the task that awaits

shit buckets! ted calls out on the field referring to both:
the task that awaits him after the game and
a missed toss

the cool cool blessing of pond
washing over shoulders,
over cheekbones, over elbows
almost too cold at first
but not long after, perfect
for paddling and kicking and flotaing under
a cloud-swathed sky

the sound that shoulders and shirts and
heels of palms make
against the dark hard wood
white gravel dust gathered on the backs of our skirts
from the sunset spot
where the half-live oak grows
tonight, it is a pink orb swathed in gray/purple
a survivor’s reunion she says
as we slice the perfect (in flavor) and marred (in rotting-ness) peaches
that we gathered a few nights ago
up on the neighbor’s hill
the black walnut that throws me (in clogs)
off onto my palms
on the side of the path

a lion
in the enclosure
draping over the edge
arm dangling

a flying scrap of paper
written with initials and symbols
fluttering down from the treehouse
once unfolded revealing lines about hammocks and holding and home


before it is airborn

fox tail seedheads brush/scratching my face, arms, thighs as i lean in
to tug and yank
from the headers and beds
of south garden
my feet gathering dirt
from all the shaken-out-from-the-roots soil 
being tossed about

the cicada in the peach tree i disturb
just by walking past
how it buzz-buzz-flaps
(like something that needs to take a running start)
and swirls in a few little circles – bumping up against branches
before it is airborn away from me
how we joke about the rooster always piping up which means
we never get to hear what the orange hen has to say
i like the precision, it’s satisfying i say of using the 1/4 teaspoon to measure salt for each quart of tomato juice
and the teaspoon to measure salt
for each quart of pulp
and eric says he finds satisfaction in guessing
we should start a business together i joke
and we laugh for what feels like the first time all day
the white bowl that i pour a pyrex full of fresh cooked tomato juice into
that eric and i take turns sipping out of in karma kitchen
(he’s a good slurper)
where the two ginormo pots of tomatoes cook down
and the one hot water bath heats up
sunset walk report:
at first, the cloud is a band pulled across that molten orb – and the band has squares punched out of it
and the orange blocks of light coming out of the punched out squares make me think of windows in a row like on an airplane
then the band is a teenage mutant ninja turtle’s mask
the sun’s eyes glowing out
and then, as it the sun sinks and the cloud goes from a holed thing to a solid thing
there are just two shreds of light hot pink and then,
as one might suspect with a sunset,
they are gone
mica and i laughing to tears about selling off things like
the duct-taped handle karma kitchen whisk
as one way of making a living when it comes down to
being just me and the five cats
real hippies used this is how mica suggests i market it
as well as highlighting the added nutritional value (enzymes?) of the food bits that are surely to be caked on during the time of sale
it is tonight that i notice
(even though it surely has been going on for at least four or so days)
that it seems to be the official end
of firefly season
one wish i bestow
for a particular forty-thirteenth-eighth birthday:
many meteor-like glimmers
flashing across your sky
for the rest of the year

from the water world:

A boy jumps into a public pool on a hot day in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. – voice of america, day in photos


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 things get rattle-y

the long awaited torrents
released from sky
clouds finally giffing way
after weeks of nothing but teases
how i thiank the rushes and droplets
on behalf of the kale and the asters and the cucumbers and dahlias 

the thinnest film of a rainbow appearing in the east
how aeric and i both know the rainbow recipe
and keep looking out to scan sky
me at the dehydrator fussing with the cherry tomatoes and him
at the butcher block laying out hand made pasta

a photo of the tappet brothers searched and sent
for when things get rattle-y and kerthumpity
the sheen of silvery scales
found on karma counter
at the far end of the butcher block
from the water world:

This handout picture released by Society 4 Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone, shows flooded streets in Regent near Freetown. – voice of america , day in photos

how the pallette changes

trish and i working our way down the same row
of amish paste tomatoes laughing when
we simultaneously reach for the same fruit
the particular stickiness 
the tomatillo fruits leave on our fingers
while we (baigz, eric, trish and i) peel them
one after another
working our way through three five-gallon buckets
the satisfaction that comes from
using the same pot of water three times
(once for steaming the carrots that will become carrot butter,
once for cooking the edamame
and once for cooking the sweet corn given to us by the mercantile due to their
overflowing bounty)
i came to celebrate whatever’s found
i came to rise up, i came to get down
this song sneaking itself
into every little open spot in my brain and how i cannot help but laugh
every time it comes out
how the pallette changes as the season goes on i say to carolyn
about the flowers and how these days
There’s so much red/pink/fuschia/purple
(cockscomb, asters, zinnias, globe amaranth)
these days, i have a lot of yellows carolyn says
as if the sky was water and someone
dripped a few drops of food coloring (rose gold) into it
spreading from cloud to cloud until it is all
saturated in a renassaince light

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

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