Harvey
Taylor


harveytaylor.net

Real Food

 
Pea Blossom, Raindrops - Photo by Susie Krause
 Pea Blossom, Raindrops - Photo by Susie Krause


Full-Spectrum Nutrition

Susie & Harvey, facilitators...happy to share our ongoing adventures.
  • Gardening background, 35 yrs...gradual shift from 'weeding' to 'eating' to:

  • Foraging...common 'weeds' have been imported (non-native); dandelions as prime example: nutritional potency, hardiness; other common foragables include lamb's quarters, violets, plantain, purslane, comfrey (the variety with purple flowers), Virginia waterleaf, hostas; 'weeds' jump out of the ground in Spring long before much can be harvested from the garden, & they can be preserved in a dehydrator for winter use

  • Uses: omelets (frittata), salads, soups, infusions ('elixir'), green smoothies
    • Elixir: put plant materials in gallon-size glass jar, fill with boiling water, add stevia if desired, for sweetening, infuse all day, strain, drink, excess can be frozen; recycle plant mass in compost
    • Green Smoothies: put plant materials (foraged/garden cultivars/sprouts etc, plus some fruit for flavor) into blender, add water; see 'Green For Life' (book/youtube, below)
    • Camping trips: you'd be surprised what can be added to the oatmeal or soup, after being gathered on a hike

  • Sprouting: 'kitchen gardening', makes 4-season home food-production a natural; super-nutritious; doesn't require fancy equipment; wide-mouth glass jars (or plastic) & any fine mesh (old stockings etc); wheatgrass can be grown on window-shelves, and added to smoothies

  • Health concerns etc as motivator: Susie's osteopenia, Harvey's 'pre-diabetic' concerns; self-reliance in economic hard times...resistance to corporate domination…and a very poetic activity (contemplation, garden-yoga, garden-tai chi)

  • Indispensable Website: Susun Weed's Wise Women's Herbal Ezine: www.susunweed.com

  • Books:
    • Green For Life, Victoria Boutenko (also demos on youtube)
    • Forager's Harvest, Samuel Thayer
    • Common Herbs for Natural Health, Juliette Levy
    • Sprouts, The Miracle Food, Steve Meyerowitz
    • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
    • My Weeds, A Gardener's Botany, Sara Stein
    • Edible Wild Plants, A Field Guide, Elias & Dykeman
    • all of Michael Pollan, etc.

Full-Spectrum Nutrition

Pole beans are sprouting,
pea vines climb a wire trellis,
we're picking young kale leaves,
spinach, and mustard greens,
foraging dandelions, violets,
plantain, hostas, and Virginia waterleaf,
cilantro is coming along,
tomato plants are in the ground,
with yellow flowers here and there—

but it's not only the body
that gets hungry:

the soul has an appetite, too, and
loves to dine on children's laughter
floating over the fence,
a flurry of apple blossoms
scattering on the breeze, and
a robin suddenly lighting
on the bird-bath rim,
then splashing, and splashing,
and splashing again,
in the afternoon warmth,
after gentle rain





A Public Service Announcement

The plant whose jagged leaves
reminded a French poet of lion teeth,
dent de lion,
provides golden flowers that can be
moistened in whipped egg,
coated with cornmeal, and fried,
thus becoming one of the tastiest morsels
ever to enter a watering mouth.

After being ecstatically chewed,
a mysterious transformation takes place:
spherical clusters of tiny seeds
scatter on a mission of redemption
to the roadsides, junkyards, alleys,
abandoned fields, monotonous lawns,
and vacant lots of our minds




Salad Cow

I love my vegetables, can't get enough,
so I grow a little garden out back: lettuce,
tomatoes, corn, beans, squash...the usual.
Weeds got the jump on me this year though,
and I finally gave up, started filling my bowl
with anything that's green—
didn't seem to make much difference,
after I drowned it with dressing.

Then I began sprinkling vinegar and oil
directly on the plants, getting on
hands and knees, and chowing down...
grazing is great!
No more dishes to wash,
and silverware,
wiping off the table,
sweeping the floor—

but I've got to remember to tie myself
to the apple tree, with an appropriate length of rope,
so I don't get carried away and wander off:
my neighbors don't appreciate me
browsing on their roses




Living On Sunshine

It takes a hundred years to make an inch of topsoil...
that's right, a whole century of Mother Nature's toil—
it takes earthworms, rain, and leaves...
it takes the birds and the bees—
it takes a hundred years to create an inch of topsoil.

A teaspoon of soil contains five billion bacteria...
yes, I counted 'em, five billion bacteria—
plus a million protozoans, and twenty million fungi...
then I had to stop, and rest my eyes—
a teaspoon of soil contains five billion bacteria.

A researcher measured how much root a plant can produce...
well, a rye plant grew three hundred eighty seven miles of root—
that's counting thirteen million roots, and branch roots,
plus fifteen billion root-hairs produced—
a rye plant put out three hundred eighty seven miles of root.

I got all this from a book in the library,
called My Weeds, A Gardener's Botany
I kept on being more and more amazed...
as I slowly turned page after page—
wow! Fantastic! Incredible!

There are fifty billion chlorophyll molecules in a single leaf cell...
when it comes to astonishment, plants excel—
for example, photosynthesis blows my mind...
sure wish I could live on sunshine!
There are fifty billion chlorophyll molecules in a single leaf cell...
no wonder I think dandelions are really swell




Elixir

When Susie and I want a refreshing drink,
it's as nearby as an eye is to a wink;
we go out in the yard, and gather what we need:
a whole bunch of plants usually called weeds.
On a hot summer day, or a cold winter night,
in the blazing sunshine, or the cool moonlight...
we drink elixir—aaaaaaaaah, elixir.

We pick raspberry and strawberry leaves,
violets, burdock, purslane, and comfrey...
we gather day lily and clover flowers,
dandelion, plantain, and lamb's quarters.
On a hot summer day, or a cold winter night,
in the blazing sunshine, or the cool moonlight...
we drink elixir—aaaaaaaaah, elixir.

We cut it all up, put it in a gallon jar,
then pour in a potful of boiling water...
we let it infuse, hour after hour,
until it turns a delicious amber.

When we can't pick it fresh, we use what we've dried...
one way or another, we're very satisfied—
those nutrients are good for us, we're not rolling the dice:
you can't beat it at the store, for any price.
On a hot summer day, or a cold winter night,
in the blazing sunshine, or the cool moonlight...
we drink elixir—aaaaaaaaah, elixir




To Privatize Or Not To Privatize Milwaukee's Water:

That is the question. And a very big question it is,
with vast repercussions and implications.

