The bees have been busy, as, well, you know; their fanny-packs full of gold pollen, bellies all swollen and tight as bodhrán drumheads from a surfeit of nectar. They’re fat; it’s time to bring smoke to the hive, set them to drowsing, pry a frame out and open their wax-sealed treasures to pour into new vessels: 5-to-1 water to honey, boil and skim, cool it down, yeast it, wait for it a few weeks 'til it begins to dance and hum the way bees do, the way fingers tapping the bodhrán do, the way we will do once that hydromel's tapped.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Since those curled keratin shards could be magicked, they must be buried deep: dig a hole to China, put your waxing crescent moons at the bottom of that earth, cover them up. But if the ground’s dry and hard, it works as well to plant two seedlings on the parings (for example, one knockout rose that’s seraph-red, one plumbago cherub- blue), then gather chert left after planting. If you’re lucky, you’ll find two fine-grained stones to fit the palm of your hand, ready, waiting to make a flint-knapped heart.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
The sky’s the color of a raw oyster, shucked and glistening, as I pick my way down quicksilvered steps, moving into deeper water. A current wicks up from my ankles to knees to thighs to belly; I’m half in, half out when a bandy-legged swimmer, small as a leaf, darts away. Being of a place and time together, we’re somewhat kin; I wish it would stay and tell me a story, but no. This isn’t a fairytale where a tiny frog coughs up a magical scroll—it’s a place where the wind plays with my hair, where the pool cossets me, where whorls on my fingertips make the trails I follow—ten small labyrinths water- logged, wrinkling. I touch, then pull up on the ladder out, re-entering the maze of what world I can grasp.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Joseph Mallord William Turner, excerpt from "River Scene, with Carpenters at Work Mending a Sluice," The Tate
You’d need to make an appointment to sit with the sketch Turner made of carpenters mending a sluice (faint tangles of graphite laid on paper that still exhales vanillin and lignin and lead)—but you can look online, dream about locks, and flow, and the now- unseen green of the countryside that day he made it. We’re still in drought here, but I can feel the monsoon coming. The sluice gates are open—I can see the acequias, the wells, the aquifers at last are starting to fill.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Photo by Andrea Booher, FEMA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons.
We can smell the smoke from here, and ash has powdered the hood of the car. It’s all that fuel left from years of drought that’s burning; the shredded cedar, tufts of grass tangled up with horseweed like hair in a comb, one spark and it all catches. At night, burning bindweed smolders then glows red, winks out: a field of fuses that outlines the firebreak’s dark erasure, a break too narrow to stop the spread.