Mid-Summer Swinging

O will you lay with me
Beneath a shady tree,
On a ship we’ll set a sail
Row out to meet a whale,
Under the clear bright skies
We’ll swing and shut our eyes,
O will you come with me
Out to the apple tree.

summer days . . . rains washed out the patchwork shovel mending of the driveway, re-rutted and grooved them anew, similarly in the garden . . . the bales of straw we so cleverly laid out on pathways have kept the weeds down, however, they have also sprouted! What a chortle!

the beds are giving chard and peas,
hairy motherwort, nuzzling bees,
the ‘new’ garden flower
blooms magenta hour after hour,
ladybirds spotted inside the fold
sit dark red on yellow quietly bold

the old mulberry tree fallen over long ago has rejuvenated and sprouted shoots, with a bit of pruning and clearing of thorny thicket we climb around and upon the gnarled intertwined trunk . . . in crevices where bark has decayed there’s plants sprouting and down low from out of cracks, mushrooms climbing; what a tree, majestic is she!! . . . we enjoy fruit and shade at her side where she does abide with a bramble left behind her where rabbits reside . . .

this solstice we gathered and celebrated mulberry, hummingbird, hollyhocks, and daily lilies, simple pleasures with daylong arms and firefly nights.

Workdays

Sixty bales of straw.  Half went around our fruit trees::  they needed heavy mulch, and with chickens and a dog scratching, shredding, and scattering mulch all over the place, I’m trusting these bound bales, squared and trined around the base will do the trick of killing the grass and simultaneously mulching, so with time there will be a clear dirty skirt down below.  Let’s see, we pulled back the grass at the bottom and then baled the trunks without touching them.

The other half went into the garden, where we’ve begun working once more, laying straw over the pathways that have tamped down sawdust from last year smashed in and trodden, setting up string for peas to climb and twine around. Chickweed’s up, dead nettle, garlic mustard, dock, catnip, anise hyssop, and daffydills; sparrows are singing once more and the morning slopes are covered with robins hopping about.  Lively and next week we’ll sow seeds for peace.

Began cauliflower, chard, broccoli, kale, cabbage, tomato, zinnia, and lettuce seeds under lights, and mice have helped themselves to all but the zinnias and chard, going so far as to wiggle under the lids on the trays and feast and scratch!  After the new moon in a few days, will restart seeds, am going to seed heavily so any remaining mice nibbling will simply be ‘thinning’ . . . Ahmad has been setting mice traps with cheddar and so far he’s caught a couple, which may make all the difference too.  In the meantime, we’re having fun moving straw and building huts and gates 🙂

crystalize

Fresh Rose petals minced into pancake batter, flecking and infusing the bread with red. Fresh Rose petals chopped and sprinkled over honey cakes, eat love hot from the griddle where Jasper liberally drops flakes of butter around the sizzling batter while he sings and burbles and the pancakes chatter.

Daily beginning side by side, cuddling close in the dark last night, lightening flashed through every window from all directions while fireflies talked with stars. He covered his eyes and made Ai-ai-aa-ee sounds as thunder joined with rumbling rounds and everything was electric.

We walk almost daily down and over the ruts and rocks breathing in the scent of Wild Roses all the way.  A delicate fragrance, as elegant as the white petals that curl and drop off in showery show.  A subtle note of citrus, its color the same as those orange pollen bearing anthers that powder the nose leaning into the center of the rose for a deep inhale.  A handful gathered and digested makes nostrils flare and then the whole world shifts and there’s glittering in the air.

Creamy coral mushrooms are colonizing. They have a shimmering energy where their tops touch. Snail eye stalks.  What are they passing on one to the other along curved crumbly reef ridges? Invisible bridges appear and on the flittering wings of butterflies I see the same shimmering. Glimmering on the streams around swallows. Rippling around. Carrying messages on frequencies insight. Glowing, growing, glistening, gleaning.

Rocks, for leaning against at the river’s side.   Being with water, daughters, a son filling liquid into one shoe and pouring it in the other, bringing it to his mother. Slow steady summer days, pockets full of stones. Focusing. Studying. Listening. Stone Song. Heart of stone. Cold as stone. Stone People listen to all the strife that’s rife, the wails and woes, the gloom and doom, the liturgical chants numerous and varied from mourning to morning doves coos; wouldn’t you have to be as cold as stone, as hard as rock to absorb all of it without cracking and quaking instantaneously under the enormity of it all?

Watching Snail climb toward the aqua ruffles frilling around a fallen stick. His shell is etched with patterns, the colors of who he is marked on his abode. Moving with him wherever he goes, muscles elongate and retract. He’s busy being who he is. Intent. Content. Silent.  Serene.  Still.  His shell protects his gift of Snailness, facilitates his walkabout well, keeps him on track and aligned with what he’s been assigned. He spends no time gazing at the sky, wishing he were a bird and could fly. He Is Snail. Apple is Apple and Orange is Orange. Eat Apple and compare it to Orange is to neither know nor understand what’s what, depreciating of its beingness and one’s own. When an Orange is what’s wanted, fetch one and appreciate it. When none are available, don’t eat Apple while longing for Orange. Go without instead.

