Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pig and farm report

yesterday we had such a huge thunderstorm that it shook the bones of my house and I was scared for the first time ever in a thunderstorm it lasted for one or two hours after I scouted for split trees but found none

my son drove me to town to find Maria Sanchez who runs the little Lopez Family Farm fruit stand on the corner next to the sad furniture store I was so excited and happy to see her that I bought an entire flat of strawberries thinking about ruby red jam I washed the berries then put them in the fridge I truly don’t know if I have the energy to make jam right now I am exhausted with frustration and anger and worry I’ll probably make a small batch of no pectin jam today then freeze the rest for smoothies and try again later

I argued with my son last night which made me sad he wanted to go to Seattle to photograph the mayhem which after all is his life’s work but I told him if he went he would have to stay there at his girlfriend’s house for two weeks to make sure he doesn’t pick up the virus from being in a huge body of people when the plague is still alive and well and waking back up as cities begin to ease restrictions maybe you think I’m being unreasonable it is clear my son thought so but my self preservation instinct is very strong I have not survived abuse and addiction and poverty and mental illness and 40 years of back breaking factory work to be brought down by a virus fuck that noise as we used to say back in the day fuck. that. noise.

I continue to work in the geranium hospital which is what I have renamed the redrum kitchen repotting these fragrant stupid plants that I love I still haven’t painted but I can’t afford it right now shopping through instacart has pretty much depleted my play money I am tired of my own damn cooking of not being able to run to the store every couple of days I continue to work in the garden weeding watering and flinging slugs with a stick every morning waiting for that taste of tomato heart that signals summer and all things good and all things well and all things joyful

today is the anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre which is something to think about to remember to consider with and to hold

Saturday, May 30, 2020

It’s quiet here on the island
in Seattle the police have turned off their body cameras have turned brutal

I believe we are on the verge of civil war

the american president today called for his private militia his proud boys his heavily armed white maga army to attend tonight’s protests

I believe we are on the verge of civil war indeed the american president may have fired the first shot with his call to arms

not much has changed sine 1963

Thursday, May 28, 2020

There’s blood in the streets it’s up to my ankles

Peace Frog
The Doors

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Pig and farm report

I stared too long at this owl this morning to click the camera on my phone my heart was beating hard I was both worshipping him and terrified that he was going to fly into my face I was that close he swiveled his head to stare straight at me right around the corner from my house at the North|South sign which is every bit as confusing as you might think

when I got home I watered my plants and put my first ever cashmere sweaters in the giant plastic bag our CSA box produce arrives in and stored them in my cedar chest then I took the lid off my 31 year old terrarium and cleaned the sides with a damp cloth and a pair of chopsticks I do this once every year or so this thing has been part of my life for so long raining growing changing a complete living world that holds a tiny stone frog and the filling from my tooth that broke right before I flew to Chicago to work at the Intuit and sea glass and who knows what else I have tucked in there over the years it’s a time capsule and a biosphere and it feels like a beloved family pet I have two other terrariums growing smaller in less tightly sealed jars but healthy nonetheless and endlessly fascinating to me

I made enchiladas tonight and put them in the fridge to bake tomorrow for my son who is going out into the actual world fully masked and gloved my goddamn rake broke and I have to keep the trails here passable or I’ll tip over so he’s going to the country store to replace it and of course I have a list of other things I need a strange and mystical quest for my princling son


writing it out here does not sound like I did much today but I’m exhausted from it

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Pig and farm report

only one of the four churches on the island was open for business today of course it was the evangelicals we drove to the park as we do and when we got home we couldn’t figure out anything to eat we just came to the end of our ideas about food I ended up having ice cream for lunch and that will probably count as dinner too I don’t even know what the kid ate

my inside peppermint geranium has tiny flowers on it which is the most exciting thing to happen this week other than staring into stranger’s windows and binge watching season three of Outlander my favorite season so far

I found some wild white lupin growing on the trail in the state park this morning

The End.

corona 20.

corona 20.

