stay green

how does it stay green i ask
about the vibrant vegetation along read’s creek
whose water runs clear and
features dark fish darting
and whose gurgling and bubbling – the consistent yet small variations
is just complex and soothing enough
to want to listen to for hours
the ripple patterns across
the creek surface where rocks posit themselves
not far below the surface:
a kind of crosshatching
but always moving
jennifer punching
the cattail whose fluff
is everywhere including
on her hat and mouth and nose and jacket
and later i dub her
with a stalk of shaken-out seed pods
while a driver-by can be seen laughing
through the window

first we cannot tell if the commotion
is the squeak-squawk-screeching
of a pilleated woodpecker or a squirrel
so we pause
at the mailboxes
until there is movement: birdflight in flashes of white/black/red
wherein we measure and record
the ratios/amounts
of roasted roots (chickory, dandelion, burdock) with all the other spices,
including but not limited to: cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, anise, star anise
pursuing the million dollar tea experiment #1

i thanked the chicken i say
about the healing soup
floating with rice and veggies and eggs in
the broth of chicken

seven damn degrees! i exclaim
about tuesday’s predicted high temperature


what awaits

the whiteness we hike through
following the longest trail at sunfish park
talking about tours and jobs and
what waits curled up, like a bloom whose flower shape and colors we don’t yet know

not yet dusking

the way the wind that blows the whispy but long plants
back and forth on the fabius sand flat
the stems and leaves scraping sand
as the wind tosses them
resulting in concentric semi-circle patterns
and how, when we look around, we find a whole gallery of it – plant art
by the slow-moving animals

the bundles of willow
whose permission we asked
gathered in our arms and then laid
in the backseat
future baskets one of us says

jack the jack russel’s shadow
(particularly his ears) bouncing up down
between our two human shadows
on the white rock road
as we walk
while the sun
still sends its light 

how the sunglow is held
in fillaments of the milkweed fluff –
airborn (some lifting up and off,
some drifting horizontally,
some already heading back
to the ground)
like squid or spiders she says
about their movement/suspendedness

not long after we arrive at the train bridge,
the quick and short train appears
first, whistling in the distance,
then, hurtling under the bridge under our feet
and then gone on around the bend 
the bat doing its bat flight pattern thing
while we walk up underpass
the sky not yet dusking
but soon

hot pink lemonade
with grape
 i say
about the sunset colors
striated in sky

into the ink

locust pod ball we call it
aiming with crooked branch bats
to take a swing at
the long thin brown pods we toss each other
in the bare forest
that arcs over the campground of tent platforms

a dusk walk devoid of any actual dusk
the unbelievable quiet as we 
round the pond
and the geese calling through the stillness
the owls i ordered i joke
about the screech and who cooks for you calls that follow
as we step out of the merc door
into the ink blot of night

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

with a swiftness

the thank-you note in my scrawl
addressed to ghana regarding the delicious and perfect chocolate chip cookies
the sweat in beadlets along the curve of baigz’s back
as a small crew of us move through the patches of recently germinated carrots
thinning and weeding
in the hoophouse heat
sparkle and spice written
on the tell-tale blue (a mini banner)
affixed to the silver holographic pencil
just under its hot pink eraser topper
liek the pencil has an announcment to make
which it does
a list of symptoms addressed
to dr. danger
read in the hammock
where white pine limbs and needles plus wind
make that particular and most magnificent sound
as if the needles are combing the air that moves through
as seen from the back road
where two cats (mama and ashby) trot behind me
hwo the low cloud is dark/gray and it moves with a swiftness over the higher puffier whiter cloud
and that’s not even to mention
all the varying edges
and orange pink light and how earlier
emory exploded through the front door while some of us sat to dinner
exclaiming it was so beautifullllll!!!!! about the seriously
highway-to-heaven sunray sky
he encountered on the ride home
rough concrete of the cistern top below me as i recline under sky
and take in flashes of light that travel the clouds heading east –
how at their edges, constellations reveal themselves
another light-a-candle-don’t-turn-on-the-lights night
in which, before i light the candle,
i loft-lay in the breeze of the fan at the end of what might be the last 90-degree day of the season
to watch the green world glow and darken
in the lightning
the sound of ashby’s claws in the screen
wanting in 
but i don’t let him because it might be
too warm inside
for his comfort
from the water world:


A Hindu devotee performs “Pind Daan” – rituals for the soul of ancestors – in the river ganges at Phaphamau, Allahabad, India – voice of america, day in photos

going feral

the pinwheeling leaf in the wind suspended
by a spider web how it whirls when
the breeze picks up 
and the small frisbee-sweaty crowd that gathers to watch on the way to the pond
the tiniest persimmon
peach pink almost transluscent
dropped onto my porch looking like someone
placed it there as a way of saying
welcome home or
i like you or
a gift to give in celebration of abundance
loudspeaker blare at the rutledge fall festival as the mc announces
the shoe-flinging contest, the egg-carry, the balloon toss
and how sometimes we try to talk over it
and sometimes we don’t
under a walnut tree cynthia and me
with our tailgate crunch (rice crackers and sesame sticks)
munching and watching how gravity keeps the exceptionally enthusiastic kids
pressed to their seats as they pump back/forth on the swing/teeter totter sort of thing
while we trade tattoo stories
which i’m surprised, after these years, neither of us has heard from the other before

maybe it is the warm temperature of the day
or the clutter piling up on all kitchen surfaces
but it is an absolute stillness
so i flick on the fan
which helps a bit

going feral trish says about moonstar the cat
hanging around in the lumber bays
down at the horse barn
mica  gesturing with a semi-automatic-looking nerf gun
(white and blue and neon orange)
on the kitchen couch