Tag Archives: wildlife

encounters with the wild lives

never, until this morning, have i stepped out onto my porch to stand within three feet of a bat
as the bat cleans themselves
the quick flicks of their tiny pink-red tongue
and the bathing movements similar to that of a cat and bird
_______

we’re on a mission! emory says as we paddle our way
around the pond searching for tangled fishing line
that we pull out of the willows
_______

no real exact words
for the pom pom burst of milkweed blooms – sturdy purple-white flowers
opened
and their powdery lilac-ish-but-not smell
filling the room in which i dwell
where they are tucked in a small clear bottle
next to photos of some of the dearest
who have passed on

_______

i learned them as potty shots i say to emory who calls them granny shots
which i, in response, call them grampy shots
and we sometimes count from one to three and then say shoot while we simultaneiously each hurl a ball towards the net
_______

the small bouquet i arrange including day lilies
for a father whose first father’s day in 40-some or 50-some years
goes on without his daughter alive
_______

like a surgeon and their assistant  i say of emory, the lego assembler, and i, the piece-gatherer
as we follow our way through the instruction booklet
for the blue car with monster-ish wheels that, once assembled, one can pull back and then release
to set the vehicle in motion
_______
like going to church i say of my encounters
with the wild lives
that come into close range of my woodsy-edged dwelling
not the kind of church i am forced/expected to go to
but the kind of weird church i make 
and choose

_______

tropical  say of the sunset, which is this florida beach spring break neon pink orange kinds of colors
all under an arrangement of purple gray clouds
against powder blue sky

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our power

stepping out onto the porch in the morning
following the gaze of mama cat which is set on the wood siding of the east facing wall of the cedar room
where a bat is attached and presumably asleep
_______
our power snack mark says
holding out the bag of salted pumpkin seeds
partway through the nemo birthday frisbee tournament
_______
robin wall kimmerer
providing a possible answer to a conuncrum i’ve been turning over for years now:
a pronoun that isn’t ‘it’ for referring ot trees or sun or rivers or raccoons etc.
her proposal:
ki (pronounced ‘key’) for singular and kin for plural,
ki coming from aaki which is the part of the potowami aakibmaadiziiwin (‘being of the earth’) that means ‘land’
 _______

hail the circumference of a
50-cent piece 
held in the palm of my hand
outside the memphis theater
grabbed from the sidewalk and tossed back down again
_______

the plum-colored skittles package that matches
the plum-colored shirt that mica wears
and the sound of the candy shell as it crunches in between my teeth
while we situate ourselves in the front row
for the memphis community theater’s production
of oklahoma
_______
the lightening that has scattered itself
across the sky in all directions
lighting up and going dark
lighting up and going dark again

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further away from endureland

remember what you care about he says and move towards that
i want your pendulum to swing further into righteousness and further away from endureland

_______

plucking some of the season’s last strawberries
(their bright redness!)
from the plants as we weed and
later navigating the brambles of black raspberry, as we pluck some of the first fruits

_______
sun on our skin as we air dry
post-swim 
under a bird with some black-white something
gliding over while a bobwhite sings
off to the west

_______

the sewn travel silverware pouch
wrapped in gold/silver paper and the
free xmas card disguised as a birthday card
sealed in its envelope
how i set them on the couch next to mica
as we spoon the last of the cherry ice cream (somewhat sticky/freezer burned as ice cream gets over time, but turns out i don’t mind in the slightest)
into our mouths

_______
sunset walk down the back road:
how the sky is blazing in neon pinks and dusty purples and how
the midwestern version of mountains along the horizon is clouds
and how the lightning flickers behind one of the thickest ones (clouds)
and how the glimmer (of fireflies) is everywhere: decorating trees, adorning open spaces, flickering 
neon green blink on
neon green blink off
and i apologize for not having been in a while and i thank
that the sky, the road, the green of the trees, the magnificent clouds are still there
and that, while we may not have oceans or mountains, we have this
_______

the sweet soft high whinny
(almost with a purr in it)
of an eastern screech owl
tucked somewhere in the patch of woods
between cool ranch and the chicken yard
heard in the twinkling dark (fireflies)
11-something p.m.
_______
the mighty winds and bright
shocks of light and the tiniest mist
sometimes blowing in the loft windows
and a cat who normally prefers minimal touch
being the baby spoon while i 
click out the light 
and the elements weather everything
beyond

