feels like a direction

morning on the porch
i look to meet where mama cat’s gaze is pointing
to find a brown bat perched (right side up and three feet from me) on the exterior wall to my room
 and there are two things to say about this:
1. one of the things i love most about where i live is frequent (and close) encounters with wild creatures
2. each encounter feels like a direction or a guide for the day, how i carry their spirit/essence with me
baigels, emory, mark and i
coasting with our arms out like wings
as if riding air currents high above
like a turkey vulture 
(which happens to be the name on our team)
as we head towards the tossed disc


somehow, after living here for nearly four years,
i encounter/notice the wild yellow blooms of birdsfoot trefoil along the dancing rabbit pond path closely for the first time
and how i can’t stop marveling at both the shape of the blooms and also the sheer deep yellow/gold/almost orange color
of them all

it would involve a lot of ritual, like weeks or months leaing up toi say about how i don’t hunt but if i did
and I wouldn’t use a gun


the fally-aparty front porch

lilac-y blueish as seen from
the fally-aparty front porch
and as i walk through the mini woods
between sugar shack and chicken coop
i see that they are bluebells
(wild spring flowers) blooming
and so i take some but not to many
to set in a small jar of water for my dead
and to set in a bottle of water in the whitehouse along with the tiny white daffodils emanating their light and perfumy sweet scent
the warmth of the patches of sun
(shaped the same shapes as the windows the light falls through)
as i move through them,
stretching (arcing, balancing, bridging, triangling)
into the morning
little rainbows tossed onto walls, desk, floor
thrown by sun through the  sphere prism
in the above-desk east-facing window
how, at some point in the game,
i remember to pivot
which is a great thing
to remember
the flounce-bounce of the piece of foam
that dottie and i carry on our heads
to and fro the d.r. parking lot
a walking taco dottie says
and explains the phenomenon of a walking taco to which i respond
that’s called a frito pie in santa fe
aurelia and cole yumming every dish announced at potluck
except for the array of pickled things
the orange slice
as seen through the bare branches (that, in not so long, will be lush with leaves)
rising in inky night
[not to insinuate that the shape of the moon is a slice, it’s a day shy of full, but the only glimpse of it that can be seen as it rises from here
is just a slice]

from the water world:

With assist from its mahouts, an elephant blows water from its trunk onto tourists in a motor-tricycle, or Tuk Tuk, ahead of the Buddhist New Year, known as Songkran, in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand. -voice of America, day in photos

A Christian pilgrim is baptized by a priest in the muddy water of the Jordan River at the Kasser-Al-Yahud baptismal site near the West Bank city of Jericho. -voice of America, day in photos

A devotee takes a holy bath at the Balaju Baise Dhara (22 water spouts) during the Baishak Asnan festival in Kathmandu, Nepal. -voice of America, day in photos

