“(Brooklyn) Is Magic” (poem) (mine)

(Brooklyn) Is Magic

Brooklyn smells like palo santo
and wet daffodils as I schlep
to the next set of stairs
that leads to someone
I love.
I’m never in the city
and when I am
every second
is so city
I have to laugh.
The dogs dressed better
than I. Everyone clutching
their phones
like children on a rollercoaster
in need of their mother’s hand.
Even the bookstore is curated
to please the eye
and it pleases me
to see people I love stepping off the subway
like celebrities
and it’s pleasurable
to be one of so many
planning
buying
laughing
at once
over brunch
and for just a moment
the weight of breakfast
is heavier and sweeter-smelling
than the spring clouds bearing rain.

“Summer Simmer” (summertime flowertime poem) (mine).

Summer Simmer

 

Soil air sky breeze

available now

no lease no

contract all

yours & always

open free &

more where

that came from

Jeez you’d think

we’d be cherishing

all this so hard

by now (picture

it: generations

of women

& men in love

with earth)

but no

we are shitting

on it more

than ever &

convinced of

the truth

of machines

You know

what I think

technology is

mostly harmful

also ugly &

expensive unlike

these patches of

black-eyed Susans

dancing from the base

of their stalks up

to the petals

in the fields

all around me

 

A marriage poem for abundance (mine).

Abundance

for Scott & Josh

 

There will be days of singing & days of silent throats

There will be days of bouquets & days of empty vases

There will be days of thirst & nights of drinking

There will be raspberry days & days of stale crusts of bread

There will be days of nails in the wall & artless days

There will be harvest days & long nights of winter

There will days to gather & days to await the gathering

May the thin days make the days of fullness all the sweeter

May your fruits be many and your backs be strong

as you launch together

into your days

of abundance

 

July 5, 2014

 

scott and josh first step

(photo of the couple’s first steps toward marriage by Misha M. Johnson)

Yesterday’s morning poem (mine).

Just your average morning shoving

 

three goatbutts into a bright blue Kia

then heading off to work. I drive

along the first branch of a river,

past brandnew calves, sideways barns,

and the sign that reads FROST HEAVE

AHEAD which no one’s taken down

because just seeing it makes the green

of the pastures an even sweeter sight.

The silos this morning are brimming

with the years they’ve seen, the guineas

bold enough to eat the grass that runs

along the road, and the local library

has its OPEN flag highfiving the wind.

On days like this, it feels like everyone

and their mother is pushing a wellworn

wheelbarrow in the direction of joy.

 

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(That image is a poemjoke. Do you get it?)

 

“The Sun Inside” (yesterday’s poem) (mine).

The Sun Inside

Winter’s over, shake me out, wash me deep

for the first & final time, says the cheap

winter coat I bought for its greenness and for the love

of its fur I could see myself nesting inside

for so many months, my face a cold photograph

in a frame of fuzz, and the goat blood

on the pocket came out as if the whole ordeal

was just a bad dream I could return with free

shipping! That hairdresser was right, you know–

after the initial shock of loss, my hair grew back

faster than ever. And here I am with my cowboy boots

and my cowkid plaid & my broken wristwatch

in the first wet warm days of a Spring I thought

would stand me up like a hot bad date, & the ends

of my hair are light not from dye but from the sun inside.

Poem of April 10th (poem of today) (mine).

The Girl Who Was Winter

 

I don’t understand how a house is built, the piece-by-pieceness of it all.

And why is a hamburger called that–it’s made of beef. Around here

people say “hamburg” and bang their boots together before swinging

their feet into the driver’s seat. Around here the streets are named

after families who still live on them. This I understand. And how quick

it takes a ram to mount a doe—I get it now. The world’s laid out

on the ground and everywhere I step, I step on it. I’m naming

each new season: after winter, white spring. Then mud, then spring,

then storage, then sticks, then logs. Then winter in her new fur coat

lasts long enough to answer everything. She’s the sweet caesura–

not the roadside flare lit as a cry for help, but the help itself.

***

 

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photo by Misha

“My Life as a Minister” (wedding poem) (mine).

My Life as a Minister

(for Kathryn & Andy)

 

To say “You may now kiss the bride”

is a treasure far beyond

most treasures I’ve known.

A treasure of love (my bests,

 

my only kind of treasures),

a treasure built of words (my tools),

a treasure said in public

in the presence of a trove

 

of dearest friends—

a treasure known by all, the words

learned early on, the script, that scripture,

holy words of matrimony, most of which

 

I banished from the ceremony. But not

those words, and not the kiss

which with light within me

I gave permission for.

 

You may now and you may always

and may you for all the days

kiss and kiss and kiss

the bride.

***

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On the move!

Dear friends & family,

We are moving, and it’s all boxes and car rides and hefting and hauling for the next week or so. If I don’t return your calls and emails right away, I Really Apologize! We’ll have internet as fast as we’re able at the new place. In the meantime, I recommend you go check out these farmy blogs: longest acres (who will soon be our neighbors), Oliver & Abrahams, and Cinnamon Girl.  Also Rough Draft Farmstead.

And I will leave you with this parting gift: man of the (new) house. Before it had our stuff in it and before it got cold (it’s been snowing this morning).

 

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See you on the other side!

 

 

Autumn jubilation; three cheers for autumn (photos, words).

Some things:

 

1. Sissy visit. Beautiful leaves. Beautiful little wreaths. Jokes & foods. New plan hatched where sissy moves to Montpelier. Scheming, scheming.

 

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2. We’re handing out little poems of mine (free verses from Free Verse Farm!) at the market now. It’s the best.

 

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3. Wendy Guerra, Cuban poet and fantastic human, read and chatted at Revolution this week. Just what I needed. Wendy says:

 

“The wounds, before healing, should be named.”

 

4. We’re moving! We’re moving into the woods! Into the woods with friends!

 

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5. And now: coffee with a lot of hot milk! Apples to be picked and pears to be dried! Two new sweaters made for boys but befitting this small woman! Here we go Sunday here we go (clap clap).

 

(photo credits to Sarah S. Katz)

 

Poem written at dusk, written right this minute (mine).

I am making plum jam and it smells divine

because of that vanilla bean steeping in it

grown by an orchid in another county’s humidity

 

Misha is outside snipping grapes off the vine

to bring to his parents

because we can’t make all the jam

 

It’s sunny now after  a day of bluster and greys

and there’s a catbird screeching near the chickens

and the rooster’s screeching back at her

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been injured

because it would sound unimpressive

and I like to impress people with quantities

 

Multiplication has never come easy to me

not even after years of memorization

I wish numbers were something I could intuit like moods

 

Being an adult means being able to eat an entire box of macaroni & cheese

And I can do that

But only every once and a while

 

Perhaps I’m still not quite fully grown

That would be really great news for me

Because I check my upper back daily for wings

 

On the day when I finally grow my wings

I will act as nonchalant as a teenager

And fly away for a daytrip but return home at dusk

 

Because dusk is the best part about autumn

And the best part about summer too

And the best part about right this minute

 

So I’m off to enjoy this current set of minutes

Because as you know they are already flying away from me

At a pace that not even the wingful can achieve