the hazey sun
landing through karma room window
onto the strips of black elastic
i machine-sew
forward-reverse, forward-reverse ad infinitum
only not infinitely
but sometimes feeling that way


scribbling the nuances

though it is difficult to tell,
a thing that sounds like a fox bark
not far past the mushroom yard
this (and the thin orange line of light) are how the day begins unfolding
willow basketweaving 101
as taught from the distance between a pacific northwest forest
and a northeast missouri sunpatch
i sit on the ground under the clothseline scribbing furiously
the nuances
from a train hurtling west and north
she names the sunset spindleberry
while i, from the rise-fall of northeast missouri gravel hills
call it faded 1983 teal tshirt
never seen it like that before
both cynthia and i say about the moon
as we walk the rise of the rolling ridge
and the sunset spills all its color (from copper to purple-bruised pink) everywhere
and up there, under the thinnest veil, a moon about halfway full glowing a cool blue

tornado sky

perched atop the row of round haybales
the sun pouring over us
we wave at whoever it is in the pickup truck
rumbling past on the gravel of underpass road,
jack the jack russell up there with us too
the roadside raccoon tail
that jack chomps the last vertebrae of
as he carries it while trotting alongside us

with six willow spokes
thick and straight
three pierced through the middle and
the other three passed through
the basket begins
the sky a dusty pink everywhere around us
(doming over us and to the east/west/north/south)
1953 party dress is the color she names it which spurs my own
1961 postcard
gorgeous and eerie weird i say something about tornado sky – if it were a different time of year
and she points out the strip of green/blue cloud to the west
jennifer working the masa dough in her hands
before pressing them one by one
and tossing them onto the griddle

the sky behind me

the sharp eagle cry/calls
and whistle-clucks
sounding out in sky above
as i, barefoot, spray down the puzzle-clumps of just-dug dahlia tubers – this autumn work momentarily abandoned
as i follow the birds riding currents (one adult, two adolescent
perhaps another handful to the south)

snipping willow
at the west edge of lookfar pond
while the sky behind me
blooms its magenta bruises

knot and wear

39 degrees reads the thermometer in my room
as i rise and wrap the deep/bright green scarf with almost magenta roses around my neck 
wool the tag says
i don’t know/remember whether or not grandma siedlewski used to wear it
but it was one of her things that mom set aside for me
after going through her things after she passed on
and this morning i knot and wear it for the first time
(in the past, it never felt like it fit right, maybe it still doesn’t, but it’s warm)


postponing breakfast
until, log by log, i’ve carried
a substantial woodstack in
to store in the back porch corral
nose running but hands warm
inside the leather of the work gloves
that are sharpie-tattooed with: fast song


my knees on the cold concrete of the back porch
as i chop kindling into a small pile
with the heavy hatchet
the sweet light smell of the lemon-almost-neon-colored blooms
of the snapdragons in the greenhouse
that i perch near to cuddle birdie the cat
whose nose has faded like a piece of construction paper in the sun
from pinkpink! to the palest shade of it

the unnameable shade
of mica’s superhero blue hair
as we simultaneously hold onto and let go
of the two perfectly fine rugs
rolled up and tossed into the landfill

it is always a sun worth cheering
but especially today
after much gray
when it pops out after noon
signaling me to toss laundry into the washer
so i can hang it in the bright light and lilty breezes

nina simone on the speakers
as i chop garlic and onions and kale and pepper
while the quinoa and sundried tomatoes come to a boil and
the tofu cubes begin sizzling
in the middle pan on the stove

the remarkable loudness of a possum
foraging along outside of my cabin/room
in the dried leaves searching
for fallen persimmons

the moon
so much farther north than a summer moon
coming up off horizon
framed by wide window
as i write

the high pitch of hot coals
when wood is red
like icicles
like glass
from the water world:

A woman wades through a submerged street at the UNESCO heritage ancient town of Hoi An after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam.

into the night darkness

the unusual quiet
of no roosters cockadoodledooing the sun
up into sky
this is now (after what some call ‘the cull’ and others call ‘the slaughter’) 
how mornings sound

meet me halfway in my hands
sun on my head
gibbous in my lap
this body slowly beginning its 43rd orbit

the glint of milkweed fluff that i
clump by clump ease out of split open pods
and release to wind-filled sky
from the highest point in the county
before following the trail
through woods and out again

em and i tossing magic protection
(in the form of grain and leaves)
onto pac-pac, the hatchling teenager
before he’s taken to the neighbors 
to be chicken-sat for a month


in this forty degrees i run barefoot
(sans ankle-rolly clogs)
until the cold is too tingly
with the badminton racket in my hand
while em and i attempt volleys over the net and then
he is bouncing in the trampoline while i
bat the birdies up over its nets


em and i picking
seed after seed (gray and white from june’s mammoth sunflower seed gift)
from a sunflower head bigger than mine
and cracking them with our teeth to get to
the seedy meat
the lego-person-turned-frankie-cake
(complete with sequinned skirt and cat mini-circus animals and pink frosting)
crafted by trish and hannah
with sandhill wheat and sandhill sorghum and
i savor anyway but i savor extra
the land-grown grain and sweetness
well aware of cycles and circles and moving on

your depth and lightness  says sharon
your triple flair says ted
how much you care and pay attention says mica
how much i laugh when i’m with you says alyson and i need that laughter in my life
how you like to make spaces beautiful
says baigz through a puppet
while they take a slice of the frankie-stein cake
and eat it
communion like and i absolve them
with an air-cross that might be going in the wrong direction
the white blur movement
against bright of headlight brights
taking off from signpost
into the night darkness
as we drive down the gravel road
hannah confirming it wasn’t imagined,
an owl, i think

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