A day in the life of someone else’s farm (photos).

In which I spend time with superb ladies, learn about “nature names,” drink beer for dinner, watch the last nub of sun hit a land I may someday live on, stare into the red red eyes of a rabbit, play with chicks with good hairstyles, sleep three to a bed, wake up just past dawn to milk a cow and a goat for the first time, drink muchly-creamed coffee, eat purple potatoes for every meal, meet three stout sheep…and enjoy myself outrageously.

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(All photos taken  by me at Kate & Nick’s beautifulheavenlyanimalfilled farm.)

“Ode to the First Peach” (poem) (Ellen Bass).

A San Diego friend emailed me this poem this week. How did she know this was the week I was missing peaches so badly? Also missing Annie of Sweet Tree Farms, the best & coolest fruit farmer in the Whole World. We do have a couple of peach trees on the property, but no fruits yet. Although there are huge, bodacious raspberries blooming. Also blueberries. And plums! So there is really nothing for me to complain about. But ooh. The joy of eating a peach. While standing over the sink. The juice dripping down my chin. And looking out the window as I bite. And taking the pit in my fingers. And throwing it outside. Just in case. It wants to grow. Into a peach tree of its own.

 

**

Ode to the First Peach

Only one insect has feasted here,
a clear stub of resin
plugs the scar. And the hollow
where the steam was severed
shines with juice.
The fur still silvered
like a caul. Even
in the next minute
the hairs will darken,
turn more golden in my palm.
Heavier, this flesh,
than you would imagine
like the sudden
weight of a newborn.
Oh what a marriage
of citron and blush!
It could be a planet
reflected through a hall
of mirrors. Or
what a swan becomes
when a fairy shoots it
from the sky at dawn.
At the beginning of the world,
when the first dense pith
was ravished and the stars
were not yet lustrous
coins fallen from the
pockets of night,
who could have dreamed
this would be curried
from the chaos.
Scent of morning and sugar,
bruise and hunger.
Silent, swollen, clefted life,
remnant always remaking itself
out of that first flaming ripeness.

“The Robin World Series” (poem) (mine).

The Robin World Series

 

What if this evening on the porch

I witnessed the Robin World Series

in which all Robins in the world

surrounding my home split into two teams

with mascots named after berries and seeds

and played each other in order to win

not only the bushiest and best-hidden nest

but also a cup crafted from the cap

of an acorn brimming with nectar

collected by hummingbirds?

And what if in the ninth inning

the Robins boycotted the whole event

because it had gotten too long and too late

and their children were starving at home?

 

The past month or so in photographs.

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This is one of the farms that will not be our home.

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This was at the farmers’ market in Montpelier, when Ellie was visiting, and we met up with Kenzie, who is also a Suzie’s Farm Person, and she had those long fabulous dreadlocks.

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This was when Ellie and Scott and Josh were staying over. I made Misha wear my happy wreath because he was happy, too. And we drank that whole bottle of bourbon. And life was sweet and Scott jumped in the pond and Josh ended up getting a free Suzie’s Farm hat.

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This is my favorite photo of my friend Andrew, because the sun is all up in his face.

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These are some bodacious poppies and some pretty Unidentified Other Flowers that grow beneath the grapes in front of our house.

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This is another farm which we won’t live on. But boy, was it pretty.

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This is my pen pal, Shannon. She’s even better in person than written. Plus, she’s married! Also, a poet!

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This was the fourth of July. Misha didn’t even mean to wear red white and blue and we had sausages for dinner.

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This is Misha with flowering mullein on Cape Cod. He really loves that plant. And in this photograph, he even matches it!

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This is my family in the early 90s. I don’t think I’ll ever be as baller as I was that day on Cape Cod, with that stance and that minnow net and that belly-bearing bathing suit. Also: how cute is my sister. Also also: notice how all our bathing suits match!

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This was leaving the Cape just today, admiring the font of the Sagamore Bridge, admiring structure.

Landscapes (little farmy poem) (mine).

Landscapes

Last year I met garlic scapes

and I loved them on impact

and incorrectly called them snapes

for almost a year. Then I learned

their name and learned their twisting

goose-necked beauty and cut them

thinly into dishes. Now they grow

in rows outside our kitchen

and they grow in rows at the farm

where I work in the kitchen

and they’re filling the crisper drawer

and they’re all over our salads

and they’re harvested in baskets

and they’re not a food to sustain a nation

or even a main meal ingredient

but they’re one of our first little harvests

and for that I am grateful.

