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garden at night

deer came in the night
ate all the green beans
and tiny zucchini from
my next-door neighbor’s
garden so when
the woodchuck who lives under
the shed where my next-door neighbor
on the opposite side
stores metal things with gears
and wheels, also pieces of wood,
random lengths of siding and
one woodchuck or possibly
a whole woodchuck family—
When the woodchuck waddle-scurried
his foraging self across my lawn
to the feast next door only tomatoes
were left and those are not
his favorite.

a good goal

Gone, again and why
do I think I’ll remember the image, scent,
overheard perfect line,
words that hopped in the car on the highway
to keep company with the others, gathered
like wildflowers on that dirt track,
the steep hill, the long coast down
the other side.

Was it something the waitress said?
Skinny, tattooed, overwhelmed by the crowd
of hungry tourists?

No. It was that tableful of theater people,
The one woman who talked so Loud-
Trained to project her voice—she said,
“It’s my goal in life to bring horror to live theater.”

How Singular, Spectacular,
Specific.
Goals are so
Lively.

So here’s mine: to remember
that memory
isn’t to be trusted.
Write it down. Background noise
of all delicious varieties
steal away the right words.
If I remember nothing much,
Remember this. Write it down
To see what I saw.

hammock

high wind tips the striped hammock
to the ground where it
stays for days. Our bodies
holding books
holding puppies
holding only long afternoons
would save its gentle sway but
I was
busy I was elsewhere
and the hammock fell

wheelbarrow, robin

morning rain, robin
on the handle
of the rusted wheelbarrow

wheelbarrow I found
in my father’s barn
before he sold that big country place
(loneliness, dementia)

I dusted off generations
of spiderwebs
painted it red
because Williams

now it lives in my yard
where it is frequently
Admired. People can tell
it’s led an interesting life
comfortable in its skin
and happy to be a perch
for searching the rain-soaked yard

June 21

blue green early sky
awake for hours
awake even before
the puppy. trucks rumble
beneath bird song.
almost
ready for
what happens next

short leash

rain
soft enough
to not disturb
morning’s singing birds

puppy stirs, not yet
ready to wake and
the part of me I’ve been
Training to Stay On Schedule
(guarded by my mind,
old task master who frowns
and taps his wristwatch)

Sometimes, I turn away
sit in the grass, even in rain
look around—sky, trees,
wet glisten of flowering sage
who went full-bloom while
I was busy elsewhere. Another
reason we love dogs
Mine, sweet person-pleaser
sometimes sits down in the grass
nose to the breeze
and won’t budge. Sometimes
I only pet his soft fur and murmur,
Good job. Good dog.

maple key

baby maple trees
everywhere lately
nostalgia-laden
search for their roots
Just this weekend,
bright green seedpod
appeared in the middle
of the living room floor
Was it tricked by swirls
in the laminate, fooled
into believing this was
hardwood, a distant relative?

The very next day
an older seedpod,
dried out dark green
hid in the empty drawer
of a wood file cabinet
I bought at a yard sale.
Real wood, this time,
so the mistake is understandable.

small spider, apple bowl

small spider in the apple bowl
at ten, you would have named it
at ten, I would have screamed
for someone to kill it

Now, I take a different apple
drape a paper towel
over the smooth edge
of my grandmother’s bowl
and——where I would have ended
this poem, sudden spider !!!

!!!

crawls up and across
the laptop screen
Spider who travelled
table length of apple bowl, tomato basket,
yesterday’s mail, bakery bag of orange scones,
to participate in creating this poem
only interrupted by departure of one of
the co-authors, moving fast
over that same paper towel to celebrate
or escape
carried onto backyard’s green weeds

dash of black cat

from the road look
across the open field
to the edge of the woods—
wild phlox, purple, white
blooms in deep green shadows
under the trees
Quiet
then fast between trees and road
a tiny dash of black cat

Double Yellow Line

Every spring, the same direction:
Slow down. Look around
at this world. Open
Wide
Or at least
Wider than this stare
straight ahead at the long highway
hands clenched on the wheel
eyes in a permanent squint
to see the double yellow lines
through rain
and dark
drifts of brown leaves
drifts of snow
occasional scurry of opossum
fox
or something unfamiliar, swift and dark
The squint against bright headlights
in the opposite lane
Look
heavy yellow lines turn to
Dashes
to dots, then spirals then
Disappear. You and I
Can pass into
another lane can breathe, slow
down and look at the close roadside
trees, sirens, high-rises, deserts
Neon all-night diner.
We can stop, you and I
We can get out of our cars
And go on foot

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

Leaf & Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.