Tag Archives: cats

the silver shining

the silver shining streak
cutting diagonally across the sky over me
while i lay, pre-sunset and post-dinner
on the flat concrete of the cistern’s surface
birdie the cat curled on my chest

from the water world:

Children jump into Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, Turkey. – voice of America, day in photos.

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breaking the stillness

how, after the night’s / morning’s rain
the soil of north garden
looks a deep rich dark
small stack of silver dollar pancakes
on the cooling rack on the butcher block
secret ingredient: almond extract
so sweet and easy when i’m doing the kitchen dance solo
i might like to continue this
friday tradition

ashby the gray cat and moonstar the black cat
both following me around so i decide
to take them on a walk loop
down the backroad, across the pond dam, past the hoophouse and through the little lookfar-to-whitehouse trail back
to point A
and how they saunter and pounce
through the tall grass and scramble
across the just planted fields and pant with tongues out near the end
from the exertion of the excursion
shooing the escapee chickens out of
the just planted beds in north garden
and undoing their kicking-things-up damage
again and again


the caramel with the tiny babydoll
perched on top left
by trish
in my cubby

i don’t know how it is we got to the idea
of taking new names for darien’s last week here
but i do know all of us are laughingin the kitchen about it over dinner

and the best is when tyler is doubled over at the sink at the suggestion of lieutenant reverb / lieutenant freebird as his.
and after much brainstorming and laughter,
the others are:
erik = glow
emory = shad casterson
jack (the dog) = chicago style
trish = boomer / boom boom
baigels = womp
joseph = senor captain coolant
me – scribble or lil’ scribbs
darien = zen or zendo
cynthia is not there, but the best we come up with is toolio which is not only an ode to her mastery and care of handtools, but also to coolio
and then we toss a few around to rename sandhill:
chainmail chapel 
harness heaven 
and then we each write our new names
on name tags that we stick onto ourselves

the tick i pull off my lower back
at the start of our sit
 and how i debated whether or not to move
to grab it but if i was debating about such a thing anyway
it’s just the same as breaking the stilness

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pitchfork by pitchfork

Dottie and i laughing

(about things including but not limited to: darien in his rare hood

as king of the ringwraiths)
as we try to find the grain
in the pile of pummies that we pluck up and toss into the cart
pitchfork by pitchfork
at the northwest edge of north garden
cat entertainment center i say
about the small and colorful birds
squawking in the huge white cage
in the lobby at the vet’s office
where gibbous so chill-ly is with us
having not emitted one scared yowl
the entire journey thus far
the sounds of two barred owls calling
over my head
back and forth as heard from my desk
in the cedar room
whose walls/windows are not even the closest thing to airtight which means
it sounds like the calls are moving
over me

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thick in the chorus of it

the hiss and pop of flames
as they travel across the field
while mica flaps them out with the flapper
and thomas and jacob spray with their water packs
and tyler, stan, cynthia, darien and i use a combination of shovels
and  hard rakes to snuff it out or
move it along
welcome home tyler calls out down the line of flames
after we almost set the forest on fire
as we stand in the calm
adrenaline come-down
while the burn travels slowly
towards us on the west and last edge
of the field
the various shades of pinks to reds
on our faces as we gather
collapsed onto the ground
after it has all settled 
smoke smell woven into the weave of 
our long sleeves and pants

the dirt/dust on moonstar’s black coat
from rolling around in it
under the bucket rack
feels like i spent a long time crying today i later report
to mica as we walk fieldwards
carrying frisbees and our cleats
into the intermittent gusts of wind
how there is not even one
second to spare in the cold cold pond water
that mark estimates to be somewhere around
thirty degrees while mica says it has been colder
how i bet the look on my face
as i immediately popped up
after jumping in
was probably a hilarious one of surprise and panic

all the cats minus birdie
perched everywhere around me as i hang laundry
and the sky sunsets
(peach-pink strips of cloud
layered across greenblue sky)

the sweet swooping up/down sounds of
the spring peepers 
rising from the pond as i 
pin clothes to the line and later
drifting in through an open window
which reminds me how i learned last year
about the sounds moving in 
layer by layer until we are thick
in the chorus of it
by mid-summer

