’s ears
against the assault of sound
and once he’s in the bedroom
i coo and close the windows completely
and he huddles, eyes wide, ears back under the bed
and if this is what an animal does
through ten minutes of this
imagine what being in combat does
and there is no bed to hide under
and no amount of warning i was able to give the neighborhood cats
was enough for this
thank goodness it was short
but no less brutal

where home is

like a mountain stream i say
about the clear cool coldness
of the creekwater on my skin
i just wanted to make sure

he remembers where home is i say
about the neighbor cat that juniper and i
walked/lured/carried from our tier in the trailer park
down to our neighbor’s place on the lower tier
where charlie the cat (with white paws and black and grayblack stripes) supposedly lives
though he spends most of most days
in a cardboard box on our porch
and meows desperately for food
who spends most of his days in a box on our porch
we converse in their drive way
in the hot day’s cooled air
soft and light on my skin
and the sky pinking and purpling for what feels like hours

a certain blooming

the two hours i wait
to make my statement to the wiconsin DNR
against the building of a new segment of an enbridge oil pipeline (line 5)
in northern wisconsin
and the three more hours the hearing continues for
where less than 6 of the 100+ testimonials are in support of the pipeline
and a certain blooming or welling in my heart
upon hearing all the voices of all the humans from various parts of the state
as well as some from new orleans, ohio, minneapolis
speaking for the water, the land, the humans and animals and plants
who, themselves, can’t call in – not yet anyway
how grateful i am for the thinness of this shirt
when the breeze goes through it
as i liberate the cucumbers, the okra, the climbing beans
and some of the tomatoes from the weeds
the interesting geometry of the improv pea trellis
that i have been adding lines of  bailing twine as needed
while the mighty beanstalks grow and grow and grow
(the tallest of which is about 7 feet now)

the moon lit our way

we meant to take a duskwalk
which ended up being after dusk
which was perfect because
the moon lit our way
while fireflies laced the trees, the gravel road, with blinking light
and owls called (one near one far)
and in the lushness and treeness and humidness
we could have been in missouri, in florida, new orleans