Tag Archives: harvest

so sustenance-ful

the sun
that finally shows itself
through treehouse window
glowing on the morning thoughts
of free spirits
_______
the organics inspector
handing me a piece of paper
with the name of a nebraska poet
(whose last name might have one t 
or might have two)
written on it
_______
the tiny black bugs
that land and bite
on forearms, on calves
as i collect cosmos seed
in the heat of the low sun
_______
cynthia and i snacking
on the ‘cheese’ pretzel chex-like
snack mix
on the drive back along these great expanses
of bright bright risen (like a bowl of dough) green
plus autumnal treeglow on top
_______
under the upside down bowl
tyler reveals, boiled,
the first chestnut harvest
at sandhill
and the tasture (taste and texture)
so sustenance-ful
in my mouth
_______
one moth bumping
against the pane of a window
because that’s where all the light is
makes a remarkable amount of sound
(to the point of audio-ly resembling raindrop)
i turn off the light
 _______
from the water world:

Farmers paddle in a boat at a flooded village after a tropical depression in Hanoi, Vietnam. – voice of america, day in photos

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gale/gust: a defiant and humble cry

8am sips of just-pressed sweet sweet sorghum juice 
swilled while gloved and earmuffed
ready to feed cane to the clacking mill
this rhythym
this making
this feeling connected to the fall harvest humming out everywhere around us
this coming together
this tradition of literal sweetness
this heartcore of sandhill farm

oh, and the sun
lsying its light
across everything

(and how good this work feels
in my spirit and limbs
and how tyler letting out a whoop! upon my arrival at the mill to feed cane through the pressers/rollers is so much history,
is kinship,
is all of these beautiful weird wild years
in these handbuilt gorgeous and mildewy spaces
and on the breaking and broken tractors and in the weedy/wonderful gardens/fields
and around the heat of fires glimmering in stoves
and all of these things stacked on top of each other and 
distilled into the sweetest sips of squeezed cane 

that whoop! is every joke we’ve ever made about dingleberries and furries and putting a ring on it and haunted hayless rides and greens on the side of a salad meal and lord knows what else
that whoop! is the heartbreak of knowing what it is to love a place while coming to understand that one can no longer live there
that whoop! is the yelp-yowl of a high school senior walking out on the last day after the last class
that whoop! is a word for all the other words we haven’t learned yet or don’t know how to say about leaving, about trying, about how becoming family is beautiful and about how family is perhaps the most difficult thing on the planet
that whoop! is a nod to all the celebratory twist cones ever consumed at the mennonite store down the road and that whoop! is also a word for how we, believe it or not, might be weird and nostalgic enough to feel sentimental even about the weekly sunday meetings which most of us typically drag our feet to
that whoop! is for the butcher block – one could do the math to estimate the number of meals lovingly or annoyedly or celebratorily chopped and set out there – but the real sense of it is countlessness – that butcher block that has stood there in one single place longer than any of us (sandhillians)  have lived in a single place in our lives – and that butcher block will remain as the sun seems to – a thing to orbit around – regardless of who does or doesn’t plant the sorghum or who stays and who goes or what thrives and what is given back to the land or who the land is given back to
that whoop! is a defiant and humble cry – for having believed enough to try and for still believing and for deciding/knowing that we will try again/another
it is a defiant and humble cry admitting that we are just putting one foot in front of the other, best we know how – not always graceful, but committed to the learning – the lifework, the lessons that come through unlikely teachers
that whoop! is a call up to the occasional Vs of geese, migrating overhead at an altitude too high to hear us, but still, we whoop! to all the wild wonder of here, of what got us here, and of what will take us – like a gale or a gust – away)

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nothing says fall

em asking me to tie his skull-print piratey do-rag on his head
and then him lego-ing while i read aloud from a book of scary things (weather, killer animals, the bermuda triangle)
and there is something throughout the day that i smile extra to myself about that do-rag
(i would already smile in the first place because i love it
but then the extra-ness because of tying it on in the second place)
which might be the closest
to a parental tug
i might ever feel
_______
how i grab the shovel and emory meets me on his bike and 
i ask him to grab a stick while i leverage
scooping the roadside rigid and perfect possum body
(lighter on top, darker in the legs)
with flies and bees buzzing
in its mouth
and the three chicory flowers i place
over its eyes
before layering the dried grass on/over

________
robbie and i, new berlinites, doing the softball pose in the dahlias
while cynthia snaps the photos
_______
nothing says fall like a ride on a wagon hitched to a tractor
and here we are all
riding down the gravel road
on the double wagons
hitched to the gas-fuming tractor
(my neckercheif pulled up over my nose)
our work gloves on
our bodies readying for the field dance
of scooping up awkward-to-carry bundles of cane
and dropping them onto the wagons
_______
emory, eric and i
in the field to the west of the pond
awaiting the next wagon
each of us with a sorghum leaf tucked
in the back of our hats
like a single tall feather,
kendra and zeke follow suit
_______
dottie and i in the orchard
after several rounds of cane pick-up
kicking and kneeing and headbutting and chesting (etc) a work glove back and forth
as if it were a hacky sack and me
losing it to the hilarity
completely
with every kick
_______
the hum-whine of combines drifting in the distance
at night in light of moon
as they harvest what seems like endless corn
(though not as endless as the corn in nebraska)
how this is another entry
for the sandhill sound dictionary
and how, if there is ever a fall northeast missouri sound to be nostalgic about,
this is one
_______
i want to be seen
and i want to know the world
and mess with it
she says (i’m paraphrasing)
about how our kind
want to burn

