the morning light coming in again

how i tug down the tacked up blanket
from the south facing loft window and
for the first time since october
the morning light coming in again
across the pillow and across my face
emory and i up on slater’s hill
on our backs under all that blue sky with all those geese going across it
sometimes glinting/flickering in the light
and we keep looking for the end
of all the shapeshifting Vs
and not finding it
the ground grain corn
its paleness
scattered in perfect circles on the altars
set at each garden made of
bee boxes and seed flats
motherfucking joy kris says
at the garden opening ceremony’s closing
where we share our visions for
the gardens this season
(of which mine was: just the right amount
of abundance)


reckless optimism

reckless optimism says nastalie
about the forces responsible for shuttering the doors
of an arts organization and gallery
that had been around (and flourishing) for 40some years
sami, nastalie and i sorting through the grey mammoth variety sunflower seeds on a sheet tray at the kitchen table,
first separating seed from chaffe and then
sorting out the seedless casings (crushable between two fingers) from those with the idea of next year’s flowers tucked inside them

the sun that finally comes 
after what feels like months but has only been weeks
and how it walks with us
up/down the kale rows for what i’m guessing might be the last harvest
of the season

the bright shock of yellow/green 
with an occaisonal red/orange flourish
of the silver maple leaves stll attached
to the tree i call my maple
because of how it arcs over the path that leads to the room/cabin i live in

inheritance mahogany says 
about his hand on his dad’s heart
as it beat its last and
being in the room that changed/filled
with his huge spirit
and sole talks about the impulse 
to throw anything open – a window, a door, to make room


the good that it feels
to look at a hand-carved spoon and know that the light-ish blond with dark swirls and the deep dark wood is black walnut
(something similar to how i said the other day the thing about
the years it can sometimes take
to learn things,
and how sandhill has been
one (of the many) greatest teachers

rhymes with spruce sole says
about mahgany’s given name
and there we sit near the heat of the woodstove at night, the three of us
each knowing what it’s like to name ourselves

a cold that merits double hot water bottles
(one for the foot of the bed and one for place my core will be once i tuck my body between the sheets)
in a 35 degree room at night

whose red

the slow ladybug
whose red has faded and whose dots have disappeared
walking along the rim of the 55 gallon barrel
while, on a perch above, mama cat chomps breakfast from a metal bowl

the great sandhill non-marching marching band sendoff
as baigz, trish and em take off
in the white truck
to return a month from now
and how i forgot to pack
a piece of my heart
for them to take with
to the mesa
the zinnias, the strawflowers, the bachelor’s buttons, the globe amaranth (gomphrena), the asters, the cosmos, the marigolds, and the celosia
that i pull from the earth
(how the gomphrena holds on tight and the asters almost offer themselves)
thanking each one
before tossing it into the woods
near the mulberry tree
to become earth
the papery golden sack dangling
from died back/dried down cosmos branches
nearly tear-proof
i question the curiousity that causes such damage
and slowly rip the papery layer
to discover a golden puff layer
and then a white shell layer
and then a kazillion gold egg dots inside
i am sorry, kazillion spiders
for destroying your safe home in order to know you

words are better when you’re there she says
after reading the poem about the gray squirrel 
and the daring in its eyes
and the absolute love and life
in its ways

cloud-hazed moon magic
enough light to walk the path 
without a headlamp

some of us happened to be awake to see it,
sending late late late night texts:
the phone clock turning
from 1:59am
to 1:00am
and at the same time
two train whistles harmonize
on the tracks due north
and not long before
the coyotes let loose
their yippiest yowliest  


unweaving the woven

unweaving the woven
how we walk beds where i spent midsummer
looping and walking out and tying up
tomatoes to their stakes
week after week
and today in the blustery wind
we release the knots
leaving some of the strong vines to tip over while others
insist on holding themselves up
these are the cycles
this is the work
tugging out deep deep ropey roots
while thanking each plant
for such strength

