tossing the colors

let me tell you the chain of events  i say to trish in the office and then go on:
first, i broke my favorte glass of all time
because it slipped out of my wet hand and onto the butcher block,
then i went down to the sugar shack to see how much sorghum we have left
and on my way out the door, i noticed the elderberries were ripe
so i picked and picked and picked and while walking out of the elderberry patch
i was stung by a wasp on the back of my thigh
but as soon as i looked down (what are the chances) i found some plantain that i chewed up and put on the sting
holding up each clothing article in the sally army shed in the almost too-dim lighting
for mica to check out from a slight distance
tossing the colors of several tomato varieties in a stainless steel bowl:
paul robeson, cherokee purple, juan de flamme, amish paste and cosmonaut volkov
how i can’t help but exclaim at the flavors
before mixing in the chopped onions and basil and a sploosh of vinegar and several small glugs of oil


crackling across

plucking cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
from their vines it’s officially summer i declare
as deemed by what’s on in the garden
(even though solstice has come and gone
and these 90degree days have been
going on for a while)
the double-thumbs-up i give trish in the kitchen
as she works with emory
on his reading homework

felt small most of my life i tell bruin
who encourages me, for just 30 seconds,
to shrink into it
if people could choose one thing to change to make things better
what would it be tyler asks at the wheel while i ride passenger
in the 1980something maybe 90something maroon toyota truck
great question i respond taking in the sky we move under
while trying to think about world change
but it turns out, he’s asking specifically about what
single changes sandhill members might make
to make the accounting smoother
raccoons definitely eating those peaches
cynthia reports

me crimping the ends of
the samosa=y garbanzo pockets
while mica sautes/fries them
and explains tractor things to cynthia and tyler
who perch on the cinderblock kitchen step

mica and i laughing and laughing about trying
to make a funky high note in the
don’t believe you brought me this far
to leeeeave me chorus
the afterlife would have to be seriously groovy
to even hold a candle to this life mica and i singing/
jamming in her bed under the swirling ceiling fan
as the lightning of the storm in the distance
continues crackling across eastern sky

dusks like these

three blooms on one of the
cosmos plants in the mini-landscaped patch
outside my window,
petals edged in hot purple-pink,
their insides fading  to white
three swedish fish emory hands me
from the goody bucket from his birthday rendezvous
with the grandparents this weekend
while i eat my toasted just-baked cinnamon raisin bread
with peanut butter
melty on top
how summer feels already here
(sunburnt shoulders, warm-humid air, one-after-another full days of getting shit done [bread baking, chimichurri processing, weeding, planting, mulching, building, etc.]
though the to-do list continues to be hefty)
and the tomato plants aren’t even fruiting yet
(which is a true sign of summer, if you ask me)
red house painters sounds
playing in tyler’s room as he vacuums vents and
spring cleans the shit
out of every surface
glimpsing a sight
of emory in the distance hunting cabbage moths
with a badminton racket
(leaping and running and tackling
in the tall cistern-side grass)
and the sweat on his pink-cheeked face
that comes as a result
you could make them every week
i say and i wouldn’t mind a bit
when joseph asks about getting tired
of what happens to be the best home made
tortillas on the planet
the bright red of the first strawberry harvest
laid out against the yellow/gold
hay-mulched paths
in the pre-sunset, after dinner light
i want a word
for dusks like these
when wink kicks up and
moves across skin
(the sheer fact the temperatures are warm enough
to leave skin exposed
is enough of a celebration)
while sky pinks/purples
and the songs of birds rise against it
and i take it, from this perch in the hammock,
as much as i can
on me
into me
candle light thrown off/flickering
against cedar room walls where i
squat with permission,
the lushness/denseness of forest
rising up around me
from the water world:
Syrian refugee children collect water at the Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the border with Syria.
– voice of america, day in photos

Cars and debris are seen in a flooded street in the town of Braunsbach, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
– voice of america, day in photos

from the rim of sadness

tiny and the tantrums
baigz names the jazz band
comprised of new orleans rats, mice, possums, raccoons, etc.
as emory, baigz and i
take turns, sentence by sentence,
building a story in south garden
while baigz thins beets, trish harvests salad mix and i
move tufts of hay with a pitchfork to mulch
the brassica beds
cole says she has something shimmery to show me
and busts out her bronzy cowboyish boots
from her backpack and does a little
light bootdance on the front porch in them
blue ice pack sweating
under the pain/ache/swell of
the ball of my right foot – site of re-injury and
re-injury ever since i got cleated
six or so months ago
how the humidity
(and sometimes heat, which is nothing now
since it’s only may)
is enough to make one want
to shave their hair off
stork-like, the shape of a heron
(its feet out behind it and its bill long)
floating/flapping across the granyness/brightness
of an afternoon sky as i pause
to pitchfork-lean
and watch til it disappears
into the creek-following tree line
getting buff cynthia says about me
in the short sleeves alongside the fresh haircut
we’ll always be sisters i say
from the rim of sadness,
leaning in

