Tag Archives: farming

tossing the colors

let me tell you the chain of events  i say to trish in the office and then go on:
first, i broke my favorte glass of all time
because it slipped out of my wet hand and onto the butcher block,
then i went down to the sugar shack to see how much sorghum we have left
and on my way out the door, i noticed the elderberries were ripe
so i picked and picked and picked and while walking out of the elderberry patch
i was stung by a wasp on the back of my thigh
but as soon as i looked down (what are the chances) i found some plantain that i chewed up and put on the sting
_______
holding up each clothing article in the sally army shed in the almost too-dim lighting
for mica to check out from a slight distance
_______
tossing the colors of several tomato varieties in a stainless steel bowl:
paul robeson, cherokee purple, juan de flamme, amish paste and cosmonaut volkov
how i can’t help but exclaim at the flavors
before mixing in the chopped onions and basil and a sploosh of vinegar and several small glugs of oil

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sunflower summer 

wrestling ginormous weeds
(foxtail, lamb’s quarters, pokeberry and other six foot wonders)
from the pea beds we clear out
to plant fall carrots and beets
and afterwords we (kris, eric, baigz and i) are covered
in the drydusty earth we kicked up
_______
incoming i call out as emory and eric
launch potatoes (fruits of last year’s spring planting experiment)
across the south garden beds we are in the process of making over
(de-trellising, weeding, removing mulch, hoeing up the beds and cutting furrows down the length of them
_______
no need to walk when we can just swim wherever we need to go  i joke about
the thousand-percent humidity
the day has come to be made of
_______
sunflower summer is what i call it
because of the great presence of towering glowing beauties
parading up the edges of beds in north garden
and along the greenhouse’s western wall
and some in south garden too
and a few popping up along the cistern and near the old north garden compost pile
_______
the sound of aeresol cans being shaken
heard on the train bridge
where meat curtains becomes great curtains!
and cock becomes cock-a-doodle-doo! 
and where someone also asserts that
dj nasty pants like to party amongst other exclamations that simply state:
bless
dance
pool party
sex
_______
unnamed phenomenon: that time of year (here) where everything in its natural and wild state becomes just a bit too unbearable:
all the layers of the night insect chorus  so thick and intermittently piercing
woven tight and so loud
that ti’s difficult to hear beyond five or ten feet in any direction
or
the grass and weeds sprung up and gone wild
sometimes 10 feet into the air (pokeweed)
which means anytime one must walk past them (along the path in the herb garden to the shitter or up the stairs to the whitehouse or into karma or the bike shed or down the path to cool ranch or swimming deep in them while uprooting them in the old pea beds or cosmos beds or edamame beds) they brush against bared skin (which, at this time of year, is a lot) and it’s too much
one might say even the heat at this time of year (mid 90’s for four days straight – heat index registering at 105) is too much
_______
the dark of a new-ish moon night
decorated by the trillings 
moving back and forth (call/response)
of eastern screech owls
who are my sweetest favoritest bird sound
of the summer 

_______

from the water world:

Commuters use a rickshaw to cross a flooded street amid heavy rainfall in Dhaka, Bangladesh. – voice of america, day in photos

A man walks on the dry riverbed of the Ticino river in the Ponte delle Barche, Boats Bridge area, in Bereguardo, near Pavia, northern Italy, July 25, 2017.

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into a darkness flickering

the victory
of harvesting
two five-gallon buckets
of the season’s first tomatillos
that i thought were all going to be decimated
by the great tomatillo-eating worm
that decimated them last year
_______
ice cream advisory eric says about the current and predicted weather conditions
which boast a heat index of 103
_______
exiting the movie theater (stan’s old room with the AC unit on in the window – tonight’s feature: footloose, the original)
into a darkness flickering
with two layers of light:
lighting bugs and lightning that illuminates great swaths of cloud to the north
how i cannot help but keep walking down the gravel road
to take in/to honor/to be with
all the light coming in
_______
from the water world:

Boys play under an overflowing dam along Powai Lake after heavy rains in Mumbai, India. – voice of america, day in photos

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into early light

in the dream, i spotted a bobcat
only the bobcat was missing the telltale ear sticky uppy hairs
but clearly, the cat was still a bobcat
and the land was somewhere i’ve never been
and perhaps more new mexico than missouri
and we stayed kind to each other
and perhaps curious
_______
pedaling into early light
(6:50am) on the gravel
a hoe for the sorghum fields poking out of my pannier
_______
on a blanket
under the cedar tree
some of us stage the onions and some of us select as we go
using twine and some knots and our concentration
baigz, eric, trish and i
(with an emory peanut gallery and sometimes jack too)
braid the onion harvest
to be hung to dry
_______
mama cat in all her calico-ness
(or is it tortoise-shell-ness)
climbing the six-foot sunflower
like a ladder and the resulting rustle
of the rough branches and leaves
_______
a day so hot (and it’s going to get hotter)
That two of the cats that like to fight
are lying feet from each otehr
without saying a word
(minus one half-hearted hiss)
_______
next thing you know, i’ll just be wearing a black censored strip (like in a photo where  some publicly unmentionable part of someone’s body is exposed in public)
i joke at the butcher block when cynthia says
you can tell it’s getting hotter by the shrinking of frankie’s clothes
_______
be brave and lead with your big heart i write
to a sister heading south