even the lawns are quiet
on the house next to the jesus house
a mermaid weathervane stretches her arm
to catch a pink star on a pole 
that never stops swinging
at the bait and tackle a new hand 
carved wooden plaque reads
Always A Smile And A Ticket To Heaven
days are Sunday or Saturday 
in between days
are trying to find a meeting 
the brother’s gun loaded 
with sugar and adrenaline
I write smoking a cigarette 
blindfolded extinct among the scribes 
does my spirit without fleshy gravity 
rise or is this then an angel 
in the stupid theory of angels
we ate thanksgiving in May 
it felt like dying a little
I am an angel arm stretched 
to catch a pink star on a pole
that never stops swinging

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Pig and farm report

I’m still exploring the island in my car every day a Sunday drive as in an imagined 1950s advertisement for Chevrolet lately it’s been Utsalady Bay where the wealthy live three months a year in gorgeous houses and lower their boats into the water in slings when the mood strikes them there is a narrow road between the beach houses and the forest and when I drive along it people who live there glare at me out their windows the house in this photo had a little table outside with a petition on it to sign either for or against sex education in the schools I didn’t look that closely at it but I can guess given the political climate of this area and of course the petition was only for their neighbors not an interloper that house also had three dome cameras attached to it though it’s so out of the way I doubt if they have a lot of crime I waved vigorously at the spy eyes there really is not a lot of crime out here at all the only crime I read about on the most recent police blotter was a boat tailgating a whale alongside Tillicum Way who the hell harasses a whale anyway

I knew the whales were back though I haven’t spotted one yet since the state park reopened though camping is still restricted and I’m glad for it because it is too soon too problematic I think restaurants and bars and sports and churches are going to end up looking very different in the After but the old guard wants everything to go back to normal there is no normal now

I find it easier to believe revolution is at hand I refuse to become rigid in mind or body

my son is back yesterday he caulked my bathroom closet bless his eyes I’m reading my Robert Heinlein book and a book called Plant Magic by Christine Buckley that has some superb recipes for tinctures and medicinal teas and infusions a lot of it is kind of funny and basic for instance I have been talking to my plants and trees for years still it is a good read I am going to make some herbal infused honey once I can get some local honey I have a bee keep on the north end of the island and they will ship me a large jar for a lot of money an exorbitant amount of money actually

it’s cold and dreary this morning I have pinto beans in my wee slow cooker and I’m going to scramble us up some of Jack’s spectacular orange yolked eggs and do some mending and go to the beach and talk to my trees and plants and son and watch the sky

hello and love from Summer’s End

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


I finished reading Peter Pan this morning and stepped up to a book I loved at 13, Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and I got going into that reading comfort place as all the images and the story flooded my malleable fire brain my wildest girlhood mind I read as a reader in love with reading reads and maybe this time I can finish

mockingbird wish me luck 

Pig and farm report

I had one day of depression that felt thick with teeth then the next day it was gone a new neuro mutation probably but I’m not going to look a gift cow in the mouth though I got close

gift cow

the last time I ordered groceries through instacart the man who shopped for me tossed my groceries up the stairs onto the deck and he yelled at me through the window that a bottle was broken then left in fact the lid had come off my fragrance free laundry detergent and the detergent leaked all over the rest of my food ruining some greens and my hotdog buns (I have spicy field hotdogs in the freezer) and there is no recourse no way to get through by phone to complain I ordered through instacart yet again yesterday this time getting a really good shopper who scored me the last block of tofu in the store why is the tofu gone everywhere who the hell is buying all the tofu and why

