from the desert i am

mats rolled out on cistern
sun on our fabric-ed limbs
we settle
we bend and stretch

clippers in our hands
we walk along the fabius riverbed – the dry parts that go underwater when torrents of rain flush down gathering willow
(reds, gold-browns and gold-greens)

minus a kingfisher call here and there
and the occasional car rolling across the overpass,
the quality of stillness/quiet
all while the sun folds around 
feels like a direct import
from the desert i am missing
this winter


bald eagle
twenty feet up
wings spread
body sailing
and a sngle downy feather
fluttering from sky to riverbed
where we walk

sole and i and one for mahogany too
pulling four letter words from the blue glass knuckle tatt jar
and coming up with things like
tall jazz
leaf buoy
buzz rock

the rhythm the three of us get into
with the plastic and slats and screws and drills and staple guns
sealing up each window against
the cold snaps approaching


the almost-oranging light hitting the lemonyellowing maple leaves
on the cool ranch tree as we gather up the weatherizing tools from the porch of varying stablenesses
including the drill with the precariously loose bit


reckless optimism

reckless optimism says nastalie
about the forces responsible for shuttering the doors
of an arts organization and gallery
that had been around (and flourishing) for 40some years
sami, nastalie and i sorting through the grey mammoth variety sunflower seeds on a sheet tray at the kitchen table,
first separating seed from chaffe and then
sorting out the seedless casings (crushable between two fingers) from those with the idea of next year’s flowers tucked inside them

the sun that finally comes 
after what feels like months but has only been weeks
and how it walks with us
up/down the kale rows for what i’m guessing might be the last harvest
of the season

the bright shock of yellow/green 
with an occaisonal red/orange flourish
of the silver maple leaves stll attached
to the tree i call my maple
because of how it arcs over the path that leads to the room/cabin i live in

inheritance mahogany says 
about his hand on his dad’s heart
as it beat its last and
being in the room that changed/filled
with his huge spirit
and sole talks about the impulse 
to throw anything open – a window, a door, to make room


the good that it feels
to look at a hand-carved spoon and know that the light-ish blond with dark swirls and the deep dark wood is black walnut
(something similar to how i said the other day the thing about
the years it can sometimes take
to learn things,
and how sandhill has been
one (of the many) greatest teachers

rhymes with spruce sole says
about mahgany’s given name
and there we sit near the heat of the woodstove at night, the three of us
each knowing what it’s like to name ourselves

a cold that merits double hot water bottles
(one for the foot of the bed and one for place my core will be once i tuck my body between the sheets)
in a 35 degree room at night

chasing energy

the soothingness of the lemon ginger brew
that sumner boils on the stove
and how i take note
(one way to take care of myself/let others take care of me)


a strip of copperpink cloud to the west – evidence after all these sunriesless sunsetless gray-filled days
that the big star still shines
not enough layers, it seems, to wrap around me and insulate
skin, organs, bones
from the 20degree temperatures
i’ve been chasing my energy all day i tell cynthia
after i finally got it together enough to sit down at the keyboard and type

i gather seed

on this last gasp sunny 70degree day
i pluck red (and mostly red) tomatoes,
i harvest parsley, 
i clip flowers,
i gather seed

the wind that comes in sweeping
what remains with it
of summer
it’s a real life practice
art of asking
i say
this thing about the vulnerability
of reaching towards other people
from the ater world:

A Hindu devotee applies vermillion powder on the forehead of her husband as they perform rituals on the banks of the Yamuna River during Chhath Puja festival in New Delhi, India.

