all the bright red

how it can help make a place feel like home,
running into a friend on the sidewalk
and in this case it is the small backpack basket
that gives annie away
all this sun
in the 70some degree air
and my arms bare
as we pedal, pedal and pedal
the smashed dark shell and all the bright red
meaty ripped organ muscle body
of a red eared slider turtle
on the road
the impossible brightness of its blood
not even dried running
on the blacktop towards the ditch
how somehow this seems more brutal
than what happens to the possums, the raccoons, the deer
and i circle back around to it,
grab the plastic bag off my bike
and scoop its sunwarmed smashed self up
and carry it off into the dried gold/brown
of last year’s grasses that ring the pondy wetland
where so many frogs sing and sing
my ojibwe teacher said it is the right thing to do –
to move the bodies off the road
if you can stand it
jennifer says

a cat i call out pedaling
along highway J about the caramel colored creature
sitting a distance away
in the growing green grass and then later
a black and white one pouncing
some distance away on the right side of the road
near a propane tank

your first customer jennifer says at the sink
about the all smokey-gray ring-tailed cat
lurking about outside the porch
to whom i bring
in a metal bowl
today’s conflicted purchase
of kibble


we walk to the empty

in the dark
on wet-softened gravel
we walk to the empty mailbox
i, with a small square of cheese in hand
call out to the cats
who ambled up out of the woods the other night
in the full moon rising light
but tonight are nowhere
to be found

in the darkest of dusk

how, at first glance, it could be an orange street light
come on in the darkest of dusk but instead
what i have caught in my eye is the night jewel,
the big rose quartz pendant
the moon
pink pearl orange
glowing as it rises

it’s the sound that catches my attention
and as we stand observing/watching
it is the cat creatures
emerging from the woods
to eventually, with plenty of inspecting,
swirl around our ankles
one white with greyish spots and the other
a more steady color

feels like a celebration

something about it i say of the geese calling as they move across the bright blue sky
that feels like a celebration
perched with moonstar the black cat over
by the bike shed i spot
the season’s first two mosquitoes hovering
last supper kris says of my request
to feed the cats one last meal
in response to her request
of her starting the cat feeding responsibilities
while i am still here so that if any questions come up
she can ask me
sharon and i waving
at the oncoming freight train
us above, it barreling below
car after look alike car
we talk over the rumble squeak rhythm
while jack the jack russell braves the sensory onslaught
standing close between us
like chocolate sharon says of the nongraveled section of underpass
rutted deeper than i’ve ever seen before and
dark and rich in color
re-enacting one of our first moments together
sharon and i grasp hands and jump over
(instead of into, this time)
the creek where there is usually not a creek
and exclaim afterwords about
what a good day it is
for a polar dip

arms arcing over

the vision of walking away through a tunnel
of people, their arms arcing over me
as they lean in to whisper/sing their blessings
because this might be the toughest part of tour i say
about booking and registering and promoting
when asking for encouragements
for this thing soon to be embarked upon
not much distressed meowing
but i can feel the feline tremors
through the plastic of the pet carrier
that i tote mama cat in
the thunkthunk of the dimensional lumber
against the metal wheelbarrow walls
as sharon and i toss the remnants from the furniture store
down from the back of the truck
at dinner,
upon walking down to cool ranch
a noticeable absence
of my daemon/mama cat
not bounding beside me
past the mushroom logs and the cat-climbable trees on the way

even from under


june, who sat at the side of her sister several years ago
whose body was being taken
by cystic fibrosis says a thing about
how dying mammals look the same
as she looks at gibbous’s big eyes set in his bony face as he moves so slow rearranging himself on the chairtop pillow in the sun that exposes his dry dry nose and dry dry paws
while his vertebrae protrude even from under his fur


you’re a good mama cat she says
to which we both laugh understanding that she means cat mama

from the water world:

The Zouave statue of the Pont D’Alma bridge standing partially submerged after the River Seine burst its banks in Paris, France, wears a life jacket put by activists of the Fondation Goodplanet. – voice of america, day in photos

the accidental early

the accidental early rise
(6:30am wake instead of 7:30)
due to a watch set for an hour ahead
and the magnificent quiet
and pastel sunrise
it brings
gibbous ribbous she calls gibbous
the skeleton wearing a cat suit
who keeps finding my lap to curl up on
and whose ribcage i can feel risefalling
on my thighs
on the couch
in front of the woodstove
the dust burning rubber haze
drifting in the office
from the vacuum cleaner
whose belts are burning
and whose motor/body was probably
never built for the dust/dirt/pebbles
of a farm
the dinner
coooked in the cleanest version
this whitehouse kitchen has been:
redeeming greens soup
with brown rice
and the soy sauced chickpeas

the orange zest whose flavor i mistake
for orange juice
in the sweet potatoes with toasted pecans
tonight’s sunset color report:
unicorn blood.
(the hottest brightest pinkest bloodiest magenta along the horizon
with some pastel pink blue patches  while the hazey moon glow looks over it.)
robin wall kimmerer’s words
across the last braiding sweetgrass pages:
The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilities for all we have been given, for all that we have taken. It’s our turn now,  long overdue. Let us hold a giveaway from Mother Earth, spread our blankets out for her and pile them high with gifts of our own making… Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and dance for the renewal of the world.