a few steps in

sunlight through lace curtains is one
of my favorite things
i say as the lacey light/shadows

land on the many-times-painted-and-chipped
kitchen table in the morning light
how the fuel of just one yes is enough
to continue propelling me forward on this
bigdream trajectory

the high and short whistles
of an eagle on the air currents
drifting/circling and then another joining in the call/song
as the first lands in fir boughs shaped
by the saltwater wind blasting in
from the pacific
a few steps into a small small cave
(bigger than a slit) opening
in the mound of rock that appears as the path veers
away from beach grasses and into the
moss and fern and huge-tree land that leads to
the north head lighthouse

the lyrics/chorus how long has this been going on as heard
from seaview washington’s post office lobby
flashing me back to whitehouse kitchen,
gathered around butcher block, jeauxseph saying
so good with neither a squeal nor a giggle but something
perhaps akin to both


still humming

patti smith sound song snippet
as heard from the corner cabin (#8)
as the vehicle whose sound system its playing on
(sound moving through closed car doors and windows
past cabin closed doors and windows)
glides past and turns from 38th place
onto J place
the maintenance person cruising back and forth in front
of the windows, pedaling solo in his flannel and jeans
dull against the sheen shine of the royal/teal blue frame
the black and sheen of the crow perched
on top of the beach speed limit sign
in the gray light of a gray day with all the green and gold
of grass and dried grass in the background
how the creature uses its whole body to caw

what ensues when a spider wrangler and a word tester
meet each other across a table
at which is served too expensive food
and then walk 450 feet back
down the post-rain street,
ocean roar still humming
in the background


will you make a bridge // home is everywhere

the light of the sun shining so hard
it brings out the sparkle in the hard bare parts
of the gravel road
walking county line road
a farewell excursion
a last jaunt
a walk up the swell of the neighbor’s hill and then down
into the dips where the creeks run through
and me thanking everything: the treetops (barelimbed ad budding) against blueblue sky,
the black capped chickadees flitting and singing,
the bold bright sun on this big clear day, jack the jack Russell
even though he couldn’t choose between walking with me and
a really exciting bone back at home and eventually he decided he
wanted to hang out with the bone,
mama cat and her soft fluff of fur,
moonstar and her consistent love of
curling up in a lap,
and everything else that i can name in the moment
for holding me in all the ways these things have
in unnameable and often unnoticeable ways until seen
from the view of today – the leaving looming soon
the white coach to arrive
in a half hour
the leaving song i try to sing
on the county line road
wind in my hair
sun on my cheekbones:
may the longtime sun shine upon you all, love
surround you and may the bright light within you
guide you on your way home
this song that brings tears to my eyes

no matter who is leaving nor when we sing it
but this time it’s me and the thing that gets me
is that one small/huge word at the end:
this body
sleep-lacked and
thin-whisped and
moving forward because that is the direction we move
racked with the grief
of loving a place hard
(the growing things of this place,
the wild things of this place,
the seasons moving through this place,
and all the love and energy and effort put in)
and the leaving of it looming
the sounds coming out of me as i
half-drift, half-trudge, one hundred percent move through
across the windy prairie

the sky
void of eagle shrieks
but spilled with all this blue
and a patch of geese at high elevations
shimmering in the light
the cat make-up on apple’s face:
the black nose tip worn off
but the freckles and whiskers still there
when she appears
trish’s sequin skirt
throwing gold light everywhere
and paired with the long red wig and
dange jacket
accompanied by trumpet and
ringing dinner bell and
drums and the love flute
this bright and raucous sendoff
sandhill style
almost everyone says something
as we each lean in for a hug one by one –
all of it impossible to respond to
since my throat, my voice, my eyes
have stopped working

eric handing me a pocket sangha
on a pink piece of paper
that’s you he says pointing
to the little stick meditator
in the bottom left
opposite the bell on the bottom right
i’ll keep you on the sandhill google chat em calls out
until/unless you want to be taken off
will you make a bridge i ask
and everyone lines up arcing their arms together
(emory and cole using the trombone with its slide out as their arc)
from gravel road to car door
and i walk under not fast not slow
but taking time
my bags already in back,
a pause to pet jack,
and plop in the front seat
a wind of sorts
knocked out of me
kris calling out from the hill
in kris style
sand hyill!
or at least that’s what i think she said
but even if it wasn’t the right words
i can still hear the tone
the shortest drive
to the quincy train station
ever, surreal is a word
for most of the day
my body not my body but still my body
the missouri air around me the missouri air but not air but it’s not anything else either
time maybe moving forward maybe moving backward or maybe
it’s not moving at all
apple in the quincy station parking lot
how we find each other (me looking through the window
and her out ther)
and wave an endless wave
and blow bundles of kisses and then
she turns and moons the train
on this fullmoon-in-pisces day
and how on her drive out of the parking lot
while the train still sits there she waves
and waves and waves
out the open window and i wave and
wave and wave back
until we can no longer
see each other
and on some plane
i’m not on the train at all
but just going to visit dan Kelly and his apple farm or
we’re taking the long way back to red earth or
we’re just out for a spring drive
the single long white crash of wave
as seen from a speeding cab as it moves
along lake shore drive while isa and i laugh
at some ridiculous thing or another
while the jazz on the radio jazzes and
the night is dark around us and
isa’s got a little extra money these days so
she splurges
to get us from here
to there
and how this lake michicgan wave
is the first YES i hear
on my way

