April 8, 2009 9:36 PM

 

Sometimes ten minutes is not enough, or mesmerized by fire

 

Smoke swirls around my head in a twirling cloud

I hold my breath against sting up my nostrils,

heat against my face nearly unbearable

 

pine needles flare in a brilliant display of light

the wet bark of a rotting log resists,

fire cleanses the landscape of last summer

 

dark shadow darts toward my stillness

I feel the mouse climbing over my foot

She retreats beneath decomposing straw

 

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April 7, 2009 7:20 PM

I stared at the trees in dim, gray light glimpsing the quick flick of a white tail.  I approached cautiously from the side taking care not to look directly at the thicket where the doe stood.  She stared at me, muscles tense, ready to bolt in an instant.  I moved  along the opposite side of a brush pile wondering if the obstruction might make me seem safer.  Then, I edged along the marsh reeds slowly until I was about sixty feet away.  She hadn’t moved.  Her brown coat was easily lost against the brown grass.  I stood quietly for long enough that she relaxed enough to move around, but never taking eyes from me.  As I stared, I began to make out the shape of another deer a few feet into the thicket.  I thought of a ‘where’s waldo’ puzzle.  Before long, I realized there were six.  They relaxed and went about there business browsing on tree buds and braches.  Four lined up on the buffet of my downed apple tree.  Fresh buds rarely within easy reach.  With a snap of a branch under my foot, they were gone in the flash of a white tail dancing into the darkness.

April 6, 2009 8:20 PM

We have 7 twenty-day-old chicks.  I have been watching them grow daily.  Sometimes, it is surprising to see how much they have grown in a day.  Today, I have really begun to notice how their wing feathers are developing.  They eat constantly, too.  I filled the food dish three times today. 

They are funny to watch, but very odd creatures.  I watch them, they watch me.  They stare back at me until they fall asleep.  I watch our favorite, the stripe-headed Miss Tulip, as her eyes blink thrice, then slowly close.  As she drifts into whatever chicken dreams float through her mind, her head slowly drops to the floor.  Sometimes, she’s in such a position that her head rolls over backward until she startles herself awake.  It reminds me of watching my step-father drifting off to sleep in front of the evening news: a head bob and a snort and he was awake again looking at the tv, but just for a moment before it started all over again.  At least the chickens don’t drool.

April 5, 2009 6:57 PM

Looking up into the warm, clear sky, another sign of spring floats across my field of vision.  Migrating hawks seem suspended on thermals, even effortlessly aloft.  All is quiet.  None of the regular song birds that squat in my yard make their presence known. The hawks begin to glide out of sight and I have not yet seen one flap wings.  I rush to get my camera, but really a moment too late to capture the closeness or numbers of birds.

April 4, 2009 3:21

It is quite windy this afternoon, with a chill biting through my fleece.  Wind chimes on the house chatter and chime, but I mostly just hear the roar of an April wind.  The snow cover is now gone completely and the grasses are a mix of pale green to yellow brown.  Tall stalks that somehow avoided decapitation when I mowed the field last fall lean aggressively to the left.  Pine needles still attached to severed limbs, some green, some orangish brown, sway, as if reaching, toward the a pool of fresh water.  Unknown flowers, green and unidentifiable (to me), pierce the soil around the base of the stump.  These shoots were not here when I last looked and I wonder if I could watch them grow.

April 1, 2009 6:39

Seven chicks peep curious,
looking at me with one eye.
Spring cool keeps them under the heat lamp,
too shy to investigate the
addition to their box.

March 31, 2009 10:06 PM

 

Some days the time escapes before I’ve had an opportunity to think about my meditation.  Today, I elected to stay indoors and observe my seedlings.  I am experimenting with soil blocks and I started seeds about a week ago.  There are hints of green from spinach, kale, lettuce and chard.  I can see that my blocks didn’t hold together well and some are disintegrating.  I can see the impact of missing a misting and letting the blocks dry out.  I tried to recover but only succeeded in over watering.  Now some of those early promising shoots of green have keeled over and remind me of wilting lettuce.  At this stage of development, I can’t tell the plant variety –  farmer that I am –  I’m not sure what spinach looks like when it’s baby baby-spinach.  The fluorescent light seems to be doing the trick but I can’t understand how anything can thrive under such awful, unnatural light.  It’s no wonder I’m playing with soil and gardening rather than working in an office cubicle farm.