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the horizon we head towards

you know you’ve got it bad when,
on your list of very important things to do
in the remaining eight hours 
before your departure
you’ve included take photos of the cats

the ring of will’s meditation chimes
struck once at the start of his sitting
on the maroon bolster
facing into the sun-flooded southside windows
and once at the end
how the sound keeps sending itself out
long after the metal has been struck

the small pawprints in the snow
(leading under the house and
out towards the greenhouse)
revealing the mystery whereabouts

will and i getting at how people think
of the desert as a dead space,
as a wasteland
(example: bombing ranges)

the small snap of the remaining
prong on my big backpack buckle
breaking off
which sucks because i plan to haul water
with this thing
(and because plastic is depressing)
but which also taps into some kind of pride
about owning this thing
for ten years
and all the places i have been with it
the two deer that leap out
across sandhill road
(which is coated in a thin layer of snow so cold
that it crunchers under foot and tire),
they don’t know it, but they are wishing me
wild grace on my journey

reminds me of a black mesa sky i say
of the molten red line laid across 
the horizon we head towards
but it’s not just that molten line,
it’s also the phenomenon of seeing so much sky
and it’s not just the red line and seeing so much sky,
it’s also the way the sky gradients
from the richest black blue
down to that red line
each color its own strata
and it’s not just all that sky and its layers of colors
banded across it,
but the crisp cold of the outside world is made of
plus the kind of quiet that these “middle of nowhere” places carry
write a list i tell myself of everything you miss

a friend! i exclaim
to the fellow passenger
who lets me in the locked train station
and it’s not long
before we discover we both write poems
and that the origin of when writing the words began is indescernable
and at some point i move across the way
as other passengers fill the station
so we are not shouting across it
at each other

that’s a long time i say 
of the 15 years he’s been working
as an academic advisor
and i think about how i can’t say that
(15 years) about anything
minus the suburb i grew up in
though nine years in portland and
13 years total on the west coast
is close
he made it rain i say to the woman sitting next to me
who just described how the heat and moisture
from the hot water her dad accidentally left on
at his house
created condensation on the ceilings,
the table tops,
and turned the curtains into sopping swaths of fabric

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in contrast to moonstar’s
black coat, the white of her frost-adorned whiskers
as she meows for dinner
on the woodshed perch
frosty whiskers i say later in a voice
similar to emory’s when his gets squeaky
perhaps there is a name
for this peculiar kind of packing
for a trip that entails
not simply packing what is needed
out of a drawer but rather
pulling the entire drawer out of the dresser
and emptying it
and then putting everything neatly back in
except the things that get tossed
into the ‘to pack’ pile
a sheet of ice cynthia reports from out there
about the roads her and ty have decided
to turn around on

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into the wood-heated warmth

in the dream
the fancy monogram-style cursive letter S imprint
left by the bullet
(which entered my chest through ribcage
and didn’t exit)
and how i held my palm
tight against the wound
and slumped against a wall to hold me up
to stop the blood
when i thought i was dying
but turns out
that when all the blood didn’t leave me
i was actually still
but alive
the melted ice water
gathered on the lid
to a 55 gallon drum
that gibbous the orangey cat
laps away at
black sharpie ink
on the thin skinned (and sometimes wrinkly
which is a sign of dehydration
which should be avoided)
dahlia tubers
before tucking them in layers of sawdust and newspaper
for the winter
(the variety names include:
awe shucks
zakary robert
blackberry ice
lights out
emory’s bright bright red cheeks
(from running around on a 20 degree day outside
with his pal zane)
as we gather around dinner

a group of 12 mennonites packed up against the snack table
and spice shelf of our kitchen
cracking open their caroling books
just after luray says
we’d like to sing you some songs
about jesus
and there are many things i marvel at
but one is how we never really get to
get this close to each other
in a cozy social-ish setting,
the other is a sortof elephant-in-the-room
around the proselytizing
(like, i’m going to pretend you didn’t just say
those songs are about jesus
because when you do
it all of a sudden becomes that kind of weird comparable to
interacting with a vendor
who wants to tell you all about their wares
and you just want to look at them but have no interest in buying)
hope nothing explodes i say
as ty and i find ourselves
in another edition of rookiez
where this time around
because the big furnace fire is going,
somehow that means the water tank
(that i’ve never noticed before)
is gurgling and its pipes are warm
to the touch

mama cat
gibbous and ashby
all gathered outside of karma
in their respective perches
(mama cat on a tree stump
ashby on the bench and gibbous
sitting in the pathway)
as we head into the inky colors
of another frosty night
and they all watch me walk into the wood-heated warmth
in a way that seems to say
don’t i get to come in too?

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