the phoenixing

in the dream, joseph was working the bar (two for them, one for me!)
and trish and i were having a conversation
at a table with no artists i could name
but many who were in their 50’s and older and
made an interesting mix
(from intentional community hippies to brooklyn writers, west coast painters and traveling musicians)
with eccentric but not too eccentric clothes and one
seemed to be a cross between sark and dodie belamy/kevin killian and i was
delighted/impressed that we could get such a crew of established/not established makers
to gather out here in the styx and the last time i glance the clock
it’s 2am and the party is still going
dan kelly is also most certainly here
in the other dream, i am walking down the gravel road, about to turn back but there’s tyler and maybe cynthia going
to deliver/return something to a neighbor
who’s maybe mennonite and maybe not and someone is
at the table in the background stirring something on a hot plate
while the man we visit with
who first asks what do you want
shows us the skin on his arms and how it’s infected and how
he hasn’t been to the doctor and
it is pink and thick and, in one spot,
a hole/a scar – the source, maybe, of the infection
and tyler says it looks better than last time
but we are all still concerned
two clear things hanging
over the faucet of the handwashing sink
which may be intestines
(from the processing project of the deer
that was dying roadside
when moe and joseph encountered it)
which i maneuver around to wash my hands
yoga-ing under blue-blue sky
when i notice on small puff of cloud
whose white surprises me
in its solo-ness
drifting/shapeshifting eastward
fire shadow craig from the missouri department of conservation says
about autumn olives that can get so big
that there is no fuel (dead things/brush/undergrowth) underneath which keeps
fire from getting in
when it comes to fire he says
if it can burn then it should be burned
maples don’t get along
with fire at all
ecology 101 he says
the closer you get to the north pole,
the fewer variety of species growing
and the closer you get to the equator,
the larger the variety of species
while cynthia, baigz, ty and i tromp
over the pond dam and through the tall grass
into the wonder-world of the woods
when quails hatch he says
they are the size of a bumble bee,
the weight of a ping pong ball
and then i turn to cynthia to tell her how
at no more deaths camp
i saw quail close up all the time
scuttling around on the ground with those
cute red topknots sticking out
like the dangly light of an anglerfish
which then makes me think of how i got to know
my mapaches and javalinas there too
red oaks love to die craig says
a 90-year-old oak is an old tree
whereas 300 years is old
for a white oak
pussy toes cynthia names
the fuzzy gray/green flowers i point to
amongst the autmn olives and cedars
i pluck one and pet my face with its
silky white fuzz
the way the light comes down
through the trees and
lands on so many shades of green
(a sea of them surrounding us)
plus the light purple patches of
sweet williams/phlox everywhere
the bark of the ash tree
whose texture makes it looks so fuzzy
i feel an affinity
and then, the string of brightly colored
miniature prayer flags
strung from a branch ahead
where something path-like
begins to form
the four butterflies perched, still, in a little grove in the woods – wings open
how they look like flowers
in bloom, splashes of orange/blackwhite/brown perched atop tall stalks
and the field note/drawing i make
so i can remember their patterns/colors
to identify them later


the bright streak of a male oriole
flying to land in the top of a tree
where the orchard meets the roadside
accompanied by the tropical sunsetty pink orange grays of a female
in the canopy a few trees over
what comes next i say to cynthia
while she peels potatoes and i wash lunch dishes
is phoenixing.
but i don’t want to be in the ashes anymore
she says 
party of four rachel says
two time zones away in oakland
and i compare this arrangement to
50 shades of gray but say
only it will be so much better
from the water world:


a boy swims in a dirty pond on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India.– voice of america, day in photos

approaching sweatlodge pond
how frogs/turtles plop/sploosh
into algae-coated water
the quality of light here:
patches of violets and spring beauties
bursting from earth

white daffodils with yellow centers
poking up in patches
just beyond where granola (the cat) lies
i clip two for my room
mostly because of the perfumey smell

if shakespeare were to write a play
about sandhill farm jacob asks while
piling forkfuls of pummies
on future tomato bed paths
in look far while i pile forkfuls of
hay thick on each bed
what do you think it’d be called
i don’t know i say
mulch ado about nothing he replies


snapping turtle size of a frisbee
lashing out at hank who leans in
with curious nose

the racket of lift-off
and opening of grand grey-blue wings
as i head towards creek bridge
cricket a kazillion paces ahead
sniffing out site of flight


third found tick of the season
reveals itself via the itch/tickle/sensation
of little crawling limbs on my skin
dropped into  jar of alcohol

too much trish says about
the amount of cardamom in the
cardamom chocolate brownie cake
never too much i respond
lifting a perfectly textured forkful
to my mouth

is the time
to look at / photograph
the peach tree in bloom
(near/far diptych) :

IMG_8191 IMG_8192
from the water world:
Revelers take part in celebrations marking Thingyan, a water festival which brings in the country’s new year, in Yangon, Myanmar. The four southeast Asian nations of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos started the Buddhist new year.  – voice of america, day in photos

33 tons of dead fish have been removed from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas which is the 2016 olympic rowing venue.
Scientists said the fish were starved of oxygen because of pollution. – reuters

as if the sun asked

6something a.m.
i wake to an entire sky of
pink/orange glow
(as if the sun asked the clouds
to carry its light for a while
unshouldering the weight of shine
and spreading it across sky so that no
cloud had to take on too much)
how this pinkorange light was
and how through the tangle of leaves and trees
outside my window i could make out
the shine/the color-concentrate
somewhere along an indiscernable
(due to foliage) horizon


