in which a path is cleared

brushing past plants has become a natural part of life so much so

that being asked to cut some down seems unnatural. however i share

this path with others and so it must be. i approach the task with resignation

thinking how the patch is slowly becoming cartoon-like, a wilderness

in the suburbs. except for the path. salvias and roses, tagetes, liriopes

receive an unseasonal and respectful prune. i scramble behind these

now neat bushes filling in gaps with all the cuttings,  a sense of purpose

in recycling knowing that nature has its own way of reasserting growth

even as the city strides away from its green past. a small footprint

in which patches dot the patch

when the wind comes from the north, it carries an unexpected force to so small a patch

picking up debris effortlessly and tossing it down without effort. to work against such

carelessness requires sore knees and patience for each small piece of earth is somehow changed,

as if discarded. drooping leaves ask for water, yellow ones for food and all the while

birds hop about scavenging for worms. this wind finds plastic in the air and slams

it down among my plants as if to show us we have not cared enough. i watch for each

casual gust, planning which plants will patch up the patch, bending like a crab apple


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in which twilight brings air

slate baked; even the lizards

ran for cover and every plant

bent double, aching from

the strain of facing up to sun

relentlessly, cloudlessly. no

sounds until the twilight hour

when creatures felt the turn

of light and ventured out

across to air as tremulous

cadences moved the night.

That was before the wind.


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Bird on a Roof

A magpie,

scraggy and fluffed

as if perplexed,

as if this perch

had become its nest


in the breeze

rain scent

a hint

of yesterday,

crested feathers


warbler of the skies.



in my story,

the bird could no longer fly,

the bird had lost its flock,


I did not see it soar away


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