the rattly cough of a black cat-kitten
outside my window as the cool rains
come down

blood pulse protect

tbird and i barefooted and
park lounged sun on this
too-long covered skin – revealing day
of too-early (but we love it) spring
plus a salted caramel doughnut snack

corduroy wrist cuff featuring
flamingoes in flight under a
tropical print sun
snapped on super power
blood pulse protection

drum circle going off
as it seemingly always has all the
way back into as far as history goes
outside ashby bart
i carry the rhythm with me
wheeling bike into stopped car

flicker of goldening light
through windows into face while
we slide and lurch forward

mom and kiddo and i
(kiddo and mom both in pink)
sharing elevator smiling we
agree about the time it takes
(20 floors-worth) to descend
one level

small hand-drawn map
clipped to brake cable
this is my gps i usually say
pointing to it and laughing


gold cassette tape charm
necklace dangling between
chane’s collarbones
as he waits space-staring
outside fruitvale station


sky pink-oranging off
the distant water that
reveals more and more of itself
the further up the 38th hills we pedal
saltsweat on skin telltale
sign of something summerish

the steam that rises
from two mugs of
fresh boiled
ginger root tea

limbwrapped we laugh at
bob’s burger
episoding on the screen

a slow seeping

the sound of cinderblocks on wood
as we guide their sliding
down the makeshift 2×8 ramp
from ground level
to down in the hole


the chain looks like this:
darien, nathaniel and trish on ground
grinding the unevenness away
(block on block)
tyler and i in the hole
guiding the block-slide
and hauling them into stacks six high
a rhythm to morning sun sweat


i say it’s an ice cream kind of day down in the pit
and up above, trish says it’s a pond kind of day


cazadora (a human, not quite two years old)
reaching to pet granola (a cat in her final stages of life)


over dinner
an asking of what i was like then
(college days)
joAnn says she wore big pants – with patches
i learned a lot about veganism/animal rights
she carved a star into my ankle

and in response i mention
the ting ting jahe’s
and the opening of a world i hadn’t known
that was as simple as stepping into the asian market


wouldn’t you run out of things to write about
at a place like this morgan asks near the pond edge
and joAnn explains about listening and watching
the million shades of green
the sounds of the seasons
the feel of the air


sunset time
everly brothers drifting through the wall
dream, dream, dream, dream
when i want you in my arms
when i want you and all your charms
whenever i want you, all i have to do is
dream, dream, dream, dream


a sip of joAnn’s whiskey (or is it bourbon? or something else entirely?)
under the xmas lights on the front porch
the slow seeping of heat in my mouth/down my throat


i talk about what the evolution of the human brain might look like
specifically in reference to the space
that is taken up by all of our passwords
and what that space used to hold


from the water world:

The cracked-dry bed of the Almaden Reservoir in San Jose, Calif.Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

The United States is currently engulfed in one of the worst droughts in recent memory. More than 30% of the country experienced at least moderate drought as of last week’s data. In seven states drought conditions were so severe that each had more than half of its land area in severe drought. Severe drought is characterized by crop loss, frequent water shortages, and mandatory water use restrictions. – usa today

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as tall as ten of us

over earl gray tea with a splash of cream i mention how grad school became my primary partner
and how the desert became my lover
i mention collaborationships i aspire to
and the lilypad jumps into the future


damn, portland! i call out from willamette and the way it curves above the river
lookin good!
what also follows:

damn, mt. hood!
damn, tree!
(lookin good!
lookin good!)


substitute pedicure for fullbody massage
and you’ve got a deal
is kindof how the afternoon went


kombucha bubbling in white paper cup
fizz a fine mist on my forearm, my wrist
a tiny and effervescent cooling on this 88 degree day


as recent returnees
shiz and i still incredulous at how easy everything can be here
in the cresting of summer

firs as tall as ten of us (at least)
playground sprinkler (how the water catches the light and how the kids run through it)
a family barbequeing in the park shelter
and other families on blankets scattered in shade patches around the park
plus a gazebo and a rose garden


what sounds like a beer being cracked open in the middle of the movie theater
it’s just a sparkling water jesse turns to me and says
the aluminum can in his hands


perhaps it is the upright position this bike allows me
perhaps it is moving through the time of day/night where the heat and cool meet
perhaps it is everything
that brings the mantra while bicycling since returning to this city
that goes something like this:
i’m free
i’m free
i’m free


you are who i look like
i think, upon photogazing a friend with thick long hair
in my other life