as a pre-dinner appetizer, isa and i
share the alline-cinnamon roll
imported from missouri to this
nest of a one-bedroom chicago dwelling
(home is everywhere)

neither of us can get over
how good its cinnamonyness and
and perfect texture is
the pad see ew with extra broccoli
we take turns feasting from
and the salty spicy sauce we take turns
dipping spring rolls in
the deep reward of falling back into
the cloudnest bed
while the radiators hum/whistle/hiss and
every cell in me simultaneously vibrating and
depleted how maybe in this moment i feel something like
what Cheryl strayed described in the beginning of
an empty and a frayed and a full that i don’t even know yet and
a brightness before me and this is what one feels like in their body
when a thing they could never imagine losing
is gone


with wings and wind

jack and i both eyeing the unknown shape/color that catches both our eyes in the grass as we approach

jack, avoidant/scared and me


looking like an animal for so long but eventually turning out

to be a medium round log


two juvenile eagles cry/whistle/calling overhead

as they hold themselves in place

with wings and wind

as seen from old canada road

where sometimes our feet sink in

to dark soft earth


the opaque creek ice obscuring a white blur held in place

by the freezing –

it isn’t until i climb down and cross solid surface that i see

the bones of limbs, an upper and a lower and shreds of flesh still attached

and the face is impossible to make out but looks as if skin has turned itself inside out – the whiteness

and the dark fur which alludes to racooon but it isn’t until i break through surface

and see that long and grayblack wrinkled paw pad

that i know for sure

and i don’t know for who or what

but i apologize


that bright line

of hotwarm pink

unspooled along horizon

and the crescent moon arcing its way

slowly towards it


a potluck joke about how ryan’s farts,

now that he’s back from his 10day vipasana meditation retreat,

sound like chimes, like the gong of a singing bowl


apple and i passing

the sheets of paper back and forth

that becomes

the illustrated cat care guide

of sandhill farm

this is what friendship/kinship/allyship/support looks like


apple searching the word pithy in a dictionary

and how we play-act

pretending there was no time before internet and wondering

how does this 3d app work

(i as if it’s got siri

apple demonstrates the turning the page movement (similar to gestures on a laptop trackpad)

apple compares the pages to pdfs

i ask of there are ads in there)


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)


around the light of a single candle

the small fleet of juncos on the ground
pecking and scrounging and
the five downy woodpeckers flitting
in the in the brightening morning and how
i crawl on top of the office desk in front of the window
and crouch close to watch

and when a morning
is hijacked by a video,
when it’s this video,
it’s a damn good morning

the strange sensation of holding undergraduate transcripts in my hand
that indeed do show that i took all the classes i needed
to complete my degree
which contradicts the recurring dream
(that is either so powerful or recurs so often that somewhere,
my mind had taken the dream for waking-life)
of being in the last year or last semester of school
and semi-showing up to classes
or not at all
and moving further further into the semester, aware
of how hopelessly behind i’m getting and
how i’ll most likely never try to catch up and
how i keep hoping that no one will notice
what i’m getting away with
all the boxes of food bank sushi (frozen)
that kris and i haul
into the walk-in
fulfilling emory’s wish
to eat sushi
and sushi
and more
and more sushi
on a scale of one to pajamas becomes the joke
which can be applied to people
but also anything
as kris and connor and i talk around a late dinner
in the woodstove heat
around the light of a single candle




not a murmuration

i agree
to not wash all the good stuff off
when i scrub
and lather
the moonwalk javi and i  do
across highway M
for alyson who approaches slowly
and then we are joining our hands
to do the wave
only we do it three times
because she’s not looking
for the first two
not a murmuration
but certainly a dance
of wing
of feathered body
of beaks and  branch-legs
against sky,
a splash of robins lifting,
looping back around
to bare winter limbs

thirty degrees (in this sun) feels tropical i tell Lo
after the gray days in the twenties


the rectangular container
of melty chocolate food pantry ice cream
that eric, ice cream king, and i
take scoops out of and how
the brick-shaped box
must be tucked in the far far back
of the freezer to keep its contents
from softening any further
the small and high pitched snores
escaping the mouth/nose of the gold/grey/white cat
curled on the uneven fluffy blanket terrain
while i write at the desk
on the lower level

snow turning smooshed/smashed under feet and tires turning
slush turning ice patches making wheels spin
and feet slip while clouds mask sun and
temperature dips
too many to count and too difficult to tell
how close besides just saying close,
the back-and forth cackling
of coyotes
drawing a circle around the night
with their yips and yowls