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(Photo by my partner & co-farmer & longtime love Misha, whose blog is titled Microcosmic DreamSCAPES. Coincidence? I think yes.)

(For more of Misha’s farm photos, click here.)

(We are Free Verse Farm!)

Love & friends & verklempt (something in prose).

I don’t think I’m a poet of the atrocities, or even of the victories. I think I’m a poet of the people I love. I’m trying to make sense of how much there is to love in the world. I’m trying to put into words the moment when someone reaches out to touch someone else’s face, but then doesn’t, and then that person never knows that that other person wanted to touch them. And so that touch will never be in the history books. But I might just get it into a poem.

 

Do you have any famous friends? Friends who people know because of something they did or wrote? I have a couple of great friends in a band and it makes me insanely proud and insanely baffled to know them and to see them progressing in the music world and to know that they are an entity outside of the dudes that I got to know in college. And to think that I knew them in a dorm hallway, with their morning hair and their late night gaits. How I’d leave the coed bathroom when I’d see one of them with their sneakers facing outward in a stall (pooping!). 

 

I have a lot of friends who really impress me. Not just because of their jobs, but sometimes because of their jobs. I have some friends who were born knowing how to be great friends. A lot of my friends aren’t the same as each other. A couple of my friends are attempting similar back-to-the-land plans as I am, but most of them aren’t. I’m here as a human and as a girl and as a poet and as a farmer-in-training to say: my friends, I love the shit out of you. I know you know it already, maybe because I told you recently in an email or textual exclamation or maybe I sent you something recently or maybe you read a poem here that reminded you of it. Either way, I might as well say it often, because life is short and fast (especially in summer).

 

So here’s a music video that really impresses me featuring some dudes I know. For some reason this video is making me want to hug people (BAD), probably because I’ve been drinking wine and I live with a man I adore and because it’s summer and there’s quite nearly enough sunlight to provide for all the words I want to write and say each day. Amen.

 

Poem of today (poem with friends in it) (mine).

Double Double

 

Today a couple of honeymooners came over

to sit on the porch for hours and eat

lunch and coffee cake. The clouds cleared

 

for them and the frogs burped their hellos

and later poems will be written

with scythes in them and we will all approve

 

or not. After they left I stirred honey

into my tea (like always) and hoped

the clouds would clear again for them later

 

so that the moon could shine on their sweet

little cabin as they read their magazines

and sipped their tea. My honey and I

 

sat on the porch after they drove away,

in different chairs, reading our books

as storms rolled over, the scythed-down

 

grass flattening against the rest, birds flitting

back to nests. To be honest I can’t tell

a bird’s nest from a bat box but I am

 

gosh-darned over-the-moon about

homes in general, about porches and the moon

and frogs that celebrate a thunderstorm.

 

“Eggs and a Song” (poem out loud) (mine!).

Eggs and a Song

The chickens are just heading in

through their chicken-sized door

 

as I challenge spring in the car,

tires hugged in mud in the bend

 

where the fast-driving neighbor

does his fast-driving damages

 

of ruts in the road. I am not yet

thirty and wearing the remains

 

of red lipstick as I walk through

the door of my home. My man’s

 

on the floor with his toes to the sky

in a stretch and the teapot is still

 

breathing steam. Imagining other

couples is like imagining history:

 

I can’t do it at all without the help

of a movie. In the film of my days,

 

my man is healing himself

with patience and I am healing

 

my self with something like hope.

On a bad day I can’t even fight

 

off my rooster; on most days

I’m pocketing eggs with a song.

 

These are the days of seedlings (poem & motion).

We’re planting our seeds. We’re

sowing them in. We’ve made

our selections, we’ve sawed

the boards & nailed them,

we’ve scarified the seeds

who need a little scaring.

Some seeds are smaller

than any item I’ve ever

collected. Some seeds

are blocky, brown & sharp.

We’ve showed them where

they can live in light

on the the dining room table

where the bulbs are big

and the view is right.

No one’s perfect, as

they say–I disagree. I say

a seed is perfect, through

and through. It’s got all it needs

to do inside of it, it knows

and does it in a mere

two days. The seeds

are growing on the table.

The seeds are chatting

with the moon, rising greenly

with their necks to greet her.

 

 

Small-Block-Planting

 

 

(gif by misha m johnson, the most talented photographer in the upper valley)