INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HOUSESITTER

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HOUSESITTER

If the door has blown closed, open it.

You do not need a key.

Feed the birds.

There is seed in the blue jar.

 

Pick the apples, eat the cherries.

Make wine from the grapes.

Do not eat the yellow pears

for they are bitter.

 

The garden is full

of deep green weeds.

Cook them in oil.

They will make you strong.

 

When dew shines on the leaves

go out and wet your feet.

The copper basin holds rainwater

to wash your hair.

 

Milk the goats

at sunrise and sunset.

Drink what you like

and make the cheese.

 

The dogs will kiss

you awake.

The cats will sing

you to sleep.

 

They will tell you

what they wish to eat.

They will tell you

what to dream.

 

At midnight,

the owls will come.

The great gray owl

will speak. Listen.

MIDSUMMER DAY

MIDSUMMER DAY

The Feast of St. John the Baptist

 

Rain again. Again. Again.

Not the gentle pitter-patter rain, but

the tropical kind, the pounding kind

that washes out roads and birds’ nests,

that splatters mud on the lettuce,

soaks gray squirrels to brown,

gives mosquitoes everything

they need but blood. I can’t

sleep in this rain. It’s something

primeval, some anxiety

about the river rising, roots

rotting, everything I know

being washed away.

April prompt #32

April prompt #32

THE GARDEN IN WINTER

Ray’s #5

 

I know what is going on below the surface:

white violets make seeds underground. No

matter what I do, come spring, they will emerge.

Dandelions send down roots in every crack.

Nettles knot their webs beneath the mulch, creeping

Jenny creeps around the stones. Gray dogwood

ducks under the fence. Temper, temper! I

have seen so many springs. Weeds know how to

live better than anything I desire.

Is it possible that anything will change?

April prompt #15

April prompt #15

Write a poem that doesn’t make any sense (non-sequitors, nonsense, stream of consciousness)

then, rewrite the poem to make sense of it.

Kari’s #2

 

Thanks a bunch, Kari.  Just what I need —to focus

on the mess in my head. Grandson with croup,

no birthday party tomorrow, postponed.

Find somebody who can use the wait do

I want to spread manure today and why

is he crabby already I know it’s

not anything and I’m almost out of

birdseed but the bears and the sun is shinging

just keep the fingers moving on the keyboard

looking out the window at the light a

good day out there but i should edge the flower

beds and have to write this poem before I

do aything but it’s okay cause it’s

cold outside and I’d reather work in the

sunlight why does it make me so mad to

read other people’s arguments on face-

book and why do I even bother I

wanted to see that opera but it wans’t

meant to be and now I can rescheudle

that coffee so that’s a good thing I ought

to go up to rt.7 and check out the

restaurant but I don’t want to do that

today because i need to get my hadns

int the dirk why is my keyboard doing t

his weire thing with ys and spaces probably

because I rest my hands too low and they hti

the and anyway I need to get a

drink of water or maybe acoffee

but it’s too early I’ve run out of stream.

is my brain settling in? who knows.

Does it ever?

 

 

GIFTS OF THE MORNING

 

Sunshine, no wind. Goldfinches

coming to finish the last of the seed.

 

Time to put my fingers down into the dirt,

time to clear out the debris of winter,

 

sticks and dead leaves, all the scattered

hulls of things. I will have earth

 

under my nails again, for my peace.

Last year, this day, I had no peace. My heart

 

ached with the grandchild aching

to be born, his mother laboring.

 

Waiting with my son at the lip

of change. It happened.

 

It was well. And through

the space of loving, I am free.

April Prompt #10 (You might want to ignore this one)

April Prompt #10

WATER

Janet’s #4

You know the watering can?

With the rose that goes up instead of down?

So the seedlings get fake rain?

Well, mine broke.

So now it’s like, my seedlings?

I can drown them with the downgoing rose,

or drown them with the regular watering can.

Except the spray bottle?

But that’s like, really, really fine spray?

So I’m like I have to spray for an hour.

I don’t want to buy a new watering can.

I know I have, like, three already:

the one with the downgoing rose,

the one with a regular spout

and the old one in the cellar,

With no rose at all.

HOW THEY KNEW

HOW THEY KNEW

. . .the ruler of the feast . .tasted the water that was made wine, 

and knew not whence it was; 

(but the servants which drew the water knew.). . .

 ~John 2:9

They fed the oxen,

plowed the fields,

planted the barley,

pulled the weeds,

gathered into barns.

They winnowed the grain

and ground the grain

and baked the bread.

They planted the vinyard.

They pruned and picked

and turned the press.

They tended the lambs

and skinned and gutted

and roasted them.

They scrubbed the floors

and arranged the cushions.

They filled the platters

with herbs and olives and dates.

They washed the feet.

They waited on tables.

They drew the water.

They filled the jars.

To the brim.