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wrestling and weaving

the round sweet juiciness of my first peach of the season for breakfast
a small orb of a reminder: how lucky i am
and how grateful for all of this
_______
mica and i hi-fiving with our butts
(which we call a low two)
for the drone cam that whirs and whines over the field
sometimes at the same height a frisbee in the air
could be at
_______
might not be a good edamame year
or a good cucumber year
but damn if it isn’t a good sunflower year
i say of the towering 
orange-red petaled,
lemon yellow petaled,
maroon gold petaled
brightest hummingest yellow petaled giants
some of whose very tops
i’d need a step ladder to reach
and then the half gallon mason jar
filled with them and water
on the front porch (flowers saying hello) because
_______
wrestling and weaving and wrestling and weaving and sometimes weeding too
this is how i move from one end of a row to the other
in the tomato jungle
taming
like breaking a horse say
_______
first dahlia bloom open
in north garden
just like last year
right in time for sharon and dennis
which means from this day forth
the first dahlia has delcared itself
dennis and sharon’s dahlia
_______
how i slice and arrange
the first tomatoes in a circle (like sun rays)
on top of the tabouleh-ish sallad
which features fresh parsley and spinach and onions
some of which seem ready
to haul in 
for the season
_______
the orange not-quite-setting-sun light
dipping below treeline branches
and laying itself across birdie the cat’s face
as she sprawls on the sun-warmed cistern
stretching into a knocked out pre-hunting time sleep

_______

from the water world:

17th FINA World Aquatics Championship. Solo Technical Women preliminary, Budapest, Hungary. Yukiko Inui of Japan competes. – voice of america, day in photos.

A woman holds an elderly woman on her back to cross a flooded street after a heavy rain in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China. – voice of america, day in photos.

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against the almost-iridescent

a word for the very specific satisfaction
that comes from crossing things off a to-do list
especially when using a broad and bright marker
to do so
_______
(detail from a pervious day, but remembered now, thus written now):
it might have been a fox someone says
about the death of seven chickens while i was away
_______
the mellow and bright yellow of snapdragons against the pink-lemonade pink of the other snapdragons against hte deep fuschia and white and pink raspberry combo of cosmos against the almost iridescent pink-orange thumbelina zinnia petals agains the shiny crisp white and marron of the strawflowers
all tucked into a small queenline jar
that i fill with water
_______
at night among the insect chorus i hear a splooosh
of some creature landing in the pond
which is not so close which means it must have been a big creature (super huge bullfrog?) making a big sploosh

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into a sky of lightning

up until this moment
i have never seen a bat yawn
but because there’s this one that sleeps
on my exterior wall under a window pane
and because i couldn’t help but move the hinged-down window just the slightest
to make sure the creature was still alive
the winged wonder awoke and resettled themself (i’m pretty sure ‘themself’ is not a word, but i really do want to stop calling living creatures and elements ‘it’)
yawning once, twice, then a third
exposing the tiniest and very sharpest looking fangs i may have ever seen
_______
the bowl of sweet bing cherries (black)
that i set on the table for lunch
and how i like thinking about how two days ago
i was plucking them from branches in the foothills of the coast range
wind in my hair
and how they traveled through time zones with me
(tucked in my pack as we rode north towards portland, and then as we took off and landed in portland than chicago, and then as i rumbled along on the el and on a bus through the rain and then
as i sidewalked in the drizzles and then as i hurriedly made my way to the brown line
and rocked to its rolling and then walked with the rushed throngs downtown to union station and then
settled myself into a window seat on the amtrak which eventually took us into a sky of lightning and then
tossed in the back seat of the cab of a white toyota that cynthia drove along the curves of county highways and back up the gravel driveway that i left out of two weeks ago)
_______
the unbelievable amount of minutes/hours it takes
to weave tomato branches into trellising and to weave trellising from post to post and to try so hard not to snap a branch but to hiss a curse everytime i do
_______
the new layers added
to the already mighty night chorus:
the long hurts-your-ears high pitch of what i think is called a prairie katydid,
the one off buzzy vibration of what might be grasshoppers,
and the once and a while cicada song

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