encounters with the wild lives

never, until this morning, have i stepped out onto my porch to stand within three feet of a bat
as the bat cleans themselves
the quick flicks of their tiny pink-red tongue
and the bathing movements similar to that of a cat and bird

we’re on a mission! emory says as we paddle our way
around the pond searching for tangled fishing line
that we pull out of the willows

no real exact words
for the pom pom burst of milkweed blooms – sturdy purple-white flowers
and their powdery lilac-ish-but-not smell
filling the room in which i dwell
where they are tucked in a small clear bottle
next to photos of some of the dearest
who have passed on


i learned them as potty shots i say to emory who calls them granny shots
which i, in response, call them grampy shots
and we sometimes count from one to three and then say shoot while we simultaneiously each hurl a ball towards the net

the small bouquet i arrange including day lilies
for a father whose first father’s day in 40-some or 50-some years
goes on without his daughter alive

like a surgeon and their assistant  i say of emory, the lego assembler, and i, the piece-gatherer
as we follow our way through the instruction booklet
for the blue car with monster-ish wheels that, once assembled, one can pull back and then release
to set the vehicle in motion
like going to church i say of my encounters
with the wild lives
that come into close range of my woodsy-edged dwelling
not the kind of church i am forced/expected to go to
but the kind of weird church i make 
and choose


tropical  say of the sunset, which is this florida beach spring break neon pink orange kinds of colors
all under an arrangement of purple gray clouds
against powder blue sky


the history it was built on

balmy is the word
we wake to
(last night’s cloud
cover insulating this
morning’s air to 50 degrees)
and the day that follows
remains blanketed
in insulation
(cloud cover
but enough light streaming through
that it is never a dreary gray)
warm enough to be
sleeveless in the garden


the birds in the morning
they’re just so joyful
i want some of that joy
stan says
yeah, hook me up
says tyler


trish talks with tears in her eyes
about two things:1. the treehouse
in the cottonwood forest
that was once
the pruitt igoe projects
not only the treehouse
but the history it was built on and
the dreaming that went into building it
2.  holding a
two-thousand year old pipe
(made of stone, shaped like a bird)
to her mouth
at the st. louis lakota sweat


from 1:30 – 6 pm
it’s me and the digging fork in
east garden, bed #2
[future site of cosmos, painted tongue, bachelor’s buttons, marigolds, yarrow]
easing out the dead nettle [which is never dead,
which in fact was green and growing
even in the single digit days of winter] and dandelion
and breaking up the waking soil
for planting into
plus path-digging
and path-mulching
the bone and muscle satisfaction
of working this process
from beginning to end



for every two you see
you can take one
i tell emory
regarding the worms
in east garden bed #2
which he makes a home for
with dirt in a plastic tub


the flinch-face i make
is more for entertainment purposes
than acutal flinching
when trish puts her hand
near my heart
(which is four layers under:
puffy vest, sweater, thin long underwear, sleeveless tshirt)

we strategize over
joe’s hashbrowns and
a bar of chocolate with
hazelnuts and berries


darien delivers
one stick of frankincense
and one stick of tibetan incense
in exchange for one stick of japanese incense
and one doug fir


the small but significant sacredness
of dirt on my fingers/around my nails
at the end
of the day


from the water world:

Men pose for a photo from the inside of an abandoned buildings cistern in Rio, Brazil. Thousands of people have laid claim to the compound of abandoned office buildings owned by the private telecommunications company Oi, and named their settlement after the state-owned telecommunications Telerj. Picture: Silvia Izquierd – the telegraph

A tiny jumping spider no bigger than 0.39′ (1cm) long keeps still as it wanders carefully through moss while balancing a water droplet on its head. Picture: Rohani Tanasal/Solent – the telegraph

Men try to douse the flames with buckets of water as a fire caused by an electrical fault from one of the dwellings razes homes in Nairobi’s Deep Sea slum. Picture: SIMON MAINA/AFP –
the telegraph