petey rolling out naan
before he melts the garlic butter
as i stir the veggie masala and
move the chickpeas in the cast iron about so that they evenly coat
plucking the second last jar of tyler’s tomato apple chutney
from its spot in the root cellar which i always seem to have the hardest time finding but now
that we’re down to the last two i know
exactly where they are


i gather seed

on this last gasp sunny 70degree day
i pluck red (and mostly red) tomatoes,
i harvest parsley, 
i clip flowers,
i gather seed

the wind that comes in sweeping
what remains with it
of summer
it’s a real life practice
art of asking
i say
this thing about the vulnerability
of reaching towards other people
from the ater world:

A Hindu devotee applies vermillion powder on the forehead of her husband as they perform rituals on the banks of the Yamuna River during Chhath Puja festival in New Delhi, India.


a sea we swim in

cucumber harvest collected in grayteal hoodie and gathered like a bindle
most likely the last of the season
hauled in and placed in a falling-apart collander
the sweetness of this:
Jeaux handing the half pint of fine red powder to Kris
and later another to Dean
chipotle – peppers sandhill grew and jeaux smoked and dried and blended
at the point
when i am angry with the foxtail
for being a sea we swim in to get to the sorghum
(a sea that rises to my forehead)
at the point i want to quite
but we are so close to finished
i begin
to hum
leaning on the notes
to bring me through

birdie the cat
drunk on sun and heat
rolling over to give me her belly
of softest whitest fur

there are mumblings of snow
in the forecast of
the next few days

there is no grand hurrah
but the final sorghum stalk of the season
has been stripped and cut and bundled
left in the field to cure
until we fire up the steam boiler
and get the mill clattering
for the final cook of 2017 
and maybe of ever

the rustling outside cool ranch in the fallen leaves at night
something snarfing up all the fallen persimmons
how i search several times
with the beam of my headlamp and how
on the third or fourth i see:
two young raccoons walking about each other
getting fat for the winter that approaches
and the flicker-flight-swoop back-forth back-forth of a bat
from sugar shack lean-to and then woods-ward and back again
and something glimmers in me
at the thought that it might be clingy, my resident widow bat
how a sound filling the night air crisp with cool and glinty with stars and a fat quarter moon draws me out of my door, onto the porch, up the mushroom yard path, into the orchard and up to the greenhouse near
where the small fire glows and the heart-in-guts-rising-up-into-chest-and-spilling-out-of-mouth-into-firelit/starburnt-night song is being sung/heartpoured/wailed
and how i stay on the edges, shadowed, i don’t want to sit in the circle – but i do want to quench the part of me that didn’t realize it was thirsty
and how this changes the way the night feels (same as when ty and dottie were recording music in the sugar shack and the sound and light floated out) 
a sense that the roots, the limbs, the leaves, the microbes in the soil are feasting on this too – spirit and sound this land has long been hungry for


our brightest red

the waffle iron that got shy and stopped singing to signal that the waffles were ready
and how it clears its throat
and sings again this morning
for the apple blackwalnut squares/grids rising
in the pressed heat
how the preserved ground cherries fall
into each waffle cavern/square
so neatly
and taste so
loved and sweet
american bittersweet she introduces me
to the deep orange tree fruit snuggled in the bright red of leaves
i knew there was a third i exlaim
(referencing having learned the spindleberry and porcelain berry this week and sensing
another was yet to come)

one the count of three we each drop our brightest red sumac leaf
from the bridge
into the creek’s slow current
racing (hers is the rightside up one)
to see which emerges first
on the other side

while the herons do not show themselves
the eagle drifting overhead
is a fine sight

the victorious sprigs of rue
poking up in the mowed down plot 
where jennifer stands
in her once-upon-a-time and possible soon-to-be-again great garden
the unbelievably long shadows
of trees against rolling green
as the sun golds and pinks
just under the cloudshelf
how many times have we seen a sunset and still
here we stand astounded