My friend’s conservative aunt in Austin asked him how he was doing with worry in her voice. She’d seen Portland on tv. He asked her how she was doing in retort, having seen Texas on tv.
This tree came with a name tag it read to me. Incense cedar. And that, apparently, was all I needed to know.
Sometimes blades. Sometimes poems. Often both and often the same.
I watch the live feed. The protestors fill every inch of the frame. The chants roll through, then the anger, then the chaos. Now a nightly routine. So is this the part where everyone digs in, gets madder, and more inflexible? What will change look like when it arrives in such a hard place?
Eventually, with a sad accumulation, the lesson turns into a knowing.
On brand for 2020: The inflatable mattress sprung an irreparable leak. Having decided to sleep in the hammock, it started to rain. Also true of 2020: the river’s rumble obliterates all noise. The forest’s green will outlast us all. Abandoning plans is not a failure.
The plums gleaned from down the street always look better than they taste. I’ll leave them in the colander and just believe them delicious.
The rat chases the cat and there’s a thrill. What does it do with that shiver of power zinging back and forth from head to tail?
Savor this if you can. The darting. The sleepless. The wire plucked. It is the sister of sluggish and dull. It is the art in your eye socket. It is the next edge you will tease up against. It will ruin everything in all the best ways.
Slimy tennis balls are collecting in the reservoir. Plants from the concrete cracks are growing without restraint into their full alien being. I relate to both these things. How about you?
A late afternoon return from green and dirt and water and diamond. Refueled.
This tree protected us like a guard. Not a security guard or a guard dog, but a royal guard in formal dress and formal silence.
This other tree protected us like a mother. Their limbs swept low around their wide body saying mangia, mangia as they gathered us to the table.
Knowing the why won’t make the what go away. The heart grip under sternum and rib will remain. The label is faded but the space is still empty under If yes, please explain: