History, Herstory, Ourstory

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All over the news are stories like this, and this, of sexual assault.  Some stories end with a woman raising her voice, some end with a woman losing her life.

This American Life recently aired an episode in which college boys talk about how they learned about sex and what women like (from other boys and porn, not from actually listening to women).

All over the news are stories of drilling, fracturing, contaminating, spilling, plowing, spraying, of people doing what we will to the earth in the name of economics and power.

The way we treat the land and the way we treat women and their bodies are inextricably connected.

Society’s history is built on stories of men in power, of women and land as property.

There are other histories to be re-learned.  As my eighth-grade history teacher taught us, there are herstories and ourstories, too.

It’s time to reconcile the record.

Unfurling into May

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May green

And suddenly it’s green.  It happens all at once, and every year I forget the immediacy of unfurling leaves and popping green until that moment when I look up and see the sunlight catch the color anew.

The farm is unfurling into May, too.  10,000 onions, 700 feet of salad greens, 600 feet of spinach, 400 feet of tomato plants and snap peas, plus kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, beets.  We are in with our whole hearts and bodies now.

This little boy of mine is in it, too, learning to slack line with his Papa, learning to walk in the pathways instead of on the garden beds, and learning to be gentle with transplants.  When he tried grabbing the tomatoes, I said, “Be gentle with the plants.  Give them love,” to which he responded by bending down, softly brushing the leaves and saying “looaahhh”

Now even the grass gets loves from Waylon.

pointing out birds

The birds, too, command his attention.  Crows, ravens, carrier hawks, red-winged blackbirds, robins, even a heron landed in a tree to scout our pond the other day, and Waylon announced it all, saying “toot toot toot” to show us the birds.

And now he is pointing out the window, saying “side, side” and so it’s time to close the computer screen and go out with him into the day.

The Wild Ones Emerging

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Coltsfoot was the first to emerge, pushing its dandelion-like yellow blooms up along roadsides and old gravely logging roads.

Then came the peepers in an evening chorus around the pond, and the bubbles of frog eggs floating in the water.

frog eggs in the pond

Just a few days ago, a friend pointed out a splash of white flowers beneath maple trees on the road, bloodroot blooming out of leaf litter in the filtered sun.

And yesterday I noticed a carpet of trout lilies blooming behind the yurt, the yellow petals flexing open, faces slanted down to the earth.

trout lily

The perennial gardens are waking up, too: peppermint and spearmint, peonies, iris, dicentra, yarrow, echinacea, rudbeckia–all coming back, finally, and bringing the last sleeping parts of me back with them, too.

Into Farming Season

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Happy May Day!

After daily poetry postings for April, I’m turning now to my farming season schedule, and will be posting once a week.  Look for a new post every Friday (with occasional extras scattered through the week).

You can keep up with farm-happenings at goodheartfarmstead.com

under the reman

Waylon in the remay-tent, harvesting spinach

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Azure Star Kohlrabi seedlings

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Tomatoes, ready for transplanting

Searching for Wildness

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{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

bark

I am searching for wildness,

proving it lives

among us

despite us.

Why do I walk slowly

in the woods, why

do I stop at the rhythmic beating

of a woodpecker, why

do I pause to take in the shape

of a leaf, or a paw print, or the

curve and drop of a stream?

Terry Tempest Williams wrote:

the degree of our awareness

is the degree of our aliveness.

I want to be alive.

If I am to live,

if my cells are to awaken

and if my breath is to expand

into my lungs

it will be because wildness

pulled me out of sleep,

splashed me with cold water,

and poured wind through

my hair, into my mouth,

deep into my body.

If I am to live

it will be because this world

also lives

tangled and pure, wildness running

through the veins.

Sky as Poetry

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Late April Evening

Late April Evening

For the Birds

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{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}
 
In Flight, Katie Spring
 
I used to care
about proper grammar–
well vs. good
I vs. me–
but now, what does it matter?
I know what you mean.
There are already
so many rules
what shackles need to be
on expression?
None!
Sometimes, when I hear
birdsong in the morning
it strikes me that I don’t know
what they are saying,
but I feel their happiness.
That’s all we’re really after,
isn’t it?
To share with each other
our heart’s fire
be it sadness, or anger,
or expounding joy.

Twenty-One Months

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{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

spring stream

Twenty-one months–

that’s all it took

to bring us to this moment.

And just as it delivered us here,

impermanence will take us away

to tomorrow.

Take These Eggs

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{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

eggs

Kindling sets flames to lick
the firebox
a cast iron skillet
takes the heat,
holds it in its open face,
and I crack the egg.
 
Just yesterday I threw compost
out to the chickens,
and the matted roots
of harvested pea shoots,
green stems sticking up
like stubble.
 
Somehow the earth
is thawing—melting
snow sets rivers running
through the field
and the chickens peck
emerging worms in the barnyard.
 
We all have creation inside us
 
The chickens, they take worms and compost,
turn it into muscle and eggs.
Me, I take these deep golden
yolks, thick and smooth, into my mouth
I turn them into muscle and milk
to feed my babe
and he, too grows:
 
supple skin stretches
over elongating bones
teeth cut through gums
even his voice
rises and shifts—
an audible, intangible
creation.
 
He does not know yet
of spring
how thin blades of grass cut
through winter’s kill
how green spreads like a wave
from the valley up this hillside,
how the lone call of the raven
is replaced by chickadees, robins, hermit thrush, and
the reverberating howl of the snipe.
 
He knows of the barnyard,
of chickens and eggs,
of warm milk.
He knows of cool mornings,
hot stoves.
 
And what do I know of creation?
Only that I cannot explain it,
though morning sun streams
through the window,
though steam rises slowly from my tea
though even in stillness
everything moves, pushing us into
transformation
 
 
(I originally posted this almost exactly a year ago, and this season pulled me back to the poem).

What My Life Is

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{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leavea link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

I can tell you I am a mother,

a farmer, a writer

but these definitions do not tell you

the quality of my breath

or depth of my laugh

or the hard pulse of my longings.

I’ve met challenges

in every phase, and for so long

I equated what I’m doing with

what my life is.

But the truth is

life is movement, energy–

rain falling to the earth

fire burning in the stove

bodies warming each other

beneath the blankets.

susnet over Dumpling Hill

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