woven with green

the sound of big white chunks of salt
hitting a paper plate
as i rub them off before ripping soft pretzel pieces apart
and dipping them in the small plastic ramiken of ‘cheese’
a throwback to my work breaks
in the kmart eatery
the wild edge of sorrow
 sharon says as we walk the mown path
past the old homestead
whose main feature at this point
is the metal windmill woven with green leafy vines that climb up
and back down again
it’s beautiful  i say from the bench
alongside dennis’s grave
where sharon and i sit
sometimes holding hands
the rituals you have chosen
you are showing us
how to do this

the great golden and slightly pink light
(which makes me think of that rose gold jewelry)
showing in the west
while a sprinkle of rain pitter pats down
which registers as the recipe for rainbows and sure enough,
visible through a clearing in the canopy down by the sugar shack
just a part of the arc showing through
roygbiv in full effect


the red-shedding

swirl of hay dust in the air as we
heave heaps of mulch
pierced with the ends of our
pitchforks tossing the
dried strands onto garden cart

mahogany sauteeing ohio-found mitakes
on one burner while i reheat the
rice on the other

trish in south garden her gold
sequins shining which she put on
so they could work their mood-lifting magic


how we pause in front of the old panes
of glass in the east-facing cow barn loft windows
where the red-shedding
trees burn against blue sky and the edge
of the graveyard comes into view
and the chickadees flit from
tree to tree

she has introduced me
to my sorrow (which i think of as a pet
creature living inside me and how
this pet creature wants/deserves
to be seen) i say
across the baby collards bed
sun sinking gold light blurred
through hoop house plastic
she is teaching you sole responds

i just want everyone to be ok i say
edges of the collard leaves blurring
but my ok for them is perhaps sometimes
different than their ok for themselves
but i think people not killing people
(or land or animals, especially in the name of money)
is ok to want
for everyone and then i retell
joAnn and i in the graphics lab
and how we both care about the world
in the same ways and i was upset
about some military operation/budding war
and joAnn noted that there has always been/
always will be war and killing

i like you because you are
the you that you are i say
arguing for her, for all of us
to keep doing what
we do so well (being ourselves)

wherein i play bartender
at the butcher block
pouring shots of fire cider
while we toast to health
in spanish and polish

how sole and i sit on the floor and pass
brown glass bottles of essential oils
back and forth describing
the brightness or the
top notes or
the colors and arranging
various combinations

at the top of slater’s hill sole
points out a galaxy (cluster of lights)
while birdie perches on my
shoulder and a soft
glow like a distant city that isn’t there rises
from the northern horizon
through the trees

cricket’s snout propped sleepy against
window frame where she snore/grunts
which is perhaps actual snoring
or perhaps just grunting asking
to be let in

from the water world:
A man and snow-covered trees are reflected in the water, as he take a “selfie” photograph in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. – voice of america, day in photos


A youth jumps into the Indian Ocean at the water front of the historical Stone Town of Zanzibar, Tanzania.–  voice of america, day in photos

the outline of grief

small billows of smoke that rise up and out
from the rocket stove
before the fire takes
and when it does
the omelet sizzles and
so do the onions and garlic and
there is a goodness
to feeling the morning air
on my face while breakfast
takes its time

you’re feeling the outline of grief he suggests
but not the inside of it

get out from under the overhang
and into the inclement weather
and trudge your way to the top
(of your sorrow) and over
what do you need to pack, to shore up to get there?


tyler and i on the
bench/swing on the county highway main street
that runs through this town (of 100) that we don’t even live in
(but on the edge of)
him with his shake and me unwrapping my peanut butter cup
and it could be a scene
from some movie like
what’s eating gilbert grape
(the breeze from a passing semi
ruffling our hair
the only motion in the frame)
but instead, it is our lives
and how, even though i’ve been living on/in this farm community
for two years
there are days where i am still wrapping my brain around the fact
that this is what my life is like
(similar to the times i would bike across a bridge
spanning the widthe of the willamette river
pacific northwest air on my face and
exclaim to myself
i live in here!!!!)

sparkle-fest i leave my voice
from the greenhouse also known as the phone booth
on the phone that seems to be eternally trapped
in mercury-in-retrograde status
so that you will receive this message
complete, from beginning to end

it is the kind of moon
that pulls me off my desk-ward route
onto the dustier and dustier
gravel road
in the shred of still-lightness that
lingers in the dark-blueing sky
an hour, now, after sunset

necessity makes us braver sledge writes
about going under the river-house
to insulate the pipes

what strikes me is this
i reply about the photo of sledge on the kind of long porch
that many people dream of arriving at
after they have put their time in
to the machine of capitalism
you look like you have landed inside yourself

we are not just one muscle
i overhear liat telling the living room anatomy class
we are layers and layers and layers of muscle