it’s due to a different kind of savoring

overheard in the  kitchen while i
zig zag stitch and zig zag some more:
baigz: do you mind if I blend deer brains in the blender
Jeaux: not only do i not mind, i encourage it
and later, baigz says something about how it looks like a strawberry smoothie

he is building/making a drum
he saw in a vision 

the styrofoam (luxury) box i construct and cut a door out of
(upon hearing the predicted 38degree high for tonight)
that mama cat, despite my placement of her bedding from her old nonluxury box
into her new luxury box, refuses to enter
perhaps because the styrafoam weirds her eout or perhaps because she’s punk as fuck and is committed to resisting anything that resembles urban development every step of the way

the taste of some of the season’s last tomatoes
and how i don’t know how to name it but
the quality of its flavor is so much different
than the season’s first
perhaps it is due to a different kind of savoring
(the difference between the it’s been too long since kind of savoring and the wistful enjoyment of what will soon be gone kind of savoring)


the day begins with many things, but this is one:

victor (our 80-something? year old neighbor) and i talking through a rolled-down window on sandhill road
he hands me the empty washed jar i sent flowers in at news of his sister’s passing and also, a box of taffy from his daughter in florida
as soon as i am handed that empty jar,
i’m filling it again
with dusty purples and sharp reds and cream whites
and marching it up victor’s hill
to place on his porch
this report just in from dreamworld:
her sighting of four rainbows
one of which happened to be diagonally striped just like my skirt
she says
all the gold/yellow
leaves pirouetting down
as the storm gale plucks them
as seen from cool ranch’s front porch< gazing woods-ward
it’s a bagel moon phase tattoo baigz explains
to ghana while they head out past the garden shed
from the back door
post-stormy sky as seen from highway:
gray smudges to the south
(these are patches of rain – distant, falling),
to the west – a just-washed crisp clear (everything lined in the shine of water)t
and a cloud
which looks like a collage of several clouds
of all different types
glue-sticked together
mama cat and i both
standing along the mushroom yard
as the storm front blows in
(picking up speed and force)
and how that first thundercrack
sends mama cat under the house and i
throw my hands up to my ears and my body goes
into a high-shoulders pose
outside at the picnic table with
sampha in my ears as i halve the cherry tomatoes
before arranging them on dehydrator trays
the clouds pink-seeped against the west slate sky
the reflection of a moth’s eyes
in the beam of my headlamp
on my night commute
down to cool ranch
from the water world:

Indian villagers attempt to cross flood waters with the help of rope and empty canisters next to a washed away portion of a bridge at Palsa village in Purnia district in Bihar state. – voice of america, day in photos

the tiny sounds

unnamed phenomenon: a word for
the very specific sense of wonder
that wakign up to the sight
of the season’s first snow brings on
as its glow coats rooftops, woodpiles and branches
while it swirls its confetti-dance down

all of which makes me think of
the first snow i encountered two years ago
in an ale house parking lot
after a night of two-stepping
(an ale house where i tried to be an adult
and ordered wine, 6 or so sips of which
i managed to drink)
and how we would land there again
later, in the season of flash-storms
followed by rainbows arcing
across the wide gray sky
which mountains to the east rise up against
a pausing at the pond edge
while em, on the other side of lookfar
builds up his fort
the smaller-than-a-sploosh,
but bigger-than-a-drip sounds
of the mighty flakes falling
into the pond
em and i stalking each other
around a small white pine tree
with snowball surprises in our hands
how it becomes this game:
each of us eating snow cakes
and telling each other which flavors ours are
(stawberry, caramal chocolate pecan, lemon,
vanilla, coconut, chocolate)
and then saying
would you like a taste of mine?
and each of us saying why yes
and then inching closer for a flavor sample

which turns into a snowballattack!!!

perched behind a fan on low
in karma woodshop
handful by handful
dropping zinniz seeds in front of the breeze
and the tiny sounds they make landing
on the sheet pans and
blue tarp below them
while the cool of below
(lower level karma)
soaks into my limbs
the way,
at the sound of the door opening,
mama cat steps out into the entryway
of her warm box
peering around the edge to see

jillian michaels telling me
not to phone it in
while we move between
crunches and jump ropes
victory victory victory i write for now
regarding the news of the army corps decision
for cessation of the dapl pipeline
under the missouri river