Where to begin? Perhaps with the well-known fact that
human beings consist primarily of water, approximately 70%,
which means we need regular infusions of good quality water,
to create and maintain health. And every time we turn on the tap,
for a drink, or when preparing food, or irrigating our gardens, or
bathing, we use one of our community's greatest resources:
the Milwaukee Water Works, developed at great expense, for our benefit—
not for the profit of those who care nothing for our welfare.

According to research I've seen, many people are chronically dehydrated,
which can adversely affect health in many ways, including cerebral functioning,
leading, for example, to impaired judgment.

I wouldn't be surprised if proponents of privatizing
our public water system are dangerously dehydrated...
I suggest they drink lots of water, and rethink the matter,
while reading reports from many other places about
the catastrophic consequences of corporatizing the commons,
and other short-sighted so-called 'fixes.'

The root of the problem underlying our city and state's budgetary crisis, and
that of many, many others, as manifested in various infrastructure failures
ranging from bridge collapses to educational systems in free-fall,
is the chronic use of public funds to finance an endless series of wars...
that's the fundamental reason we're being forced to mobilize, in order to
protect our community's water supply, and therefore its health and sustainability.

I'll believe that public servants are serious about addressing the big problems
we face when I see them, Governor and Mayor, Senators and Representatives,
Supervisors and Alders, and Department heads, including the manager of
the Milwaukee Water Works, working to end the horrible wars
that continue to bleed us, and bleed us, and bleed us, in more ways than one.

We can't afford war...
giving control of our precious water
to those who only seek opportunities for profit
will only make matters worse




Heart-To-Heart

When I entered the garden to gather a salad,
parsley scrunched down behind the lettuce,
which was trying to be inconspicuous,
kale appeared wilty, onions cried,
spinach suddenly went to seed,
carrots dove & disappeared,
beans acted immature...
finally, I took time
for a little heart-to-heart,
describing their juicy destiny—
now, everyone stands tall, hoping to be
picked, so they can turn into poems & songs




Reflections From A Backyard In Riverwest

An abandoned cottage in Milwaukee's Riverwest was condemned and
bulldozed, its foundation rubble filling the basement, the ground compacted,
leaving a parking lot, without a single fugitive weed,
behind the run-down old house I salvaged with my sister and niece
in the fall of the bi-centennial year. A borrowed rototiller scratched
open the adobe ground, inviting the sowing of winter rye;
those sprouts were miracles, proving the ground was still alive.

Cleaning out a horse stable the following spring
packed a friendly pick-up truck with three heaping loads of manure
which we tilled in, providing conditions favorable for
the development of a soil community;
tons of surfacing foundation debris were hauled to the dump;
regular feedings of compost to the planting beds steadily
improved fertility...now it would be hard to find happier earthworms!
The place is alive! Alive with many kinds of activity,
from microscopic, to bird-song, child-laughter, dog-play,
cat-adventures, blooming cosmos flowers, ecstatic bumblebees...

As I plant...water...weed...harvest...eat...I remember a parade of children
picking their first strawberries here…I see the nearby stone marking
Bella, my dog's grave...I recall the poems and songs this ground has
generated...I see my father enjoying grapes gathered from vines
climbing the cedar fence he helped build.

Watering this ground with my sweat, and twice with my tears,
a powerful bond has grown between this life-sustaining place,
saturated with associations, and its partner, immersed in affirming
memories...
when I magnify this experience by generations, and centuries,
I have the beginnings of an understanding of the vital connections
between indigenous peoples, and the land that nurtures them.
This backyard...this garden...this neighborhood...this community,
Riverwest, in Milwaukee, is turning a rootless wanderer into a native.

Those who believe that land is mere 'real estate,'
to be bought, owned, and sold,
may profit from a visit to the home of the dead, and
a pondering of the question,
"Is it not we who belong to the ground?"

Rising sun, rain last night...
seeds we buried in sacred ground
are eating dirt and light


Strawberry Leaves, Raindrops - Photo by Susie Krause
 Strawberry Leaves, Raindrops - Photo by Susie Krause


The Breezewood Giggles

While traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike,
my Dad and I got hungry, so we stopped for a bite;
we were chowing down in a fast-food spot,
when we started laughing, and couldn't stop.
We tried everything, even a wiggle,
but nothing worked—we had the Breezewood giggles.
(Talk about losing it—we were beyond lost!)

I don't remember what set us off...
most anything can, when your head is soft;
they say laughter is the best medicine,
and it must be true—I ain't been sick since then.
Yeah, I'm telling you, I've never been so tickled,
as I was that day, with the Breezewood giggles.
(We were totally outta control!)

The place was filled with tourists off a bus,
but they sure didn't inhibit us;
no, we didn't care if we looked uncool...
we were way too busy acting like fools.
Yes, we laughed and laughed, 'til everything jiggled—
we had a terrible case of the Breezewood giggles.
(Nearly died laughing!)

Some might think it ridiculous for two grown men
to put on such an outrageous exhibition,
carrying on like a couple of silly goons,
laughing and laughing, like hyenas and loons,
and I suppose they're absolutely correct—
but I'm no expert on etiquette.

I've heard that lightning never strikes the same place twice...
well, if that's a fact, I'm quite surprised,
because two years later, we were passing through again,
and decided to stop for a quick dinner.
As we ate, our eyes met, and that was the signal
for another round of the Breezewood giggles.
(Aerobic exercise for the funny-bone!)

Yes, before we knew it, we had a laughter attack
even worse than the one two years back;
Dad tried to hide behind a menu,
and I tried to look out the window,
but we kept getting hysterical:
there's no escape from the Breezewood giggles.
(You try it sometime!)

If I could bottle that air, I'd make a billion...
I believe folks would line up by the million—
so, the next time you're cruising the Interstate,
and you see the sign for 'Breezewood, PA,'
pull on over for at least a little...
a little sample of the Breezewood giggles.
(It's good for you!)

Well, I hate to get to the end of this song...
It makes me feel good, so I wish it were longer;
I'm gonna stretch it out, if no one minds...
O, I'm gonna take my sweet time,
'cause I love to put myself smack dab in the middle
of the memory of the Breezewood giggles...
yes, I love to put myself smack dab in the middle
of the memory of the Breezewood giggles




Ten Thousand Miles Away

One day Rumi asked one of his disciples to
bring him a large dish of rich, delicious food.
The young man was alarmed because Rumi was
known as an ascetic, praying all night, hardly eating...
the disciple thought, "What he really wants is
to go off secretly, and eat all this food!"

