for the marvelling

let’s leave drive in the opposite direction
i encourage dad
even though we’re already running behind
just so that we will head east for a bit
so he can see
the brilliant parchment of superhuge moon
climbing up into otherwise
dark sky
the woman who gets loud and vocal
and like a wild cat defending her territory
when any man gets close to her
(i was raped i think i hear her say
in explanation)
and then later
another woman responding the same
the trauma keeping them both
at their edges
(the first woman’s hair
and her build
and her wild brain reminding me
of a once-lover
who now lives in a valley
under a big sky
a word for the marvelling at how two strangers
can trust two strangers
all four of which are  buckled into seats in a car
hurtling towards an entire night long
of warmth
i must put on the official glove i joke
about the food safety glove
i pull over my hand in order to pass the cookies
to the woman walking through the food line
who thanks jesus to us/who thanks the jesus in us
and who also says something about how the cookie eating
is all she can do 
to keep from crying right now


knot and wear

39 degrees reads the thermometer in my room
as i rise and wrap the deep/bright green scarf with almost magenta roses around my neck 
wool the tag says
i don’t know/remember whether or not grandma siedlewski used to wear it
but it was one of her things that mom set aside for me
after going through her things after she passed on
and this morning i knot and wear it for the first time
(in the past, it never felt like it fit right, maybe it still doesn’t, but it’s warm)


postponing breakfast
until, log by log, i’ve carried
a substantial woodstack in
to store in the back porch corral
nose running but hands warm
inside the leather of the work gloves
that are sharpie-tattooed with: fast song


my knees on the cold concrete of the back porch
as i chop kindling into a small pile
with the heavy hatchet
the sweet light smell of the lemon-almost-neon-colored blooms
of the snapdragons in the greenhouse
that i perch near to cuddle birdie the cat
whose nose has faded like a piece of construction paper in the sun
from pinkpink! to the palest shade of it

the unnameable shade
of mica’s superhero blue hair
as we simultaneously hold onto and let go
of the two perfectly fine rugs
rolled up and tossed into the landfill

it is always a sun worth cheering
but especially today
after much gray
when it pops out after noon
signaling me to toss laundry into the washer
so i can hang it in the bright light and lilty breezes

nina simone on the speakers
as i chop garlic and onions and kale and pepper
while the quinoa and sundried tomatoes come to a boil and
the tofu cubes begin sizzling
in the middle pan on the stove

the remarkable loudness of a possum
foraging along outside of my cabin/room
in the dried leaves searching
for fallen persimmons

the moon
so much farther north than a summer moon
coming up off horizon
framed by wide window
as i write

the high pitch of hot coals
when wood is red
like icicles
like glass
from the water world:

A woman wades through a submerged street at the UNESCO heritage ancient town of Hoi An after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam.

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  

sidewalk rewilding

4:25am and we are driving into the moon
which is an orangegold sickle slicing the inkdark sky
on the edge of late night/early morning
and then there is also the toss of star-gems tumbled across all the darkness
the gratitude i have for a driver
who slows down appropriately
(way way way down)
when the shine of deer eyes roadside
reflect back at us
i know nothing about this woman
cleaning this bathroom at union station (chicago)
except for the absolute absence
i encounter in her eyes, her body
(husk, shell)
when i ask if the stall she was just cleaning in
is now open
and how she responds with the emptiest emptiness
the bee who, even here, just across the way from the tallest building
in the western hemisphere
lands near the tip of my pen as i write this
among the jackhammering,
the pfffffffft of busses releasing air from their hydraulics,
and the two men just down the block who shake
the change at the bottom of tall empty cups asking
pumpkin crumpet i laugh with isa who i call from along the river,
 voice to voice not face to face though we are in the same city
what says yes to me and how i say yes back
as the train roll-rocks north and west
from near madison:
the birch/poplar trees – their skinny trunks singing bright white against all the other treeness
and the conifers dotting the scape
and the way the land curves and folds and
the rock/cliff formations rising alongside rivers and creeks

how it is good that there is a bench
for our bodies to land on
so our cells can say the things back and forth
that our words have been saying for weeks now
the sidewalk rewilding itself
on the stretch we walk
between train station and pho
a river of night traffic on our left and
the water and beaver homes
on our right
robbie in the room down the way
a typewriter on the desk in the room we inhabit (a royal)
sometimes we have to keep quiet
though the floorcreakas might give us away and i want to know
if there is a name for the sound i can hear
inside the un-made noise
(how that unmade noise is a presence, a kind of cave, tunneling down through opened mouth and length of larynx and root of guts and)
from the water world:

A boy collects recyclable plastic bottles drifting with garbage along the coast of Manila Bay at the slum area in the Baseco Compound in metro Manila, Philippines.

Dead fish float in the Confuso river near Villa Hayes, Paraguay, 30 kilometers north of the capital Asuncion.

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

the rain that never came

super bulk! i call out to emory who,
in order to transport all the extra layers – we removed from his hooks in the back hallway pileup has donned every single item of clothing
super bulk! he echoes/calls back
before running the clothes down to lookfar before heading out to school
the rain that never came
(which means frisbee was still on and all the lawn got mowed and all the logs up on slater’s hill were picked up and hauled off and the laundry dried on the line)

something hilarious about frisbee,
chortling and doubling over
at the bad throws and the missed catches and how we get stuck turning over and turning over in the corner of the east endzone

the purple shinyish new berlin
eisenhower high school soccer jersey
that robbie love wears in honor of our recent discovery
of having attended the same high school – having graduated 16 years apart
and i am surprised/impressed that the jersey seems ot be the exact same version of the jersey of 20-some years ago
and it turns out it may well be 
from that era
(my teammates found this old box of jerseys  he says)

baigz dishing out wedges of his flourless chocolate cake
which i probably shouldn’t eat this late (caffeine) but i do
along with a dollop of ‘ice cream’
(frozen banana blended up with just shelled hazelnuts)
meet you in the lionbrary  she says
which is different than the enclosure and the savannah
and everytime i hear it
i can’t help but laugh at the sweet awkwardness
of the word

it is ours she writes
of the moon
it follows us home

wherein i joke about a course named
finding out how hard the floors are
and the course is at capacity
when one student enrolls
the thin gauze/veil/scrim clouds
traveling surprisingly fast
across the glow of the almost-full moon
as seen from cool ranch porch 

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