almost like moonglow

woodsmoke smell wafting in open windows
just about the time sandhill
might be lighting up
their celebratory birthday fire
_______

spring peepers and the chorus frog song
lulling me to sleep on the orange couch
where the 70something degree breeze
lilts on through the open window,
the LED streelight almost
like moonglow spilling in
_______
in the dream i drift off into
there is a tommy yarmulke
(a weird al yankovic impersonator)
and someone is calling his name
_______

how we go from dinner to dusk
dusk to ice cream
ice cream to almost sleep
all without turning on a light

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a few steps in

sunlight through lace curtains is one
of my favorite things
i say as the lacey light/shadows

land on the many-times-painted-and-chipped
kitchen table in the morning light
_______
how the fuel of just one yes is enough
to continue propelling me forward on this
bigdream trajectory
_______

the high and short whistles
of an eagle on the air currents
drifting/circling and then another joining in the call/song
as the first lands in fir boughs shaped
by the saltwater wind blasting in
from the pacific
_______
a few steps into a small small cave
(bigger than a slit) opening
in the mound of rock that appears as the path veers
away from beach grasses and into the
moss and fern and huge-tree land that leads to
the north head lighthouse
_______

the lyrics/chorus how long has this been going on as heard
from seaview washington’s post office lobby
flashing me back to whitehouse kitchen,
gathered around butcher block, jeauxseph saying
so good with neither a squeal nor a giggle but something
perhaps akin to both

while we nightwalk

the fog-wrapped cold that smacks us as we
step out the door 8am to make our way
to the lightrail
_______
the sun on my face, the click of my boot soles
moving across northeast portland pavement,
familiar (42-year-old-self walking
where 26-year-old-self once did)
_______
steve and i laughing in the dining area at our spots
at the bar looking out the windows to patio picnic tables
where we perch and eat our breakfast buffet
and consider clowns as useful co-counseling teachers
and other antics
_______
the smell of daphne, a force pulling me
back after i pass it, jerking this body 180 degrees around
to revisit, to take in portland spring first smells
_______
the absolute sun brightness passing through
purple blooming crocus petals
this forest-turned-city finally giving way
to spring
_______

a single mandarin slice glowing
on light blue-grey speckled floor
of the blue line max train
under the seat in front of me
headed east
_______
the neon-brightness of tiny socks
pulled up onto birdie the 7monthed wonder’s feet –
orange and pink
________
the sidewalk and its buckles where trees
have sent their roots under
while we nightwalk
the alphabetically ordered streets
lovejoy
marshall
northrup
overton
pettygrove
through the neighborhoods that make the traffic sounds
of a few streets over
softer and quiet

will you make a bridge // home is everywhere

the light of the sun shining so hard
it brings out the sparkle in the hard bare parts
of the gravel road
_______
walking county line road
a farewell excursion
a last jaunt
a walk up the swell of the neighbor’s hill and then down
into the dips where the creeks run through
and me thanking everything: the treetops (barelimbed ad budding) against blueblue sky,
the black capped chickadees flitting and singing,
the bold bright sun on this big clear day, jack the jack Russell
even though he couldn’t choose between walking with me and
a really exciting bone back at home and eventually he decided he
wanted to hang out with the bone,
mama cat and her soft fluff of fur,
moonstar and her consistent love of
curling up in a lap,
and everything else that i can name in the moment
for holding me in all the ways these things have
in unnameable and often unnoticeable ways until seen
from the view of today – the leaving looming soon
the white coach to arrive
in a half hour
_______
the leaving song i try to sing
on the county line road
wind in my hair
sun on my cheekbones:
may the longtime sun shine upon you all, love
surround you and may the bright light within you
guide you on your way home
this song that brings tears to my eyes

no matter who is leaving nor when we sing it
but this time it’s me and the thing that gets me
is that one small/huge word at the end:
home
_______
this body
sleep-lacked and
thin-whisped and
moving forward because that is the direction we move
racked with the grief
of loving a place hard
(the growing things of this place,
the wild things of this place,
the seasons moving through this place,
and all the love and energy and effort put in)
and the leaving of it looming
the sounds coming out of me as i
half-drift, half-trudge, one hundred percent move through
across the windy prairie