The man discreetly followed as Rumi carried
the feast through the streets of Konya, then
out into the fields, to the ruins of a tomb.
"Now I'll unmask his pretensions!"
But what the disciple found was an exhausted
mother dog with six puppies, Rumi feeding her
by hand so that she could care for her children.
"How did you know that
she was here, and hungry?"

Rumi laughed, "When you become awake,
your ears are so sensitive they hear
the cries of a sparrow ten thousand miles away."


-translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne,
adapted by Harvey Taylor


Ten Thousand Miles Away mp3
Composition & Voice: Harvey Taylor


audio dial-up: 0.51MB


audio broadband: 2.03MB




Flesh and Blood

Haitians can't afford beans…can't afford rice...
milk and fruit cost an impossible price—
so they add water to dirt and clay,
stir in salt and shortening: it's their meal for the day.
We're feeding cars corn, and feeding people mud,
as if vehicles mean more than flesh and blood...
flesh and blood.

Haiti's the poorest country in the hemisphere...
most people live on what we spend for a coffee or beer—
add a hurricane or two into the mix,
and the people are really in a hell of a fix:
hunger and malnutrition are on the rise...
diarrhea kills one young child in five—
I got this data from the internet,
right next to an add for 'The Super Diet.'

Some call 'em 'biscuits,' some call 'em 'cookies,'
but whatever you call 'em, they're mudpies to me—
just add water to dirt and clay,
stir in salt and shortening: it's someone's food for the day.
We're feeding cars corn, and feeding people mud,
as if vehicles are more important than flesh and blood...
flesh and blood

Flesh and Blood mp3
Flute & Voice: Holly Haebig
Percussion & Voice: Jahmes Tony Finlayson
Bass: KT Rusch
Composition, Guitar & Voice: Harvey Taylor
Engineer: Sandy Weisto
for Youthaiti benefit, 12.05.09
19th St. Coffeehouse


audio dial-up: 0.84MB


audio broadband: 3.49MB




Growing Power


Composition/music etc. by H Taylor,
(live at The Coffee House, 11.18.06): with Dena Aronson, Jahmes Tony Finlayson, Holly Haebig, Emily Mimier, & KT Rusch



Composition/music etc. by H Taylor,
plus vocals by Una Van DuVal
mp3/broadband:4.68MB; dial-up: 800KB


Growing Power

Will Allen is a down-home visionary,
working with soil, sunshine, water, and seeds
to grow quality food for the community:
remember, we are what we eat!

Growing Power, growing by the hour...
uh-huh, growing vegetables and flowers...
I say, Hooray! for Growing Power:
www.growingpower—dot org.

Will used to play pro basketball...
now he keeps busy feeding us all,
organic vegetables free from pesticides,
food you can serve your family with pride!

Growing Power, growing by the hour...
uh-huh, growing vegetables and flowers...
I say, Hooray! for Growing Power:
www.growingpower—dot org.

Area restaurants donate kitchen waste,
and likewise, so do some breweries...
it's all fed to worms in compost bins,
who turn it into the best soil you've ever seen!

You can spread that compost on vacant lots,
'til it's a foot and a half deep, then stop,
and put the plants directly in:
presto! instant Garden of Eden!

There's much more to say about various things,
for example, aquaculture is amazing,
so come on out to 55th and Silver Spring,
on the Northwest side of beautiful Milwaukee.

Growing Power, growing by the hour...
uh-huh, growing vegetables and flowers...
I say, Hooray! for Growing Power:
www.growingpower—dot org.




Baby Bumblebees

Two bumblebees, on two rose leaves,
apparently making baby bumblebees...
well, I don't know which is putting what into who,
I don't know anything about what they do,
when they're making baby bumblebees...
baby bumblebees.

They hardly move, it's a subtle groove,
hooked-up-end-to-end, so smooth...
a jet plane passes high overhead,
while they connect, on their leafy bed,
making baby bumblebees...
baby bumblebees.

We have lots of flowers, and lots of trees,
so we like seeing lots and lots of bees...
I went to get a pen to write this down,
and when I returned, they were nowhere to be found.

Two bumblebees, a backyard mystery,
caught in the act, making baby bumblebees...
well, I've heard about the birds and bees,
and seeing is believing, believe you me...
they're making baby bumblebees...
baby bumblebees

Baby Bumblebees mp3
Flute: Holly Haebig
Percussion: Jahmes Tony Finlayson
Bass: KT Rusch
Composition, Guitar & Voice: Harvey Taylor


audio dial-up: 1.05MB


audio broadband: 4.17MB




Elixir

A mysterious word conjuring the magical,
evoking arcane potions, perhaps
stirred in a cauldron under the full moon,
distilling secret ingredients to their quintessence,
the tantalizing promise of panacea.

Our version, however is as down-to-earth
as our backyard, consisting of whatever
so-called 'weeds' are close at hand:
comfrey, violets...dandelion, of course;
plantain, Creeping Charlie (mint family),
purslane, raspberry and strawberry leaves,
day lily and clover flowers, burdock, et cetera,
stuffed into a gallon jar, filled with boiling water,
and left to infuse, extracting nutrients, all day long,
then poured through a strainer, and sipped like nectar,
chilled, in summer, warmed, in winter...

after all, these plants know how
to eat sunshine, and worm shit,
washed down with rainwater:
why wouldn't they know how
to nourish us?




We Do Ourselves A Big Favor By Eating Sprouts

Real food is what nutrition is all about...
and we can't get more real than home-made sprouts—
available year round, fresh and delectable:
living greens on our kitchen table.
If we want to be healthy, there's no doubt
we do ourselves a big favor by eating sprouts.

Early in Spring we put our garden in...
plus, we gather wild plants, foraging—
that combination takes good care of us,
'til Autumn brings a hard, hard frost.
If we want to be healthy, there's no doubt
we do ourselves a big favor by eating sprouts.

Wood burning in the stove on a winter day...
kettle of soup, bubbling away—
with the chilly wind, it's below zero:
the garden's covered with two feet of snow.

Alfalfa and lentil are two favorites...
along with beans and broccoli: take your pick—
let 'em soak in the dark 'til they germinate,
and soon you'll be enjoying something really great.
If we want to be healthy, there's no doubt
we do ourselves a big favor by eating sprouts.

