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.
(That image is a poemjoke. Do you get it?)
Insanity (the good kind)
lalalalalalalalalalala for Ellie!
The trillium are blooming everywhere & I’m going insane
with happiness. Illegal to harvest & illegal not to love,
the trillium bloom in the forest and where the forest
meets the road. Magenta blooms made of three red petals
with three green understudies. Jack-in-the-pulpit’s likely
nearby, and a stream where the bugs who slide across water
are stretching their legs after winter. The breeze smells like ferns
unfurling their eyes to the sun and the hatless and shoeless
woman I am has her pupils hotglued to the ground.
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
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.
(All photos taken by me at Kate & Nick’s beautifulheavenlyanimalfilled farm.)
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.
(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!)
How many amazing poets have you met? How many people have you met that have hypnotized you–literally hypnotized, the world swimming away–by reading one of their poems? Jericho Brown is an amazing poet and a skilled teacher and also an elegant creature. I took some workshops with him, and he came to a birthday party of mine once, and I wrote him a poem about his favorite color, orange, after he came to speak in one of my classes. I hope he liked it. He was in the New Yorker recently, and that, my friends, is a victory. For The New Yorker. And for all of us who know him. And for all of us who get to read The New Yorker because our mothers-in-laws give us their finished issues. The end.
The flowers have arrived.
One of the friends has arrived.
When she arrived, we picked flowers.
Soon two more friends will arrive.
And the flowers will just keep on coming.