23. Mom, Badlands, South Dakota
I know that dying is how we escape
the rest of our lives. I think that trees
send us a message: do not believe
you are lucky. The skins of apples
and the peeler will marry; it’s simply
a question of when. Believe
in mourning and carrion birds.
Look how their fleshy treasures
dissolve in the sun before their very eyes.
To love something
you must have considered what it means
to do without. You must have thought
about it—the coefficient of the body
is another body—but do not forget
that there are people who are willing
to staple your palm to your chest.
Know there are places it isn’t wise to go.
Begin again if you must: there are ways
to make up for what you have been before,
the dust in the corners that collects you.
Sympathy is overrated.
Rethink how lack
becomes everyone’s master, drives us
into town and spends our money.
Quiet: the trees are napping.
Water meets itself again.
We reach for the days that precede us
and the world keeps us from knowing
too much. The body loves music,
the abandoned road of it;
each day a peel
lengthens in the shadow of blossoms,
fabric weaves itself into light.
Pay attention to the patterns. They repeat—
terraces erode, groves lie fallow—
order is cognate of joy.
everything is zooming like water spiders on the surface; it is my year.
(from left to right)
14. October 3, 2014; portland, maine, walking to see the dogs chase mussel shells on eastern promenade
15. October 4; airplane over kentucky, day of happy reunions
16. October 5; andrew on a hay bale at the pumpkin patch
17. October 6; megan and mcduff laughing over bourbon
18. October 7; mom and me, self-portraits, front porch of louisville home
19. October 8; dummies, market street, joe ley antiques, basil gimlets and local harvest dinners
20. October 9; grandpa at home, telling me to be good
further note to clark, lucille clifton
do you now how hard it is for me?
do you know what you’re asking?
what i can promise to be is water,
water plain and direct as Niagara.
unsparing of myself, unsparing of
the cliff i batter, but also unsparing
of you, tourist. the question for me is
how long can i cling to this edge?
the question for you is
what have you ever traveled toward
more than your own safety?
11, Sept. 30, 2014: Window ocean from Woods Hole, Cape Cod to Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard
12, October 1, 2014: Rain, wind, and wet leaves welcome Backroads to October with a tiny rider left on the path
13, October 2, 2014: Vehicle ferry Vineyard Haven to Wood’s Hole, an end to the island season
10, Sept. 29, 2014: The last day of the season on Nantucket was the old mill on york street, the eroding cliffs of sanktety, the whaling harbor at sunset, the tradition of a penny wish on the ferry to return before another 300 years washes the crescent of sand away.
8, Sept 27: Hyannis, MA; the long, in-between trip days in concrete towns
9, Sept 28: Nantucket, Oldest House
These pictures are called creating habits. They’re for the blues.
7, Sept. 26, 2014: Greenhouses, Scottish Bakehouse; I was lucky to spend the morning weeding the backyard hoops of Martha’s Vineyard’s Scottish Bakehouse (SB), a year-round staple for breakfast sandwiches, Brazillian meats, and ahhh-mazing baked goods - their amaretto cookies and key lime pies are two types of heaven. With these rewards in mind, I worked along with their gardener, Zephyr, and my WWOOF-er host, Heidi, to remove a row of tomato plants and two months of invader growth with our trusty cape codders (see here: http://www.redpigtools.com/servlet/the-32/Cape-Cod-Weeder-Rt/Detail). We were also able to see new growth, like red ripening hot peppers and the tiny kale babies pictured above. Like many restaurants on an island traditionally renowned for farmland, SB tries to source as locally as possible. Not only do the islands along Cape Cod have ties to the ocean and its historically large economies, but they have an enduring relationship to the smaller economies of the land. Although much of the soil is sandy, rocky, or dry, the over forty small farms on the island utilize their rich relationships with each other to keep their varied businesses afloat. Whether native islanders or wash ashores, each farmer is dedicated to seeing their neighbors succeed. The small community and tight ties is a traditional part of both Nantucket and MV culture, and in economies now bound to tourism, it’s tiny bits of beauty to see intimacy with people and place endure.