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the prayer in me

float-flitting about and about again
back-forth-backing
the small bird seen from loft window
as morning makes itself
the i.d. book tells me is a gnatcatcher
_______
my only wish if it were my birthday today
i say on the way to harvest the last of the  peas to baigz whose birthday it actually is
would be for rain
_______
the particular plunk of blueberries
(the diameter of a nickel)
as we drop them into plastic buckets celebrating
first bloobs of the season

_______
tyler in the kitchen letting out a whoop
at the first drops of rain and from the lab,
i yell out a yeyyyyeeeeeessssssssssssss!
and from somewhere down the way
I can hear baigz cheering too
_______
how the first crack of thunder
(after a flash of bright so brilliant it is visible even
in the daylight)
splits everything around me in half
including myself
so holy there is no difference
between the prayer in it and the prayer
in me
_______
the tineiest of tiny elderberry flowers
i pluck from the tree for identifying – 
turns out they are indeed elderberry
and later gift them to baigz
birthday elderberry! i proclaim while giving it to him
(and later, i pick up hail – birhtday hail! – and gift him one
and put two in my apple cider and fizzy water drink)
_______
the bright red of unripe berries and the 
deep purple of the ripe ones
found several yards outside my door
a delicious walk
_______
the something like opera that comes out of my mouth
when i encounter a raccoon about four feet from me
at face level
in the beam of my headlamp
and after the opera
how i tell raccoon loud as i can
to go away
_______
how some nights (like tonight) are oil lamp nights
even though the electricity isn’t out
it’s the lightning and rain that made me do it

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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

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the supply is getting low

seen from loft bed perch
6something in the morning, maybe 7:
house sparrow, inches from my watching eyes
as it lands on window frame and then
takes to flight again
_______
there’s a boil order on municipal water for scotland county baigz says
because the supply is getting low
and now we’re down to the dregs
_______

from the water world:

People cool off themselves at a fountain near the India Gate monument on a hot day in New Delhi, India. – voice of america, day in photos

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a word for the way the new light hits

how the day begins: 
ears and body, tawny colored,
that i glimpse moving through the part-sun, part-shade all-green woods
out the north facing window
that i think is a bobcat
but, as it moves into the tiniest clearing i can see
is a fawn
what is a word for the way the new light hits its young ears
up and alert?
_______
how the day also begins:
gray bird landing on the mottled bark of a persimmon tree
just outside the north-facing window
how i guess catbird and then it makes its squeaky whiny call, yes, cat bird
_______
and the day also starts this way: 
mama cat following me up the path
that i walk every morning (and that she follows me on every morning) 
towards the whitehouse
past the fluffs of fur from the gibbous/mama cat fight 
from yesterday evening
_______

that sortof tropical sounding bird cynthia says as we listen for its call
of the pileated woodpeckers that have arrived
as we stand in south garden
along the brassicas – whose collard leaves and kale leaves we are about to harvest
_______
on the dinner menu
which i prepare soundtracked by cocorosie and bon iver (both of which are so very many years ago
but it’s been a while) : 
tepary bean/quinoa salad with peas and spinach
massaged kaleslaw
toasted/seasoned pumpkin and sunflower seeds
a dutch baby and a dutch baby baby 
with sliced strawberries to scatter on top
in celebration of the big news
_______

i’ve never been called big sister i say
to glow who just appreciated my big sisterhood
i’ve been the youngest all me life
_______
in our latest episode  i joke with mom and dad
who are following my life
like a soap opera as it unravels
like a soap opera but whose life
doesn’t?
the cool air breezing in the open windows
perfect in temperature (mid 60s to low 70s)
and windy enough that i can later sit on the porch
mama cat in my lap purring as if she was never feral
without being bothered by a single mosquito

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