Tag Archives: light

reverse snow

how i fill the morning with the smell of boiling/steeping cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, fennel, burdock, chicory and dandelion

the rattle of mason jars in boxes
as we jostle the collection of reminders
from porch and living room to larry’s car
from which we watch the fall colors and risefall of farmland unfolding as we roll up the long and gradual hill out of town towards the most beautiful trailer park on the planet

sunlight moving through the milkweed that climbs/floats up around us (reverse snow says either jennnifer or larry)
as we pluck the soft feathery poofs from their pods
release them in the general direction
of texas

the smell  she says standing against the kitchen island in the light seeping in through sliding door in the kitchen and i can’t recall if this is before or after the incident involving a hand carved spoon (lines and whorls in blueblack and blondish)
that can’t be washed away

the way emma on the sidewalk where we three stand in sun and under trees says the word progress a dead giveaway of her
canadian roots

eggshell, illuminated
jesus’s aura
mary’s aura
light through lace curtains
this evening’s names
for colors in the sunset sky
the smell of garden-plucked basil (gathered before another damaging frost)
drfting up the back porch stairs and into the kitchen


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naming sky

the way one of the windows pefectly frames the tall conifers scraping sky
in the neighbor’s yard as seen from the couch
where i peruse the national geographic issue on gender
she hands me a clump of bright pink succulent-like blossoms
fallen to the sidewalk and i pin them
into my updo swirls
lemon ice, new copper, blue vein, grayberry, and rose cantaloupe/cantaloupe rose

we practice the whole naming-sky-at-sunset-colors thing again

a name for the meals that get picked at and go cold
or are slowly effortfully eaten (moving food around in mouth as if it were a ball of clay)
because of these things in us called hearts layered with all the complexities of being human
and how there are words and not words
for all of it

sacred assignment she says when i name my work as to trust and hers as honesty

sticking around she says with a question mark and i feign arm-to-arm, side-to-side
glued-togetherness, joking
that we might need to go down to the hardware store
in order to remedy the situation

for tradition’s sake  she says
eating a spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream from my bowl

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if a tree and i can have inside jokes

emory’s morning sleepy face
combined with his slightly pointy black hood pulled up
and the way he stands there along the coathooks, statue-like
i tell him he looks like a gnome
the array of yellows, reds, oranges
arranged on dehydrating trays
not the most cherry tomatoes in a harvest
and also, certainly not the last

the persimmon fruits i spy
up in the branches of a non-persimmon tree
(the result, i’m deducting, of a branch with fruits falling
and lodging itself in this other tree)
and how i appreciate the playfulness 
if a tree and i can have inside jokes, this is one of them
the press and warmth of jack the jack russel in my lap in truck backseat
as he snarfle-sniffs out the cracked-open window
as a crew of us roll zims-wards –
some of us for ice cream, 
some of us for flour for tomorrow morning’s doughnut-making,
and some of us just to go along for the ride
the kid size twist cone tyler hands through the truck cab window
which kindof resembles a drive-through window

how all the color (green of grass
plus bright yellow and red and orangebrown leaves)
speckles the path between cool ranch
and the white house
and how i try to love it all
with heartdoors flung open
cool ranch lights blinking off and back on again
as someone over in the sugar shack flips the breakers
while prepping for the sorghuming
top forty songs (from now and from the 80s and 90s)
that the ottumwa radio station plays
while i yoga
this field-soar body
(headstands to cyndi lauper
and planks to prince
and warriors to adele)
the moon as seen from east-facing window
and how, because of all the branches between me and moon,
it appears not as a moon at all
but a ball of christmas bulbs glowing
because of the way the twiggy lines
break the light up

from the water world:

A man releases paper lanterns to float in Shwe Kyin creek during the annual light festival in Bago, about 183 km from Yangon, Myanmar. The ritual is believed to bring good fortune at the end of Buddhist Lent. – voice of america, day in photos

A man is seen bathing a horse in Dickenson Bay, on the northwestern coast in Antigua, a month after Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean island near St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda. – voice of america, day in photos