Real food is what nutrition is all about...
and we can't get more real than home-made sprouts—
available year round, fresh and delectable:
living greens on our kitchen table.
If we want to be healthy, there's no doubt
we do ourselves a big favor by eating sprouts.




May We All Bloom

It was cold last winter...that's no lie—
then, after a year or two...Spring finally arrived—
we've got to do something...from the womb to the tomb—
and since we've got to do something...we might as well bloom—
may we all bloom.

We started planting...just as soon as we could—
it was still chilly...we were still burning wood—
we've got to do something...from the womb to the tomb—
and since we've got to do something...we might as well bloom—
may we all bloom.

Little by little...we put seeds in—
by the end of May...it looked like a garden—
we've got to do something...from the womb to the tomb—
and since we've got to do something...we might as well bloom—
may we all bloom.

Flowering tomatoes...roses, poppies, lilies—
glorious purple clover...blossoming catalpa tree.

People are also flowers...from one point of view—
so, bring on the sunshine...and the rain, too—
we've got to do something...from the womb to the tomb—
and since we've got to do something...we might as well bloom—
may we all bloom.

It was cold last winter...that's no lie—
then Spring finally showed up…by and by—
we've got to do something...from the tomb to the womb—
and since we've got to do something...we might as well bloom—
may we all bloom...
may we all bloom




Just To Make Sure

Strange, that in these times
of scarcity and want, with
food pantries and soup kitchens
overwhelmed by need,
the neighborhood mulberry tree
is ignored as though invisible,
except for the two who fill
baskets and mouths
using purple-stained hands,
then lick fingers until
every juicy trace is gone,
then lick some more,
just to make sure

Just To Make Sure mp3
Composition: Shelby Keefe
Trumpet & Voice: Harvey Taylor


audio dial-up: 266KB


audio broadband: 1.06MB




The Air Show

Susie and I were biking along the old railroad
right-of-way in Riverwest, stopping to forage,
when we heard the bombastic jets approach,
instinctively put our hands over ears,
looked up, and saw them flash by,
wing-to-wing, sonic boom exploding...

just as vapor trails start to fade,
we see two Monarch butterflies
light on a milkweed for nectar,
then ascend, and improvise
an amazing aerial pas-de-deux,
with synchronized swoops,
astonishing loops, and various other
choreographic intricacies
executed with such precision
they make the Air Force Thunderbirds
appear rudimentary, and crude, as if
the royal flight-team has been practicing
all day, or maybe all summer, for
the essential task of healing the sky,
after it's been shattered




Morning Tea At Bullfrog Pond

Plantain and dandelion leaves from up the hill,
a shady spot, keeping the plants fresh, through the drought...
chamomile from along the rarely used dirt road
leading to Jeffers' tree house—
purple clover blossoms from the field...
nettle leaves, gathered carefully (they can sting),
near the concentric rings of young trees lovingly planted
and tended by Jeffers—
alfalfa picked here and there, its name, Al-falfa,
Arabic for 'King of the Vegetative Realm,'
as its roots can penetrate 50 feet, thus bringing up
valuable trace elements...
and several lily flowers, on the way back from our walk,
all heated with water in the little Sierra stove
pond-side, near our tent:
mmmmmmmm, elixir of elixirs!

We brought a spare camp-cup
in case you happen by




Earthworm-Dreams

In back of my house
there's a vegetable garden,
recycled from a parking lot;
my sister, who's also
my next-door neighbor,
has a fantastic array of flowers.
Since I'm surrounded by
blooms and greenery,
it's natural for me to see
my life as a poem-garden,
among other things.

There's a compost heap
near the honeysuckle,
digesting my experiences,
turning even the rotten ones
into food for the ground;
there are poems germinating
from little seeds of inspiration,
young plants just sprouting,
and others that are mature,
ripe for harvest.

This being my garden,
of course it has some wild plants,
(otherwise known as weeds),
which especially interest me;
and even on winter nights,
when the garden's hibernating,
barely raising the thick white blanket
with its slow, rhythmic breathing,
there's always something going on:
earthworm-dreams




Laughing, Up-Side-Down

Morning garden chores taken care of,
we shift focus to t'ai chi and yoga,
barefoot in the side yard,
greenness all around, imbibing sunshine,
curious squirrels looking on,
as we relax...
breathe...
balance...
stretch...

I was doing a shoulder-stand
near the heavily-fruited chokecherry tree
when a house-wren landed
momentarily,
on my upturned feet,
perhaps thinking me to be garden statuary,
and me thinking, from my inverse vantage,
sure is a heavy butterfly

well, I don't know about the bird,
but I'd rather be wrong, and laugh,
than right, and a little too sure of myself




Green Smoothie

First we gather lots of greens...
like, spinach, kale, and parsley—
dandelions, violets, comfrey...
clover blossoms, and broccoli:
cut 'em up, and put 'em in a big blender,
for a nutritious, delicious extra-groovy
supercalifragilistic Green Smoothie.

Next, we add some luscious fruit...
strawberries from the garden, we'll recruit—
backyard apples we'll gladly use...
likwise, home-grown pears, and that'll do:
cut 'em up, and put 'em in a big blender,
for a nutritious, delicious extra-groovy
supercalifragilistic Green Smoothie.

Blending breaks the cell walls down,
so all the nutrients are unbound...
helpful fiber is also found—
Green Smoothies should be of great renown.

So, it's not just that it tastes good...
although it definitely should—
it can't be beat for health, it's understood...
uh-huh, there's no way that it could:
just cut it up, and put it in a big blender,
for a nutritious, delicious extra-groovy
supercalifragilistic Green Smoothie.




Pie À La Mode

Adam and Eve went walking, one fine October day...
they were strolling through Eden, when Adam heard Eve say:
Let's stop here for a snack, Dear...I'll pick something sweet—
then she reached up, and plucked an apple from the tree.

Adam said, Honey, I've never tasted anything so good!
How in the world is it produced by something made of wood?

Eve said, It's a miracle, Dear, like all of Creation—
imagine, we all evolved from the mysterious ocean!


They passed that apple back and forth, taking turns taking bites...
juice was running down their chins, O, it was quite a sight!
They kept picking apples, and making them disappear...
he kept calling her Honey, and she kept calling him Dear.

A wise old snake was nearby, taking it all in...
thinking to himself, how can this be called a sin?
The good Lord made this garden, and every one of us—
for the life of me, I can't see how eating apples could cause such a fuss!

