My Bonsai Tree on the Southern Window Ledge in the Laundry Room To the nearly four-hundred-year-old Yamaki white pine bonsai that survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima and now lives in an arboretum museum in Washington, DC This small juniper. One clay pot awash in moss weathered for five springs below my garden Buddha. To […]Read more "My Bonsai Tree on the Southern Window Ledge in the Laundry Room "
The Fourth of July Parade Manzanita, Oregon We swing our pick-up truck into the library lot, and settle in the truck bed, kingpins on folding chairs. There’s a husky in a red-and-white bandana and a bloodhound with a Statue of Liberty crown. Sweating, paunchy men wear goofy hats. Aging women in sparkles guard igloo coolers. […]Read more "The Fourth of July Parade"
June Bug Neighbors told me his name was June Bug. He was as black as any black man ever is. Two years younger than I. Liquid brown depths of kindness. I saw that in his calm eyes and quiet way. I don’t know how he tied up beetles. They said he got his name because […]Read more "June Bug"
The Lepidopterist’s Collection Mine is a flimsy passion. Awe for false eyes. Mothy deceptions. Zigzag symmetry. A simple color-code: I may be toxic. Mounting butterflies is tricky — pinch lacy wings in stainless-steel forceps and relax them. I have a ritual. Listen to string quartets. Block sunlight behind flowered drapes. Square the mounting box. Set […]Read more "The Lepidopterist’s Collection"
Booze Writing She writes the non-fiction marathon, grabs her metaphysical hangover to record the distillers, blogs recipes for old martinis, notes where mezcal comes from. Serious, full-time writing about booze, barstools and body/mind benders. Codifying as a way to stop her bingeing. Is that how it goes with loneliness? Scrawling about virtuous alone as relief […]Read more "Booze Writing"
Saloons and Spurs You can’t imagine the dead lined up on wood rail chairs under the overhang of the saloon roof, leaning back on the leftmost porch wall with their boots tilted up. You might recall a scene from old westerns, wagon ruts in the muck, snorts of hung-head horses tied saddled to dirty rails. […]Read more "Saloons and Spurs"
Oh, if I wanted one perfect roundness to fit my hand as sweetly as an egg, it’s you, avocado. Lob your dark green skin north for salsa and fresh-squeezed limes. Soothe my tongue ravaged by sharp-toothed words, conform to my teeth, invite my tongue to roll in bland oil of green. Teach me timing. You […]Read more "Ode to the Avocado"
A spring morning much like others, some daffodils rain-beaten, some perked. Daphne’s lemony fragrance when near enough. The outdoor little library bookcase at the neighbor’s frames the same mythologies, travel guides, and who-dun-its that got us through winter’s downpours. At the abandoned school, morning changes. A man rakes the baseball diamond, listening on earphones that […]Read more "Kindling"
An Uncommon Prayer for the Farm after Brian Doyle This morning three cracked and cleaned-out ducks eggs rested in mud. The ducks ignore the coop they share with broody hens. A raccoon slinked through the night, egg eater who slipped under the guard dog’s radar. First petition: safety. Yellow jackets nest in the propane tank […]Read more "An Uncommon Prayer for the Farm"
You did not eat dirt today. Perhaps tomorrow. Victory is one thin nacre coat on one grain of effort. Remember the mare’s beauty. She sweat more than you did. Look ahead to kittens and dogs and the feasts of wild crows. These too know dirt that you will eat. All living taste dusty race tracks […]Read more "Poem to Myself After Winning the Horse Race at Age Eleven"