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searching for the unfindable

in the dream, i was missing trains and
losing kids in my care and
getting locked out and scrambling
through my mess of stuff (that resembled the waking life mess of stuff in the field first aid backpack) searching for the unfindable tickets
the 6something a.m. eastern screech
whinnying/cooing into the just-lightening day
soothing out the rough edges
that the dream gave me as souveneirs
welcome aboard i say to dottie
who’s stripping cane in sorghum field 3a
and also ironing out their wild (compared to the rest of us) sleeping habits
thought about you today dad says and tells me
the title of the book that the milwaukee county sailing club
is reading for a book group: the death and life of the great lakes
you couldn’t just go to the stre and buy paint unless you belonged
to the artist group
my mom tells me about a polish film
she saw with her polish speakers group – 
the film was based on a true story of life under communism after world war two
may the force be with you dad says
about my upcoming
and later: your body needs rest, it heals while you’re sleeping –
go get some healthy sleep
when the rain begins bucketing
i can’t keep from worry-wondering about our guests in tents
while i write away under a roof
held up by four walls
the yellow-gold glow
candlelight by which i write (and ironically text)
in – it is another one of those evenings, the kind where i am compelled to not turn on a light

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we made a pact

the chainsaw humbuzz whine-whir
coming down from slater’s hill
and i think about the sound vocabulary
i have learned here
(in other words, that sound = baigz in orange safety gear
dancing around a trunk/log/branch and weilding the heavy-to-me machine
and moving it through wood with ease
like a sending the blade of a hot knife through butter.)

the first time in a week and a half+  i report
that the squirrels didn’t wake me up with their
scritchy scratchy frenetic fall energy.
we made a pact

how the sunset – gold foil crinkled across sky with redpink light reflecting off – distracts me, pulls me outside onto the backroad
and then to my desk 
which means i never say goodbye to dean our dinner guest
nor do i show up to sit 
with the sangha

i have a secret/not-so-secret dream i write
that is a couple acres (or more) big. the dream has flowers in it. and two writers making salsa. and sunrises. and spaciousness. and it has two baskets, so i don’t have to put all my eggs in one. or maybe even ten baskets. and it is filled with discernment and heart-led risks.
leaf-crunch footsteps approaching
and then soles on floorboards and then
dottie at my door
holding up an offering in the glare of my desklight:
a jeaux-made cookie
sugar or snickerdoodle
soft and sweet
the kind of evening that
i could nightwander for miles in
under the luminance
of the swelling moon and through the
slight breeze and air so light staying at a temperature that drops no lower than 70

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the buzzing inside the cardboard box
that was once a winter-warm cat place
now turned bee condo

the low gold light 
(particular to fall)
plus less leaves on the trees plus wind – 
how the shine and shadow
dance onto my walls
in the morning
the thirteen turkey vultures
perched on the electrical wires (and poles and crossbars)
that hold it all up as seen from
the whitehouse woodstack
where the cats gather on their respective perches
over a crunchy breakfast
emory and i selecting one piece of candy each
from the bulk bins
he chooses a red, white and brown piece of taffy
which ends up, according to his report from the front seat of the truck i drive us home in,
tasting like cherry vanilla chocolate
and i choose a butterfinger peanut butter cup
which is mostly like a butterfinger in a sqaure shape
and i give a quarter of it to em
first the honking
and then the sight:
three geese diagonaling south
against powdery late morning sky

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we go back to the practice

two pancakes on a plate
oily and delicious with a hint of almond
on the butcher block
savoring the lemon balm scent
on mama cat’s forehead
(a clue to places she’s been)
when i press my nose
to the fuzzy and warm softness of her
put your body into the poem she says from the playground 
and, like other things she says, it is so clear and simple that it seems anyone (including myself) could arrive at this
but most (including myself) don’t

she shines the light
whose on-switch i couldn’t find

a bold life with you at the center 
what if you tipped the uber discernment/heart-led risk scales bruin says
what/who do you care about
and who do you want to be in the world
and how to make this goodbye resonant
with your values
thanks coach i joke
when he says something along the lines of
what do we do when we are having a hard time
with the practice? we go back to the practice


the unexpected sadness
of turning down
a chance to be with family
because of coming to understand
that i’d be out of my heart and mind
navigating resort-staying
on a carribean island
(the sadness layered with the extra sad
of having said so exuberantly yes to it all earlier on
yes regarding the unknowns
of resorting out of the country over winter break thinking yes, i am committing to family this year, let’s do this

what’s he doing? making smores!?
eric asks bout emory
crouching in front of a small smoking fire
under the black walnut trees in front of the whitehouse
as we approach in the red ranger
love that kid i say
while we round the bend
cecil and i laugh-talk-joking
the same way we did seventeen years ago
just three miles down the road
something heartening
about homes 
that are effortless
to return to

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