swimming in

eli and i both stop
in the cold too cold to stop in
and laughwatch the ridiculous geese
honking and taking off
into bright blue sky above us
(our laughter is an incredulousness
that such a creature
can be alive
in such a coldsnap)
zero degrees outside, almost 80 degrees inside
in the humid warmth
of the tropical dome
we are swimming
in plants and light
oxygen on my skin
oxygen in my lungs
oxygen a song i want to keep singing



how i jump

in the dream
the fresh snow-covered ledge
stapmed with hearts and letters and hello  kitty pictures
and how i jump from ledge to rooftop and am slipping off
struggling to get my grip and swinging by a limb and sizing up the distance
between me and the ground
while in real life
a soothing hand moves through my hair
the laughing kind of tears in my eyes
at the pupet show birthday video
that we film in front of the orange couch
featuring an array of sock creatures:
stripey, penelope and mousie


the scandanavian handclap game
at jumping jack junction
how we double over
in our doown and wool layers
when we miss and how i cheer
when we get the gist

candlewax  she says 
about the sunset colors and i say
lavender blueberry, i think i’ve said that one before and
jem and the holograms
as we walk the lightbrown gravel road
headed out of the wind
the dimness i say appreciating
the glow of three advent candles (which she later realizes should be four)
and the floorlamp turned down low

brittle air
a cold night slap
on bare cheeks as we
crane our necks
brilliant lights pricking through
the inky dark

too much water and not enough

in the dream
there was a black and white and brown and grey cat
curled and twitching in my arms
with labored breathing and speaking to me in english
saying that she is too much water and not enough food

the solstice list of many possibilities
written in purple pen
which includes things like:
hibernate like bears
sing songs
dictionary divinations
write a love letter to the darkness
write a love letter to the light
write and burn what we want to shed
write and bury what we want to plant
things involving light and candles

first, there is the jumping jack junction and then
there are the electrical poles we sprint to
zipped up in blue
the skunk skin and vole hole and a flicker
drifting from wire to wire
what one finds on a morning-into-afternoon walk
along a gravel road
that intersects with highway J
and is green acres road on one side of J
and sullivan road on the other
rachel, over pot roast, talking about
the tutus she sews her friends
and how there are two
still floating, mismailed, ownerless
in reykjavik iceland

the light and the lines

19 degrees  reads the outdoor thermometer at 9something in the morning
and then there is the walking in the wind – how mostly i don’t notice the 19 degrees except for on my face
which feels like a thin mask of glass
that is about to break off
my body
the light and the lines
on sharon’s face from where we sit
in the sun coming in through the plate glass
i felt ten times lighter she says
how we use our fingers
to wipe the melty cacao off the sides of our mugs
as we sit near the orange flames
glowing/licking woodstove door glass
the sound of the dog/cat door
flapping in the wind
cause enough  for mica and i to pause and check
if the prodigal cat
has trotted back

in the otherwise

awake with the first lines of color/light
streaking sky
6:20something a.m. and what i presume to be last night’s fox
barking its metallic rusty bark
in the otherwise silence of 
a cool morning
saved one for each of us emory says 
of his homemade doughnuts
in the big round wooden serving bowl
whose sugar cinnamon crumbs
i press my doughnut into
while emory dips his
in the million dollar tea
before each bite
with doughnut sugar on our hands
we take turns asking for nouns and adjectives and adverbs and silly words and celebrity names and places
scratching the answers into the mad libs blanks
with a just-sharpened pencil – 
turns out boot is generally a good and entertaining noun to use often
and drunk a similarly good and entertaining verb
the barn emory says, stressing the the,
distinguishing it from a barn which is the first
falling apart building (besides the silo)
we come across
all at the edge of the valleyish prairie
edged in by forest on all sides
the creak of the door hinges
that comes with every small breeze
that moves through what emory guesses what once was a storage shed
which still sports a mysterious 
small stall / mud room
at the entrance
forgotten i say about this round haybale em and i perch atop along with jack
and by forgotten i mean rolled off to the side, out of the pasture, off the path
in a place where it looks like it has been sitting a while
and later i think about how full my haybale-sitting-atop-of quota is
for the past four years and it is
one of the everyday magics
about this life out here:
world as seen from atop a haybale so big
that you must fling yourself against it to climb
or find a way to rig a plank to walk up to it

how i can wrap nearly one hand
around gibbous (the gold orange cat)’s abdomen
and feel all the ribs and vetebrae

the bizz buzz of a wasp
whose back tip is caught in spiderwebbing above my desk
as it wriggles and twists and otherwise frantically moves
attempting and attempting
55 degrees
at 10pm
on december third,
tomorrow’s high in the mid 60s
need i
say more
🌠🌠🌠 every shooting star you ever see will be laden with me
i write thinking about the phenomenon
of how we are woven/written into 

maybe the mistyness

thwapping in the wind
high above on electric pole
(one with a mini transformer or something on it at the top – cylandrical)
the broken down body
of what i thought was a squirrel
but it’s not even body it’s just skeletal clump with fur/wing attached linked to skeletal clump with fur/wing attached
thinking it must be bird,
its skull thwaping against the wood pole in the breeze
which is the sound that caused me
to look up
how i tell myself to stop
and take in the shimmer
coming off the pond in the pasture by the train bridge
so i do
breathe deep and take in the dazzle
the telltale skin and head to one side of the road in the ditch of a small unmoving stream
and ribcage to the other
a deer was hunted here
it is a country? song
called female 
by keith urban or something like that
how it brings tears to my eyes
because it is the first song i’ve heard presumably written and sung by a man
on mainstream radio
simply saying something along the lines of: 
women – respect the shit out of them they are life and they are sacred 
and maybe the mistyness is because of this first-timeness
and/or maybe the mistyness is his timing 
the victory of finishing
the third ever willow woven basket i’ve ever made
and the first i’ve ever made myself (with the help of some major phone consulting)
sans handle
something about its shape
like a cone one holds up to their ear
or something satellite-dish about it
tilted to take in
sound and wind

scribbling the nuances

though it is difficult to tell,
a thing that sounds like a fox bark
not far past the mushroom yard
this (and the thin orange line of light) are how the day begins unfolding
willow basketweaving 101
as taught from the distance between a pacific northwest forest
and a northeast missouri sunpatch
i sit on the ground under the clothseline scribbing furiously
the nuances
from a train hurtling west and north
she names the sunset spindleberry
while i, from the rise-fall of northeast missouri gravel hills
call it faded 1983 teal tshirt
never seen it like that before
both cynthia and i say about the moon
as we walk the rise of the rolling ridge
and the sunset spills all its color (from copper to purple-bruised pink) everywhere
and up there, under the thinnest veil, a moon about halfway full glowing a cool blue