Eve wove a beautiful basket, and filled it with luscious fruit...
Adam carried the basket home, in his birthday suit.
Then, Eve invented apple pie, and Adam came up with ice cream—
mmmmmm, pie à la mode, you've got to admit they make a great team!

Pie À La Mode mp3
Flute & Voice: Holly Haebig
Percussion: Jahmes Tony Finlayson
Composition, Guitar & Voice: Harvey Taylor
Engineer: Sandy Weisto
for Youthaiti benefit, 12.05.09
19th St. Coffeehouse


audio dial-up: 1.06MB


audio broadband: 4.23MB




Home

Asparagus plants and an apple sapling,
their bare roots bound by plastic bags,
inside a cardboard box, travel
across Wisconsin during the time
Susie and I prepare for their arrival by
digging a hole for the tree in the side yard,
and a trench for the asparagus in our garden,
removing numerous bricks, rocks, and
big chunks of concrete in the process:

we can all but hear the box's contents
plead and holler, Let us out of here!
as we open the container
on a cool, drizzly day, and help
those roots make themselves at home
amongst earthworm neighbors,
begin drinking raindrops, and
wait patiently for the sun




Walnut Way

Susie and I took a field trip to a wonderful place...
a community of gardeners, called Walnut Way—
Sharon and Larry Adams, and their neighbors were there...
inspiration was on the ground, and in the air.

Walnut Way was celebrating their Harvest Festival...
like they do every year, early in the Fall—
a soulful band was playing, and we were dancing in the street...
just a few steps away from an orchard of fruit trees.

As we're gardeners ourselves, there was plenty to see...
for example, most impressive, all the hives of bees—
every gardener knows that bees are our good friends...
supreme pollinators, on whom we all depend.

This used to be what's called a 'blighted neighborhood'—
vacant lots were common where houses proudly stood—
now those empty spaces have turned beautifully green...
filled with tomatoes, collards, cucumbers, and human beings.

We walked into the Community Center, and felt right at home...
several folks went out of their way to make us feel welcome-—
we heard about opportunities for youth to get involved...
without them being included, we'll never get our problems solved.

Susie and I took a field trip to a wonderful place—
a community of gardeners, called Walnut Way—
a soulful band was playing, and we were dancing in the street...
just a few steps away from an orchard of fruit trees—
(I picked a pear up off the ground-sure tasted good to me—)
Walnut Way...as purposeful as bees

*

www.walnutway.org/




Meetings With My Zen Master

Mornings and evenings I go to the barn,
fork hay into the manger, wait
for Gertrude to begin browsing,
then park the stool alongside her,
position the bucket under her udder,
and commence milking:
each hand curls around
a long nipple, rhythmically
squeezing and pulling it down,
each squirt making a metallic
'ping' as it strikes the pail,
white froth slowly rises,
pleasant sounds, maternal aroma,
and repetitious gestures combine
to induce a dreamy trance...
which Gertrude interrupts abruptly
by kicking the bucket over.
Damn!
Well, the cats know what to do
when milk spills...and I know
what to do when attention wanders.

Sometimes one reminder is all it takes;
sometimes the lesson needs reinforcement;
sometimes the bucket's almost full
when my concentration evaporates;
sometimes I actually leave the barn
with all of Gertrude's milk...
except a big-warm-creamy-bowlful
that the cats cry for




Compost Pie

We take our kitchen scraps...we take whatever we've got—
anything that's spoiled...or fresh carrot tops—
but make no bones about it...we don't put in any meat—
'cause we're making a treat in the compost heap.
Compost pie...it's nutritious...
compost pie...it can't be beat—
compost pie makes the worms happy,
and gives the garden something good to eat.

Orange peels, and tea bags...old coffee grounds...
apple cores, and eggshells...whatever we can scrounge—
we don't forget to add water...don't let it get too dry...
don't let it get too wet either...so we'll have a fine pie.
compost pie...it's nutritious...
compost pie...it can't be beat—
compost pie makes the worms happy,
and gives the garden something good to eat.

We don't want pie ingredients wasted in a landfill...
we want to recycle them, and we surely will—
we take care of our garden, and it takes care of us...
we feed it plenty of delicious compost.

We add strips of newspaper...wood chips or sawdust...
fallen leaves in autumn, scarlet, gold, and rust—
this pie recipe is made up as we go:
a pinch of this, a pitchfork of that: and on with the show.

One of these days, I'll be ready for a rest...
and the compost heap will be my feather bed—
I planted my dog Bella near an apple tree—
and since then those apples have tasted extra sweet.
Compost pie...it's nutritious...
compost pie...it can't be beat—
compost pie makes the worms happy,
and gives the garden something good to eat,
something good to eat: Compost Pie




Being Fed

I started at the pizza joint washing dishes,
a part-time high school job, then
worked my way up to making pizzas,
which meant doing everything from
cutting up fifty onions at a time
(talk about crying yer eyes out), to
tossing the flattened-out flour-dusty
round dough high in the air,
(putting on a little show for customers),
to the occasional singed arm, (when
putting the pies in, or taking them out
of the oven, too hurriedly).

In a week, I went from eating pizza
ravenously at every opportunity to
being disgusted by everything about them.
I recall, for example, waking up
from study hall naps when my nose
got a little too close to my fingernails,
cruddy with pizza residue.

But half a century later, a buddy from
the restaurant is still one of my best friends,
I actually enjoy a pizza every now and then,
some of the old jukebox still plays in my head, and
I've learned there are many ways of being fed




A Scar With A Story To Tell

One terrible winter in the Arctic,
an Indian woman and her little baby
were left alone after everyone else
in their hunting camp starved to death.
All alone, with just a fishing line,
a knife, and a bone fishhook,
plus a powerful will to survive—
no matter what it took.

The woman walked a long way to a lake,
tied the hook on the line, but had no bait;
her baby was crying, she had to do something,
so she cut off a strip from her thigh.
All alone, with just a fishing line,
a knife, and a bone fishhook,
plus a powerful will to survive—
no matter what it took.

Yes, she fished with her own flesh,
and eventually caught a jackfish,
which provided not only food,
but also guts she could use for bait.

And so it went...they stayed at the lake,
living on fish, until spring,
when they set out to find
the rest of their people.