6:49 am
several flashes of lightning and a few
low rumbles of thunder
it’s moving along south of us mica explains
of what she saw on the radar
we’re both in our running clothes
she says let’s run

and so we do
she heads south and i north
and even though my side is in a stitch
i’m grateful for the view
of lightning
veining down
grateful for little intervals of rain on
my skin
grateful for the running
that brings me out
to where treeline gives way to sky
under its incoming/passing by storm


on the couch hannah teaches us
what she was taught
(by a doctor/therapist after her
barn fall) about breathing:
shoulders down for inbreath
shoulders up for outbreath


you know what today is a good day for
i say/ask with raised eyebrows after lunch
in the humid and rising heat
ice cream
hannah suggests riding bikes
we gotta work for it (rural missouri hills) she says


pint jar on dresser
half-filled with
chai-spiced kombucha


sweet cinnamon smell filling kitchen
while i swig water and
scrub the burnt bottom of the chili pot


i just ignore the lines
i tell tyler who assesses the wide-rule
of the sidewalk score 25cent notebooks


names of the wildflowers in a mini queenline jar:
partridge pea
blazing star
queen anee’s lace
slender mountain mint


while i prune and harvest kale
while i pour a sip of kombucha
while i take photos of my handwriting in the sideyard
while i drag a foxtail stalk around on the ground
for the kitty to play with
while i run out and back along the gravel in 37 and 1/2 minutes
while i sit down to dinner with my farm-mates
the national guard pours in
three highway patrolmen wrestle one man to the ground
for an arrest (one holds his knee against the man’s head
which is on the ground)
riot-geared cops train guns on crowds of people
a friend of a friend lies in intensive care with a
bullet lodged in his lung or heart (they can’t tell)
the heat is stoked
this is for every city that should have been on fire
for every young person of color or ‘crazy’ person or
‘less-than-a-person’ person (any trait/quality can be spun this way)
killed or injured by cops, soldiers or any other person in a position of power

from the water world:

A boy rows a makeshift raft carrying a child through the flooded areas of Lakhimpur district in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. – voice of america, day in photos

USA’s C. J. Hobgood rides a wave during the 14th edition of the Billabong Pro Tahiti surf event, part of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) world tour, in Teahupoo, on the French Polynesian island Tahiti
.  – voice of america, day in photos

Indian villagers use a bamboo structure to traverse floodwater in a village in Morigaon district of northeastern Assam state, India. The death toll from three days of flooding and torrential rain in Nepal and India rose to more than 180 people as relief teams sent food, tents and medicine to prevent any outbreaks of disease.
Picture: AP Photo/Press Trust of India


ocean on both sides

nick said about 20 miles
google estimated it to be about 38

so it seems safe to say that the 10 of us rode
at least 30 miles


soon, there will be ocean on both sides
he says as we head towards the silver strand
and it’s true
grayblue crashing to our left
and a bit more still on our right
and i can’t help but call out
yeeeaaah ocean! lookin good!


i take pictures of most of the places i visit
he says
but not enough of the places i live


rolling with a crew of weekend warrior-lookin folks
i am proud of my tshirt (vs. jersey) rippling in the wind
proud to be pedaling my hybrid in a storm of road bikes
proud to be flexing as i carry most likely the heaviest bike in the group
up the bridge steps and down again


things i would have taken pictures of if i could have reached my camera:

salt piles behind chain link (barbed?) fence
their whiteglow and the gray skyline in the background

carpet of wildflowers (purple, red, orange, pink)
unrolled on the bank between path and water

trains and trolley lined up on a curve of track
that we bridgewalk our bikes over
(if there is anywhere in san diego that might look a hint like portland, oregon,
this is it)

at least one mile (if not more) of graffiti
on the concrete wall that follows a stretch of the trail

the ferry worker
unhooking the rope from the cleet
before hopping in

a mesh bag spilling with clementines
on park grass

how good the blue of tiph’s jersey
looks with the stripes on their socks



park collapsed i can’t help but feeling endeared
towards what i read as a family
(2 parentalish figures, 4 or 5 kids)
playing baseballtossing whatever objects they can in the grass for bases
collapsing in the treeshade in a pile