Picking Raspberries on My 60th Birthday

Once I was a raspberry wife. In our own back yard the patch bloomed and fruited. You liked to prune but hated to harvest. Picking raspberries is so sensual: color as it deepens from red to garnet signifying full sugar, the pebbled nipple of fruit must yield to gentle touch. Like all fruit it lets… Read more »

Mating Season at Puddingstone Dam

Blackbird expands his epaulets, puffs up those otherworldly scarlet blazes edged with bright yellow. Brilliant wing patches slash  a window into another technicolor universe. His tiny clawnails grip the stems of the golden mustard forest, swaying eight feet tall, giant in this rainy spring. Song sparrow in the scrub says Chip chip, screeeeee. Every species… Read more »

I Bet the Seeds Came up Last Night

Pea paws thrust baby green fists through tender crust of soil Pak choi, Tiny brassica butterflies , Double winged cotyledons light on the surface tracing loops where the seeds were sown. Those must be lettuce Hinged bright green ovals that  trace a crooked row in front of hairpin spring onions laced with frilly parsley and… Read more »


Goldie, the hen who thinks she is a dog, takes no notice of the checkered rooster, scratches her hidden ear with a stiff tripod foot. Cartilaginous corona jiggles stiffly, necorations gleam, russet and cream feathers in  overlapping mermaid scales. She’d rather follow the children. No fence can hold her, Isaac can. He tucks the solid… Read more »

Cucumber Birthday

Today is Wednesday,  the birth day of the cucumbers. Under the netting I see the jade green cotyledons, moist from morning dew, preparing to unfold by afternoon. Born from a dream of trailing vines, yellow starry blossoms, enough bee visits when finally male and female bloom at once. Pollination then pickle fodder in mid-summer. Now… Read more »

Consider the Sunflowers

Hurtling down the highway encased in Volvo and rock n’roll, plucked from the slowly blossoming morning in a sunny garden by urgent appointments ticking impatiently in the coastal fog, I consider the sunflowers. What if I could live as a human helianthus? Accomplishing my purposes without hurry or rush, turning my huge head at the… Read more »

Autumn Soup

I don’t want to drive to the city, march with thousands, listen to speeches, hold a cardboard sign, be on one side or another, feel excited, feel angry, feel righteous, feel deep despair, be right, be wrong, be confused. I just want to make a huge pot of soup on this drizzly day in the… Read more »

And Yet

Once again the town breathes hot and arid panting at the base of a California mountain range that runs from west to east. We pride ourselves on a canopy of trees in a drought stressed landscape, strive to maintain this gentle shady dream. After each rain my heart eases, relaxes its clenched fist. With enough… Read more »

A Poem for Tinker’s Trail – born ?, died 1978

Turning the corner of the new road where earth rose and swelled in other shapes last time I came, I see that someone else has recognized the beauty of the knoll and has the money to own it, the will to change it, the power to destroy. All the bronze madrone limbs lie toppled criss-cross… Read more »

Apples in the Grass, Alas

September… Help! Stop! The season is passing too fast to notice everything. It’s only mid-August as I write this, but summer is aging especially quickly this year since spring rains ended so early. So many months without moisture have caused the maple and other river bottom tree leaves to start yellowing early. Their bright silhouettes… Read more »