Pig Roast

In backyard rock lined pit dug underground for roasting of pig.

This yr pig day a hot one. The pig on a spit put into the pit by two strongest men, kneeling over the mouth, where a wood fire burning overnight has heated the rocks molten. The prepared pig at rest in the hot rocks, a sheet metal lid pulled over the hole. The pig cooks in the ground all this long hot day.

Waiting while pig cooks, drinking beer, young men throwing horse shoes, kids playing capture the flag in the closed street, salads prepped inside in the kitchen (where a ceiling fan famously spins), watermelon slices and water balloon toss in the front yard.

The pig pulls out early evening, after the old folks nap in the shade of the dusty eucalyptus.

The planet spins, spit pointed this pole toward the sun, one hot stone roasting a pretty blue pig, green apples popped in its mouth.

General agreement this yrs pig tastiest on record.

“This heat keeps up, soon be fixing swine in the shade of the sun,” Mr. Picbred says, mouth swill of pig, popping a fresh beer, sitting in front porch rocker, plate on lap, feet up, breathing from his belly, watching our sun go down.

global warming

Summer Notes: 7 – Shoeless

Discalced order of children
running aground barefoot,
the beach sand so hot we
flip flopped like fish out of
the water close at hand.

When you did not know
what a thing was,
you gave it a name,
then you knew it.

Flip-flops went everywhere,
named for their sound,
rubber sole held to the front
of the foot with a cross strap
and thong between hallux
(big toe, thumb of the foot)
and pointer toe (the dowsing
rod used to test the ocean
water temperature), causing
the heel (no ankle strap) to stay
put (flopped)
then flip up (flip),
slapping the bottom
of the heel,
also went
by other names.

My father called those shoes
“come-alongs,” the body
perhaps a pulled
object. Imagine thinking
of the body as winch
and ratchet for pulling
and hoisting, but that
was his world.
They were also named
“go aheads,” polite,
easy-going, relaxed shoes.

Thongs, shower shoes,
simple sandals, flip-flops,
like so many other things
we used to use (and do),
and may still use (and do),
are not good for you.

Better, it turns out,
to go barefoot, risking
the stubbed toe, the bee
sting, the rusted nail,
the beach tar, the hot
sand, loving the cool
green grass, the ice
plant you could pick
and squeeze the jelly
juice over your callouses.

 

Summer Notes: 4 – Water

These awkward weedy notes of summer, they steal
water from the subtle artful crafty ones, the ones
crammed with food and hose drenched, and yes,
fruit-bearing they’ll be, and well spent.

The mollycoddle promises a bumper crop this year,
but what will be done with it all?

They can can the coddle, bottle the molly,
boil the gruel for ballet to improve posture,
post this and that here and there without
regard for the rules of a bygone garden.

The cooing of pigeons so quiet,
the stained glass raw golds
color the little nook with amber light.

No words in nature to suffer these weeds,
still birds align in lines that make sense,
the washerwoman counting syllables
come morning the clothes inside out.

And the slug slowing has something to say,
heading under the clinker cool brick.

These appellations June dropped,
in the day squirrels gnaw them,
at night possums come and grab,
and raccoons, and very early
in the morning, just before sunup
now, the coyotes looking for cats up.

Give us the weeds our daily words,
and forgive us our arrears,
for we are hard on hearing,
and we don’t really need
words, anyway.

We might want words, why,
I’m not sure, but we need
water, weeds and all, and you,
you have all the words,
more than you need.

Summer Notes: 1 – Baseball

Run now down the dreary drowning droning
cheers of summer under yellow umbrellas
American baseball under rain
A last blue light in the little lilac
and raspberries wandering and falling
spray of pop flies
Sun slips between clouds squeeze play
cat sitting on cedar deck
gives backward glance
White stone paper cup empty beer
jangle of green grass fills
sun and cat and clouds
Fans all napping
sun crosses bird feathers
field and stands empty nest.

Packsaddle Off

what is this sound sprinkling glow
yellow doilies weaving thru blue
fescue glass chandelier worm atrium
air city surf gas soup & jazz salad

sitting under dwarf apple waiting,
waiting, wanting nothing save
green this wait as Thoreau’s
Wangle Dangle backyard rhetoric

drinking can of Okanagan
Spring: “natural, simple, & pure”
pale ale & all bronze
gone Henry’s lawn

this dog’s lair
cut once a year
then go to seed
rampant & wild
tainted ear

so much depends upon so little
take this green garden wagon
for example
go on, take it, really take it
grab the handle and pull
you’ll see the wagon is full
of ripe red tomatoes
kids’ toys
bucket of finished garlic
bowl of basil & cilantro
some zinnias to dry inside

there’s no one in that pink
ceramic bird house hanging
from the golden rain
tree imagine living
there your nest
waiting for your mate
come home yr turn
go to store & supper

you call the kids
Caw! Caw!
& they call back
Not Yet! Not Yet!
Summer! Summer!

a cloud like a clown down
pillow on clean blue sheet
perhaps it will drop a load
somewhere near soon &
sweep weep sleep deep

Susan Among the Zen Monks in the Gorge

Upper Multnomah FallsOne summer, we drove into the Gorge to view the falls. There are several falls along the way. Multnomah Falls is the tallest, and is now a major tourist attraction, complete with gift shop, food carts, and a fancy restaurant where a few years ago Rachel Ray filmed a segment of a food show. Summer falls, and it’s hot in town and in the Gorge, but the mist from the falls is cool.

There are two falls at Multnomah Falls, an upper and a lower. To get to the pool at the upper falls, you hike a switchback trail up to an old bridge. The pool below the upper falls is now off limits, but you can view the upper falls and the pool below from the bridge. We used to climb down the trail and wade into the pool, but you can’t do that any more. Wading into the pool, you could get soaking wet just from the mist from the falls. The falls don’t take the place of waves, the smell of salt-water breezes. In the Gorge, in the summer, if there’s no wind, the air seems thick and heavy, but if you take the old highway, you pass along cliffs of shade and green fern groves growing under the fir trees. And the falls are always a cool surprise.

Lower Multnomah FallsAnyway, this last time we stopped at Multnomah Falls, Susan decided not to make the switchback hike to the top. On my way up, I passed a group of men coming down. Their heads were shaved. They wore robes and sandals. I didn’t think much of it; monks, I assumed. I nodded as we passed on the trail. When I got to the bridge, I spent some time looking at the upper falls and turned around and crossed the bridge to look down on the lower falls and below to the trailhead to try to spot Susan. And there she was, sitting on a stone bench, surrounded by the monks. I waved and waved some more and finally caught her attention, and she waved back, and all of the monks waved too. I took a picture of her in the middle of the monks, all waving. Then they all stopped waving and went back to talking with Susan. Later, Susan told me they were Zen monks. And this morning I’ve spent probably 30 minutes looking for that photo. Alas, it seems to have disappeared. I think in a past life Susan may have been a Zen monk who attained enlightenment.