Snail senses with snail senses.  Moves with his own shadow.  To walk in the shadow of another is to become smothered.  Step into the shell and emerge with eyes that tell where your shadow lies, watch while yourself dies, and rises: crawls, toddles, runs, dances, swims into your own streaming. What’s in Snail’s Dreaming?

trifold

we’ve been working, learning, and playing with color with the growth in the garden over the past month.  were immersed in Red during this strawberry moon::clover, roses, and juicy sweet burgundy cherries.

red clover took over the garden during our month out westwardly, ran right over and through the strawberries so the few we find are a burst-in-the-mouth delight!  as a result we got to pick and dry and eat, drink, and be merry with clover right here at our homestead (instead of long forays wildcrafting in meadows off the backroads like years of yore), thank you clover for being Here with us this year 🙂  new way to enjoy::clover blended with rose petals and strawberries in a second ferment for kombucha . . Yes!! the full moon’s come and gone and she asked that we leave her be, she’ll share the rest of her juicy abundance with the bees . . . . . so we gather with her and watch the bees, smell the air around her, and occasionally pop a blossom in our mouths as a thirst quencher.

the rose bushes we’re gathering already fallen petals from (as freshly dropped as possible) with the hopes that this will bring in more hips in the fall than in the past, we’ll see later. . . in the meantime the magenta petals float atop our daily water, are steeped with clover, hibiscus, and hawthorn for a good HeartTea to sip on, have been infused in oil for salves and we’re going to make rose beads once more. in kombucha: fresh rose petals and fresh mint with vanilla bean steeped in a simple syrup, blended to as paste and then dolloped into the bottles make a curiousity peaking 2nd ferment 🙂

as for the cherries: they came and we baked pies, tarts, brandied them with cardamom, vanilla bean, and cocoa nibs, skewered them, smoothied them, ate them, thoroughly enjoyed them, and froze as much as we could stand to put away for later, now they’re gone (thank you cherries, we’ll remember Jasper reaching out to pick his first ever fruit, alive off your branches, his eyes round face stained stretching to join in the picking for a long time to come yet!!).

the energy is shifting to orange in our immediate exploration of the color wheel . . .  though the full rainbow is presently growing out of the earth (and as we track the growth i have a feeling that we’ll see it always does this); for now it’s strongly represented by yellow evening primrose, dill, cornflowers, blueberries, and comfrey flowers shining forth, but back to orange:::the daylilies are budding, blooming and unfurling everywhere, so fine, as well as peaches on the trees we planted 4 years ago.

Layla and i amused ourselves with a poetic foray that came from her playing secretary to my dictation; she wrote what i bespoke as my hands were holding a sleeping/nursing baby . . .. she was very much tickled by my lofty tofty words (such as augment and augur and capricious) and proceeded to elocute my ditties in such haughty high falluten tones that we were both in stitches and quietened down lest we wake up the baby, we like him getting a good restful nap.  that’s when she started playing around with my poetic verse and wrote this poem i’ve posted (with her permission, she said only as long as i posted one of my high falluten high-koos too  😉 . . . . i didn’t previously know she wrote ‘shakesparean’ as she calls it, and as it turns out so does Aamee, neither of them could track back how they came about this kind of speech, but they can chitter this way for a while! as it also turns out, isha and anousheh went out to take pictures of daylilies while we poetized, so we all played together, learning something new in joy, enjoy!

Mariam’s Haiku

daylily come be

a caduceus for me

clarity delights

 

 

Layla’s Poem

day lily,

dost thou unfold?

i beg of thee,

come, be bold!

reveal thy beauty before my eyes

your speckled flowers charm the skies.

two step:: black and white # 3

We took a walkabout outside one evening . . . Jasper trots along holding hands with Michael, they ambulate toward me, feet dance along attuned  . . .  little feet are precious; their creases and folds so delicious, here today changed tomorrow.  I remember looking at my feet many suns and moons ago, marvelling at how they got further and further away from me, though:: as a short (ish) person mine aren’t too far away, however either I’ve slowed down or toddlers are incredibly fast, because once Jasper gets going, he’s Going . . .  though not quite gone.

START CLOSE IN

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way to begin
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To hear
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes an
intimate
private ear
that can
really listen
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

START CLOSE IN
River Flow
New & Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press © David Whyte

Woodland Gnome invited me to join this photo challenge, her 3rd day can be enjoyed here where she shares  insights from Sarah at anordinarymiracle about photographing black and whites.  Her site is a fun place to explore and she has links webbing back through the blogs of others black and white sightings.

I am inviting Jim of In Jim’s Garden to join the black and white photo challenge today. Jim is in Indiana where he spins sweet tales around the goings on in his garden (between bunnies, squirrels, birds and gnomes amongst other beings), which he shares in pictures that I’ve always enjoyed. I hope he will join the challenge!

The rules are quite simple:

  1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in black and white.
  2. Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

ft

“Perhaps real wisdom lies in not seeking answers at all. Any answer we find will not be true for long. An answer is a place where we can fall asleep as life moves past us to its next question. After all these years, I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.” ~~Rachel Naomi Remen

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