the blur of animal

in a vast sea of plastic,
some leaves, some roots, some flowers, some branches, some blossoming
in other words: a 21st century nursery

the coolness combo of shade and water
as i simulate rain with a hose and watering wand
feeding each petunia 10 seconds worth of wetness
while i stand in the shade the baskets make

wobbling and cursing – unsteady on terrible gravel
on a shoulder wide enough
alongside a too fast highway
is what breaks me
the blur of animal – first i think fox,
then coyote but the mystery is still unsolved

i just know it was feral
crossing my path and i thank it
for showing up
for showing itself
for slowing me
for reminding me to look up and around
and to consider
what makes a struggle a struggle and
how sometimes slowing down
can shift such things

how i am held
in a spot that a lot of holding happens
on the floor
and crying



the first green thing

how the asparagus is delicious and also
how the asparagus makes me sad
because it is not sandhill asparagus
coming from the apple-tended patches
or the cynthia-tended patches
or the garden crew -tended patches
(because it is not the first green thing
coming in first a few spears at a time
and then by the bucketful,
asparagus for many many days)
we stay up until two a.m.
because i can’t leave the puzzle alone
(each piece landing into place a success)
and because of the after dinner ice cream with choclate in it

it’s been ten years
since someone else owned me
for seven hours a day
i say
as i adjust to my new orientation
to capitalism

the june bug buzz in the dusking sky
as i drizzle out tin cans (bottoms pierced to make a collection of holes, just like the rose of a watering can) full of water
over the lines of edamame and beans that have been planted
but have not yet broke up and out
of the earth’s surface


a great character description detail i say laughing
when hazel says that might be
his most unhealthy eating habit
about dirk
whose clif bar consumption amounts to at least
one a day if not more and not only does he
have one in every backpack pouch,
he’s also got one in every pants pocket
(which is a lot of bars because his pants have a lot of pockets)
and maybe part of the reason he likes them so much
is that he knows she will never ask him
for a bite

i have those things too hazel says talking about
watching someone do some dancemoves
while we walk along the path laid along
the santa cruz river that cuts through town,
the santa cruz river which i’ve never seen water in
except for up near the treatment plant
the santa cruz river which isn’t river but is still site of
coyote antics and bobcat beings and various birds including
the sweet-songed small darkest black one up in a tree over us
sweet-songing the whole time we stand under it


home, in the four of us (harmony, eric, jennifer and i) gathered
around the tableclothed table (blues and maybe some whites, maybe hand-loomed style)
the beans warm in the bowl
the guacamole with cilantro singing in its greenness
the three tiny corn quesadillas fried and
still steaming under the lid and
the one gigantic flour open faced quesadilla
which eric calls a crisp (?) with the cheese all melty on top
that we slice with a pizza slicer
the two salsas, the big salad, the crema
the saint candles lit and flickering
plus frances the dog curled on a rug on the floor,

thank you.


more cute, less expensive harmony says
about the cute bedding in the guest room
(navy blue background with alligators of bright colors
all over it)


you can get closer, eric says as i lean in with the camera
towards the lizard clinging to the faded pink corner
of the neighbor’s house

back over the wave

gigantic windchimes sending soft sound
on the winds that knock through them
on a porch across the way
alongside the sway of multicolored bouys hanging
on thick rope in a tree

how the wind picks up the spray of surf and sends it
backwards back over the waves
as they crash forwards
and then ther’s the way that the morning light lands
and moves through it all
the hint of purplepink on the tips and edges
of thin and tiny petals of some small daisies
i pluck from a sideyard on my return
from the ocean hello and morning run
one thing i want to bring with
but am unable to:
the entire swaths of dark sand
and all the glimmers dotted across them

constant clamor of the sea

the farm showed me about all the ways i felt
i needed to ask for permission
i say

to feather in the front seat as they and janey and jennifer and i hurtle
north on the 205 and then
eventually oceanwards
feather musing/calling out
what do you even do with that!!!!????
to the great tumult of pacific waves frothing as they tumblecrash
under the orangepink glow whose intensity
is just shy of something molten as it
lights up the puff of cloud it has slid behind
jane, feather, jennifer and i yelling out
WE LOVE YOU OCEAN!!!! to the surf froth-pound
not on the count of three,
but when the next wave travels far enough up the beach
that it reaches our booted feet
a fire crackling in the lodge and a record
spinning on the player while dawn hands us the key
to room number eight
whose kitchen is like a ship galley
and whose countertop is painted
the chorus of what sounds like hundreds
of spring peepers plus constant clamor of the sea
as heard from cabin #8 when its front door
is flung open

sliced with precision

the halloween butterfinger skull
sliced with precision in half
right through the forehead scar
and eric and i split it like we split the mini whitman sampler
with kris as our witness
at the potluck the racket
of kids and a wasabi contest
the joys of foodpantry sushi
the crackle of rained-on-all-day branches
as the temperatures drop and turn what’s wet
into what’s frozen slick
lenix laughing about me talking to the jack the jack russell like one talks to a human
saying that he won’t respond in words
and me saying “are you sure? what do you think jackie – will you talk to us with words?”
and also his excitement/finidng it funny – the notion that just like we are neighbors,
dogs can also have and be neighbors to each other
headlamp light beam landing
in wheelbarrow filled with the day’s rain
whose surface is clear in its slow icing over

the thank you i write

fennel seeds dancing

in the smallest pot

over blue flame

as the roots and spices

of million dollar tea

boil and steep


kris and i

in a celebratory happy dance moment

for the first night in who knows how long

that the temperatures will rise

above 20


jack’s paw print

in the fresh crunch-crunch snow (the really good kind for snowballs and snowpeople)

crisp in its lines and edges

resembling the shape of a flower

flower shape after flower shape pressed into the rise and dip

of county line road


the thank you i write in the snow on the bridge guardrailing

and the tiniest snowperson

that i built next to it and the gentle sploosh

of snow clumps

tossed into the un-iced window of river

that moves under the concrete bridge


a who cooks for you call

closer than i’ve ever heard

i do not see this creature but i know

we are within 10 or 20 feet of each other

one call goes out

and then another

and then me craning

and waiting

(to be added to the list

of the million things i love [and will therefore miss] about this place)