The bloody wound on her leg
had healed up by then,
and the scar, like all scars,
had a story to tell.
All alone, with just a fishing line,
a knife, and a bone fishhook,
plus a powerful will to survive—
no matter what it took...
no matter what it took

A Scar With A Story To Tell mp3
Flute: Holly Haebig
Percussion: Jahmes Tony Finlayson
Bass: KT Rusch
Composition, Guitar & Voice: Harvey Taylor
Engineer: Sandy Weisto
for Youthaiti benefit, 12.05.09
19th St. Coffeehouse


audio dial-up: 1.04MB


audio broadband: 4.17MB




I Fell In Love With A Beautiful Bear

I fell in love with a beautiful bear...we eloped in the Spring...
I hope our families don't try to separate us again—
I give her honey from the hive, and salmon from the river...
I bring her berries from the hill...I'll do anything to please her.

I know it's kind of unusual for a bear and a man to wed...
but long, long, long ago, we wouldn't have turned any heads—
back then, all creatures were equal, birds and bees, everything...
before some humans ruined it all by pretending to be queens and kings.

If you were to see my beautiful bride, you'd know why it was love at first sight...
I adore everything about her, she fills me with delight—
we moved into a comfortable cave, snug as two bugs in a rug...
I tell you, I hadn't truly been squeezed, 'til I got one of her hugs.

When it comes to entertainment, well, we don't watch much tv...
the best show we can imagine is available for free—
we like to stay up real late, just looking at the sky...
our idea of a good time is enjoying the Northern Lights.

Soon, she'll settle down for a long Winter nap, and my darlin' won't stir 'til Spring...
as for me, I'll just hang out, while she's hibernating—
she snores a bit, but I don't mind, it's all part of a sweet dream...
O, I didn't know true happiness, 'til I met Ursuleen.

I fell in love with a beautiful bear...
yes, I fell in love with a beautiful bear...
I fell in love


–adapted from the Haida, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia




Keep The Earthworms Happy

We can read lots of books, gathering information,
we can learn from those who garden with dedication,
but it all comes down to one simple truth:
if we keep the earthworms happy, we'll be happy, too.
Keep the earthworms happy...
yes, keep the earthworms happy...
keep the earthworms happy, that's what we'll do—
if the earthworms are happy, we'll be happy, too.

There's a community living in the ground,
right underneath us, as we walk around—
microbes, bacteria, fungi...you name it:
and wouldn't you know it, earthworms are the catalyst.
Keep the earthworms happy...
yes, keep the earthworms happy...
keep the earthworms happy, that's what we'll do—
if the earthworms are happy, we'll be happy, too.

Let's turn our kitchen-waste into rich compost...
for the earthworms, it's like eating French-toast—
we don't need artificial fertilizer, and such:
no, just good old-fashioned natural mulch.
Keep the earthworms happy...
yes, keep the earthworms happy...
keep the earthworms happy, that's what we'll do—
if the earthworms are happy, we'll be happy, too.

We can be sure they don't like pesticides...
from their point of view, it's homicide—
same thing goes for all other poisons:
they're really bad for everyone concerned.

There's a better way than what we've been doing...
a better direction than the way we're going—
we've hit the wall with chemicals:
it's time we learned to be sustainable.

In Fall, we weedwhack our leaves into bits,
spread 'em on the garden, nice and thick,
a tasty treat for our friends, the earthworms:
they'll dine on it all Winter, 'til Spring comes.
Keep the earthworms happy...
yes, keep the earthworms happy...
keep the earthworms happy, that's what we'll do—
if the earthworms are happy, we'll be happy, too.

We can read lots of books, gathering information,
we can learn from those who garden with dedication,
but it all comes down to one simple truth:
if we keep the earthworms happy, we'll be happy, too.
Keep the earthworms happy...
yes, keep the earthworms happy...
keep the earthworms happy, that's what we'll do—
if the earthworms are happy, we'll be happy, too.




Our Own Little Eden

We've got apple trees, like in the Good Book...
there's something growing, everywhere we look—
but there's no villain in the form of a snake:
that was a misunderstanding, a big mistake...
this is our own little Eden.

There's an asparagus bed we put in last Spring...
a strawberry patch that makes for sweet eating—
and depending on the season, greens galore:
we'd rather harvest the garden than go to the store...
this is our own little Eden.

Onion-shoots, kale, parsley, peas...
eventually, tomatoes, and green beans—
as we ride around the sun, we're fortunate
to have all this fresh food on our plate...
this is our own little Eden.

In Autumn, we mow big piles of leaves...
and spread 'em on the garden, like Adam and Eve—
then we get busy inside, growing sprouts,
and wheatgrass in a window facing south.

We've got apple trees, like in the Good Book...
there's something growing, everywhere we look—
but there's no villain in the form of a snake:
that was a misunderstanding, a big mistake...
this is our own little Eden.




Pearadise

I saw some pears lying on the ground,
ants eating them, bees swarming around...
well, I like ants, and I like bees,
and I like what falls from pear trees.

I picked one up, blew the ants off,
then picked up another, juicy and soft...
I got a few more, but I'm willing to share,
so there's a couple of pears still lying there.

I watched the ants enjoy their feast,
and there was plenty for all the bees...
then I took the pears that I had found,
turned on the water, and hosed 'em down.

The bad parts wound up in the compost heap...
the rest were ready to eat—
but I steamed 'em up anyway,
and that's what I had for breakfast today.

I planted that tree thirty years ago,
in the back yard, where the garden grows...
and all these years I've been very pleased
to share it with the ants and bees.

I saw some pears lying on the ground,
ants eating them, bees swarming around...
well, I like ants, and I like bees,
and I like what falls from pear trees—
yes, I like ants, and I like bees,
and I like what falls from pear trees




The Last Grasshopper Of Summer

As we spread leaf-mulch on the garden
in early November, after several light frosts,
a grasshopper jumps onto a nearby weathered board,
almost blending with it, and stands motionless.

It's cool, and drizzly, not much of a day
for solar-recharging, and, guessing the hopper
is low on energy reserves, I bend over
to warm it with a gentle exhalation.

It immediately leaps a tremendous distance,
as if mistaking the gray-bearded gardener,
with pitchfork in hand, for the Grim Reaper,
harvesting one and all with a scythe.

The leaves don't seem to worry
about such matters, as if understanding
that going into the ground is the way
to reappear on the tree




Together

I turned on my laptop when I woke up today...
Lord Have Mercy is all I could say—
endless warfare, the new depression, global warming:
the situation is more and more alarming.
There's only one thing I know for sure:
we're all in this sweet world together.

I cooked up some oatmeal, with the radio on,
hoping to hear an encouraging song,
but a string of commercials led into more news:
ooooohhhhhhhhh, I'll tell you true—
there's only one thing I know for sure:
we're all in this sweet, sweet world together.