the sky
void of eagle shrieks
but spilled with all this blue
and a patch of geese at high elevations
shimmering in the light
_______
the cat make-up on apple’s face:
the black nose tip worn off
but the freckles and whiskers still there
when she appears
_______
trish’s sequin skirt
throwing gold light everywhere
and paired with the long red wig and
dange jacket
accompanied by trumpet and
ringing dinner bell and
drums and the love flute
this bright and raucous sendoff
sandhill style
_______
almost everyone says something
as we each lean in for a hug one by one –
all of it impossible to respond to
since my throat, my voice, my eyes
have stopped working
_______

eric handing me a pocket sangha
on a pink piece of paper
that’s you he says pointing
to the little stick meditator
in the bottom left
opposite the bell on the bottom right
_______
i’ll keep you on the sandhill google chat em calls out
until/unless you want to be taken off
_______
will you make a bridge i ask
and everyone lines up arcing their arms together
(emory and cole using the trombone with its slide out as their arc)
from gravel road to car door
and i walk under not fast not slow
but taking time
my bags already in back,
a pause to pet jack,
and plop in the front seat
a wind of sorts
knocked out of me
_______
kris calling out from the hill
in kris style
sand hyill!
or at least that’s what i think she said
but even if it wasn’t the right words
i can still hear the tone
_______
the shortest drive
to the quincy train station
ever, surreal is a word
for most of the day
my body not my body but still my body
the missouri air around me the missouri air but not air but it’s not anything else either
time maybe moving forward maybe moving backward or maybe
it’s not moving at all
_______
apple in the quincy station parking lot
how we find each other (me looking through the window
and her out ther)
and wave an endless wave
and blow bundles of kisses and then
she turns and moons the train
on this fullmoon-in-pisces day
and how on her drive out of the parking lot
while the train still sits there she waves
and waves and waves
out the open window and i wave and
wave and wave back
until we can no longer
see each other
and on some plane
i’m not on the train at all
but just going to visit dan Kelly and his apple farm or
we’re taking the long way back to red earth or
we’re just out for a spring drive
_______
the single long white crash of wave
as seen from a speeding cab as it moves
along lake shore drive while isa and i laugh
at some ridiculous thing or another
while the jazz on the radio jazzes and
the night is dark around us and
isa’s got a little extra money these days so
she splurges
to get us from here
to there
and how this lake michicgan wave
is the first YES i hear
on my way
_______

as a pre-dinner appetizer, isa and i
share the alline-cinnamon roll
imported from missouri to this
nest of a one-bedroom chicago dwelling
(home is everywhere)

neither of us can get over
how good its cinnamonyness and
not-to-sweetness
and perfect texture is
_______
the pad see ew with extra broccoli
we take turns feasting from
and the salty spicy sauce we take turns
dipping spring rolls in
_______
the deep reward of falling back into
the cloudnest bed
while the radiators hum/whistle/hiss and
every cell in me simultaneously vibrating and
depleted how maybe in this moment i feel something like
what Cheryl strayed described in the beginning of
strayed
an empty and a frayed and a full that i don’t even know yet and
a brightness before me and this is what one feels like in their body
when a thing they could never imagine losing
is gone

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)

sliced with precision

the halloween butterfinger skull
sliced with precision in half
right through the forehead scar
and eric and i split it like we split the mini whitman sampler
with kris as our witness
_______
at the potluck the racket
of kids and a wasabi contest
the joys of foodpantry sushi
_______
the crackle of rained-on-all-day branches
as the temperatures drop and turn what’s wet
into what’s frozen slick
_______
lenix laughing about me talking to the jack the jack russell like one talks to a human
saying that he won’t respond in words
and me saying “are you sure? what do you think jackie – will you talk to us with words?”
and also his excitement/finidng it funny – the notion that just like we are neighbors,
dogs can also have and be neighbors to each other
_______
headlamp light beam landing
in wheelbarrow filled with the day’s rain
whose surface is clear in its slow icing over

lightwashed

the two sets of footprints in the snow
side by side and sometimes one
on top of the other
one set mine,
one set mama cat’s
_______
icicles dripping clinging to the wind-whipped edges
of kate’s grand-canyon-printed flags
bright and lightwashed
in the sun
_______

a hand-scribbled shipping receipt
in sharpie marker that includes the date but not the year
and a drawing of the shipping contents
(a fierce collection of cats ready
to take down the hungry rats
raiding the kitchen
on lot 419
of the most beautiful trailer park in the world
_______
the small batch of elderberry muffins
left on the butcher block alongside
the loaves of squash bread,
cinnamony and nutmeggy