_______

from the water world: 

Lanny Dean, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, wades along a flooded Beach Boulevard next to Harrahs Casino as the eye of Hurricane Nate pushes ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi. – voice of america, day in photos

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the day in pieces

the classic redness
of the apples we pluck
from heavy branches
trying to call out
when the fruit is falling near another’s head/body
filling crate after crate
with the best baking apples
(oh! the sweetness!)
i’ve ever tasted
_______

the almost unbearable buzzing and 
diving of bees
hovering around the windfall fruit
and zipping past
our ears
cheeks
noses
_______
the multi-colored zig zgs printed 
on the fabric i guide through the machine
that stitches elastic to fabric
_______
the new growth
which surprises all of us
on the green bean plants we work our way down
plunking the harvest into buckets
_______

moonstar the cat and the sometimes small snore
that comes out of her always small self
curled up in the medium sized priority mail box
made cozy with fleece scraps
as i write down the day
in pieces
_______

i mississippi river you like nobody’s business she writes
and i know exactly
what this feels like

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folded like a passed note

two peaches in my pockets
an apple in each mug and
hot chai tea in the red pot
that i carry to cool ranch
between cat feeding and garden partying
_______
had to wait until we settled
into each others’ orbit
she says about me finally waking up
with my head on right ready
to get shit done
_______
the meager final bean harvest
plunked into eric and i’s buckets
and the plenty of the just-coming-on harvest
of shiny sturdy red hot fruits
dangling off the jalapeño plants
_______
the after lunch cereal scenarioI
involving a chocolate puff and marshmellow sugar fest
accompanied by almond milk
spooned out of our (eric, jenafr, cynthia and i’s) bowls
_______

convex and concave she talks about the shapes
food sometimes takes
a descendant from a long line
of those with synesthesia
_______
sometimes there is no other word for a cat curled up besides puddle
as in: a puddle of cat
and there is birdie
a puddle of cat
lying on both of our chests/hips
moving in the slight hammock sway
_______
rounded or squared cynthia asks about corners
on the end-grain cutting boards (one of each variety
set out on the table
the wood dark and wet with oil/water
_______

a short poem folded
like a passed note
torn out of notebook and titled
for frankie just before lunch
tossed my way across dining room table
pocket-sized and zipped into
my hoodie
_______

there’s plenty to go around jenafr says
to the bee in the cosmos patch where we
gather seed and use the word vulgar about the not-yet-opened-but-almost buds
_______
tiger-eye eyes i say
looking in and naming off cat quailities
_______
the absolute-danger color
of sunset sky
burning red in the west
everywhere along the horizon
_______
from the wider world:

View of an artwork by French artist JR on the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate, California. – voice of america, day in photos

from the water world:

View of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Saint Maarten, the Dutch part of Saint Martin island in the Caribbean. voice of America, day in photos

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name the formation

how it takes three hours or so it seems
to get from morning tea
to morning apples
_______
little florets of broccoli and also, rounds of tortilla chips
how i lower them through the hole torn in the blanket that emory has disappeared under
and how emory takes each offering
with his quick fingers
and chomps
(the sound of crunchiness
as heard through lblanket buffer)
_______
in one of the photos
half of her just makes it in the frame
revealing the black braid down to her butt and
the criss crossy strappy nearly backless dress
colored blue and white
that scandalized the philippines that summer
_______
bookending is the word she uses
to name the formation
of her and i on either side
and jack cozed up between us
on the porch couch
______

the weight of the fruit tugging down the limbs of the tree
and the blush of it
we pluck a small bucket of peaches up
on the slater’s hill 
_______
first persimmon of the season
custardy and sweet we pass
the fruit back and forth
seeds smooth on my tongue
while we hide behind the mottled persimmon bark
revealing the title of the next book
in the nancy who mystery series
_______
standing back to take in
the sunset sky
we try to give the blues,
the peach pink golds
the purple mountain majesty 
names
but even for writers
it is impossible work

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all the birds who let me get close

eric and i plucking our way down the bean bed
opposite each other
at some point i look up and notice the sunflower
grown so tall
it rises up over the edge of the greenhouse roof
leaning over it towards us
like one might lean in on a counter or car door where the window is rolled down
_______
butter-fried sage leaves
prepared and arranged atop sweet corn salad
and there could probably be a joke here
about the delicate crunchy leaves being
the artisnal version of corn flakes on top of a casserole
_______
distant all-day rumble/hum
of combines
plus the cool edges that the mornings and evenings draw in
signaling
that even though this end-of-august feels too early yet
autumn is on
_______
all the birds who let me get close today:
male cardinal pecking seeds from drooping-under-its-own-weight sunflower head in south garden at the end of a tomato bed
a tousled-looking robin
plucking pokeberries from the tall stalks growing up on the karma berm
and the dusty-colored femail cardinal
in more sunflowers near north garden
_______
the partially-unfurled sunflower of the yellow-gold petaled variety
(half of its petals still pressed into the rough brown middle
and the other half opened and extended out, mane-like

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