I stopped reading and listening, while I ate...
I just needed to meditate—
it's not enough to care, and try to understand:
we've got to make a difference, if we possibly can.
There's only one thing I know for sure:
we're all in this sweet world together.

I turned on the laptop, when I woke up today...
Lord Have Mercy is all I could say—
the whole world is suffering...what are we going to do?
It's up to each of us, me and you.
There's only one thing I know for sure:
we're all in this sweet-sweet-sweet world together.

Together mp3
Flute & Voice: Holly Haebig
Percussion & Voice: Jahmes Tony Finlayson
Dena Aronson: Voice
Bass: KT Rusch
Composition, Guitar & Voice: Harvey Taylor
Engineer: Sandy Weisto
for Youthaiti benefit, 12.05.09
19th St. Coffeehouse


audio dial-up: 0.95MB


audio broadband: 3.81MB




Feeding The Garden

That's right...the garden gets hungry too,
and has a big appetite, from supporting
all the growth and abundance.

Every bite of garden food we eat
draws sustenance from the ground,
every leafy morsel, every stalk,
every root incorporates nutrients
that deplete the soil unless replaced.

So, of course, we recycle kitchen scraps,
for compost, and spread the ashes from
our woodstove, and, in Autumn, mulch
mountains of leaves to spread on the beds,
enticing earthworms to the surface, so
they'll deposit incredibly fertile castings.

Curious neighbors may see us tromp around
in the snow, distributing household urine,
essentially nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus,
which plants crave, sprinkling it in places
like the asparagus patch.
(Doesn't seem like such a strange idea
when recalling that thirty years ago,
I made three round-trips to a farm,
hauling heaping loads of horseshit
in a pickup borrowed from a friend,
and tilled the rotted manure into
the hard-packed ground).

The garden's only going to take as good
care of us as we take care of it...
let's take turns
ringing the dinner bell




Out Of The Box

What if there's a big box, and we're all trapped inside?
Yes, the whole human race—it's enough to make you cry.
People are starving inside the box, and dying in endless war...
What if we're all locked inside, and just can't find the door?

For a few, the box is luxurious...for many, it's miserable...
for some, the box is pleasant...for others, it's horrible.
Some don't know they're in a box, and others just don't care—
some people are sleepwalking, and others are very aware.

The box is made of mistaken ideas, and ignorant beliefs...
indoctrination in church and school, patriotic griefs.
Military expenditures are literally killing us—
social programs and the environment are thrown under the bus.

Where's the key that will unlock the locks?
O, we've just got to get out of the box!

There's a big box, and we're all stuck inside...
every creature on the Earth—it's enough to make you cry and cry.
There's so much suffering inside the box, with our addiction to war—
we're all trapped inside...we've got to unlock the door...
we've got to unlock the door




An Evening

Shirley,
Rick,
Salomea,
Susie,
Harvey...


an evening
sweet as
blueberry pie




Blessed Rain

My sweetheart and I go to the garden
this morning, to gather vegetables for the day,
before rain comes, and I feel the first drops
on my bare back, as we pick, snapping
off beans, pinching basil leaves, drop,
drop, chard, mustard, cabbage, taking our time,
kale, parsley, the rain, gentle, welcome,
violet and dandelion leaves, broccoli, collards,
splash, splash, blessed rain giving the garden,
trees, and wild plants a good drink, and
giving me what may be the cleanest back in town




Fresh Water

The sun is rising...I stretch and yawn...
my favorite time of day is dawn—
I put on old jeans, and coax Susie from bed,
then downstairs, and out the back door we head.
First thing in the morning, we walk the garden paths,
and pour fresh water into the bird baths...
we all need fresh water.

We like to watch the birds swoop down,
and splash and splash, and splash around,
then fly up into one of our fruit trees,
to dry off in the sweet summer breeze.
First thing in the morning, we walk the garden paths,
and pour fresh water into the bird baths...
we all need fresh water.

When I look at the mess that the world is in,
I think Look what we've done to the Garden of Eden...
the Earth could be a paradise—
but instead, it's paying a horrible price...
like the poor Gulf of Mexico!!!

It doesn't take long for the birdbaths to get funky—
then the birds have to bathe in water that's gunky—
no, no, no! That just won't do!
So, I scrub 'em out 'til they're just like new.
First thing in the morning, we walk the garden paths,
and pour fresh water into the bird baths...
we all need fresh water




Good Old Friends

That job at the pizza joint long ago,
bussing tables, washing dishes,
slicing up 50 onions at a time—
yeah, I needed the dough, but
the real draw was the friends I made,
as I see it from 50 years out.

The 'Wagon' also had a jukebox
that's still playing in my head,
with Ray Charles and Don Gibson
heavily in rotation, and
a mystery or two that I'm still
trying to solve, like the regular
who ordered pizza with the works,
and insisted it be charcoalized,
sending it back for more oven-time
if it wasn't burnt to his satisfaction.

As for me, I quickly went from
gorging myself at every opportunity
to barely being able to face the stuff.

A 30 or 40 year break
took care of that, and
just last night,
a slice reminded me of
my good old friends




Horse-Power

My grandfather farmed with horses, and
made sure I had a pony to ride on summer visits.
That's a long time ago, so I'm glad
to still have horses in my life:
Susie and I went to the sheriff's department stables
today, as we do every month or two, and
filled 5-gallon containers with manure,
to spread on our garden, and those of neighbors,
including several community gardens, like
the Greenfolks, Three Sisters, and Victory.

We also make 'manure tea,' steeping
a fabric bagful in a bucket of water, then
pouring it on the planting beds...
talk about a bunch of happy vegetables!

I counted 15 horses in the corral today,
some of them very curious about our activities, and
friendly, when we approached, and thanked them.

I never looked at it this way before,
but a 15 horse-power garden
is just the right speed for me




Mythology Revisited

What if there's a big box, and we're all trapped inside?
I sense that the garden is a little confused...
it's been receiving regular fertilizings with horse manure,
courtesy of the sheriff's department stables, and
diluted human urine (composed mainly of nitrogen,
phosphorus, and potassium), courtesy of the gardener—
but I imagine the bewilderment is only temporary,
'til the beans, or broccoli, or, maybe the tomatoes
put it together, and think, oh, those old Greek stories
that we always thought were just myths—
turns out they're actually true, and
there's a centaur in the garden!




On The Lookout

Every morning, when we step outside
to see what's going on in the garden,
checking on recent plantings,
and transplantings,
happy to notice new sproutings,
and pleased to observe growth,
we give special attention
to the asparagus patch,
established just a year ago, with
considerable effort, including
removal of debris from the foundation
of the cottage that preceded the garden.

So...
the peas appeared two weeks ago,
followed in short order by various
kale, mustard, chard, collards, lettuce,
and spinach youngsters...
but no sign of asparagus.

Is there a problem with drainage?
Is too much leaf mulch smothering them?
Maybe they don't like wood ash, or
an occasional potassium-nitrogen—
phosphate-calcium-magnesium tonic
in the form of recycled urine?
Was winter just too damn cold
for too damn long?

All such fears turn out to be groundless:
apparently, they were just waiting
for an auspicious moment to make their debut,
and selected the 40th Annual Earth Day,
with two purplish shoots poking up, like
the periscopes of exotic subterranean submarines...

all is well in the garden—
all is well




Public Service Announcement #2:
Garlic Mustard


You can find it in North Africa, Europe, Asia, China... and
most likely, in a nearby vacant lot, if not your own backyard:
garlic mustard, a 'weed' super-villain,
right up there with dandelions,
another bullying invasive—
according to some.

Of course, 'invasive' is a somewhat controversial category.
All of the people living on the continent I call home
migrated from elsewhere, in other words, 'invaded.'
And most of what we commonly call 'weeds'
were brought here as someone's precious herb,
culinary and/or medicinal, escaped the garden,
and went feral...
including garlic mustard,
first noticed on Long Island in the 1860's, and since
spreading throughout much of North America.

We eradicated it from our yard and garden before
knowing of its uses, and so now keep an eye out
when walking a nearby park...
we don't want the stuff to take over, and
so are doing our bit to help control it
by picking lots, and lots, and lots,
to make the best pesto in the world:
blend 1 ˝ cup olive oil, 4 garlic cloves,
4 tblsp walnuts or pinenuts, ˝ tsp salt,
2/3 cup parmesan cheese...
add 8 cups garlic mustard—

ENJOY!!




Public Service Announcement #3:
Stinging Nettles smoothie...


sounds about as enjoyable as gargling thumbtacks
to someone like me who got acquainted long ago, when
pulling a canoe through a big patch of nettles on a riverbank—
but if one carefully snips off the tops, preferably while wearing gloves,
and collects plenty in a bag, then boils them, magically neutralizing
the formic acid, histamine, and other irritating elements,
readying the super-nutritious leaves and stems for the blender,
along with additional greens, fruit, and miscellaneous enhancements...
(yogurt, anyone?)

Or, after blending the nettles, pour into a pot, and add
whatever you please for a delicious cream of nettles soup.

Now, doesn't that beat gargling thumbtacks?!




Public Service Announcement #4:
The Rainbow Diet


So many different diets, and books on the subject,
so much conflicting nutritional advice, carbs,
cholesterol, protein, fats, additives, confusing
comparative charts, rankings, ratings...
I'm happy to have it all simplified by means of
the rainbow diet:
stick mainly to vegetables and fruits, and
diversify with as many different colors as possible,
the idea being that each hue contains a unique
combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals,
many of the basic nutrients, so that when we include
a spectrum smorgasbord, we automatically take care of
a wide range of our nutritional needs.

Next time I see a rainbow,
I'm sure I'll start salivating




Public Service Announcement #5:
Your Very Own Green Thumb


Someone having a 'green thumb' is a cliché in gardening circles,
meaning, of course, they have the 'magic touch' with plants.

But, for me, there's an additional association:
I use my thumbnail to strip the foliage off dandelion stems,
for example, and various other plants,
when the leafage is no longer young and tender,
removing the bitterest, toughest part of the plant
before adding it to a salad or soup, and leaving
a trace of chlorophyll that builds up, turning my thumb
greener and greener during the harvest season.

It doesn't matter what color you start with...
you, too, can be the possessor of your very own green thumb
not exactly magic, perhaps,
unless magic is the art of the practical,
with the means closest at hand




The Maniacs' Hands Are On The Steering Wheel
(and We're All Along For The Ride)


Summer's here, and once again, it's the hottest on record...
I wish I was on a sailboat, jumping overboard—
it's hot as hell inside the house, and damn near boiling outside:
the maniacs' hands are on the steering wheel, and we're all along for the ride.

Snow-capped mountains will soon be a thing of the past...
glaciers are melting quickly, disappearing fast—
God help those who depend on the water they provide:
the maniacs' hands are on the steering wheel, and we're all along for the ride.

Industrial agriculture is ravaging the land...
obesity and diabetes are for sale at the fast food stand—
desperate farmers are committing suicide:
the maniacs' hands are on the steering wheel, and we're all along for the ride.

Oil's been gushing endlessly into the Gulf of Mexico...
the poor creatures of the sea have nowhere else to go—
if you're living on the Gulf Coast, there's no place to hide:
the maniacs' hands are on the steering wheel, and we're all along for the ride.

The wretched human race is addicted to war...
but, personally, I don't think that's what we're really here for—
who told us we're 'sposed to kill, for idiotic national pride?
The maniacs' hands are on the steering wheel, and we're all along for the ride.

We've got to take the steering wheel into our own hands...
it's getting very late in the day for us to understand
that we're part of the whole, not apart, and deified—
we've got to do whatever we can to end this crazy ride...
we're part of the whole, not apart, and deified—
we've got to do whatever it takes to end this crazy ride




Sweet

Sometime after midnight,
with the noisy hubbub quieted down,
an inviting time to walk out onto the deck,
warm breeze stirring apple and pear blossoms—
and though it's quite dark, I see the silhouettes
of insects making non-stop use of nectar season,
working the late shift, their alley-light version of
'making hay while the sun shines.'

I'll try to remember to say
Thank you!, months from now,
when I'm enjoying the fruits
of their labor




Walking In Moonlight

At first I thought it was a deer that we'd startled,
then saw the shape was bigger, more like a horse,
then it began making the sound that horses make,
blowing air through its nose, as it warily approached us,
beyond the pasture fence, a palomino, in moonlight,
just down the curving washed out road through the fields
from a watermelon patch, most of which rotted on the vine,
though we found one that preferred being carried back
to Emily's house, so that she, Myrica, Susie, and myself
could fully appreciate the sweetness of this
magical Indian Summer night


Clover & Bee, Raindrops - Photo by Susie Krause
 Clover & Bee, Raindrops - Photo by Susie Krause