I have been struggling with not being able to concentrate enough to read and so I decided to go through the children’s library here at Summer’s End to try and jumpstart my brain I began with Peter Pan and I’m almost finished which feels hopeful this little book from Laughing Elephant in Seattle is so pretty

there are two peppermint geraniums behind that last picture that I grew from tiny starts their roots were busting out of the small plastic pots I started them in and it was right now time to move them into their adult pots but I had run out of terra-cotta pots couldn’t find any decent ones not even online so I called the Country Store that blessed place that smells like my grandpa’s barn so I prepaid over the phone drove to town and they loaded four pots and underdishes right into my trunk easy peasy the guy who carried out the pots wore a mask and gloves and looked surprised when I tipped him by sticking the bill through a crack in my window so I got to make a mess in the clean dirt on my deck

my grandpa’s barn I’m on the far left my grandpa’s in the hat O Idaho

on one of my daily random drives around the island I not only collected three dozen gorgeous blue green and brown eggs from Jack the Egg Man (I am constantly stunned by the color of road eggs from happy yard chickens) I pulled over at Utsalady Bay and watched this eagle on a telephone pole enjoying breakfast for fifteen minutes when he was finished pulling the guts out of whatever beast he caught he shot out a powerful stream of shit that could have taken my eye out maybe both eyes had I been on the wrong side of him it was An Amazing Thing

Utsalady eagle

my eight tomato plants have flowers the sugar snap peas are sending out their delicate tendrils the strawberries and blueberries are thriving I am not depressed today at least not so far and I have tofu


Thursday, May 14, 2020

corona 19.

corona 19.

on the anniversary
my son walks into the kitchen
carrying a measuring tape
extended six feet I shoot
him with a ginger root gun
on the anniversary of my sister
my heart is bolted to my sixth
rib that broke when I ran
across a wet bathroom floor
and fell grabbing
my two year old son
as he dove into a full tub
head first feet in the air
his remarkable handstand
on the anniversary of my sister
two ambulances two sheriffs
and a fire engine scream down
the street our neighbors
shoo their children inside
draw their curtains
no one talks no one knows
what happened on the anniversary
of my sister’s death I fold down
my Snow White sheet
place her nightie
in my body’s shallow smooth
it with my hands then I lie
beside her and whisper the secrets
of the known and unknown world
into her blond blond ear

Monday, May 11, 2020

A post with curse words

Simone Weil wrote “ To wish to escape from solitude is cowardice .” I think Simone was kind of a bitch.

Here! Look at this goddamn pink flower.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

First siren I’ve heard since I moved here shockingly loud and close but everything out here sounds that way like living inside a violin

Pig and farm report

the feral kittens have just discovered that I raised the living room windows and put in screens and that feisty little Anna’s hummingbird who has been loitering about flew right down to Hal’s face and buzzed him!

foresty hijinks 

The blackberry situation

I went out to water the garden this morning and to inspect the blackberry situation and discovered another new rhododendron this one tender white with a pale yellow center growing under the red rhododendron that trots around under the deck like a made up poodle and I realized that the fake blackberry vines with their vicious thorns came from the pile of dead wood I picked up from the yard and threw up there after one of those mean windstorms last year I’m sorry whorish red rhododendron I’m sorry tender white rhododendron under the deck working through your own alien passion play starring gold bright furry bumblebees as choir and angels I didn’t even make it back into the house before a panic attack zippered through me biled my blood cramped my guts shook me in its  sharp teeth but by bog I’m going to reverse the river climb up the wall with my long handled loppers and leather gloves and fight like the street kid I have always been and hack away at that vine in pieces drop each piece carefully into the yard waste bin so it cannot further multiply and be fruitful as soon as the panic lets me loose as soon as the panic unswallows me as soon as the panic flees the house

It’s good to have a plan

Panic, begone, I will have no more of thee!
~  false Rosemary’s Baby quote

I also have to make guacamole because I suddenly am overwhelmed with avocados which is so odd in this time of want but I am loathe to waste anything so much so that my refrigerator is crammed full which also feeds my anxiety because the refrigerator is now eating for two or maybe twelve and is groaning with leftovers but the shopping by delivery is so awful and haphazard that sometimes I get twice as many (avocados) and sometimes I get nothing (peanut butter)

Prince Hal is crying for me to come back to bed but I’m resisting so far so far so far

this post went nowhere fast

here are some volunteers and one of the spectacular giant ferns unfurling

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Day 66

would it be evil/vile/live of me to admit I really really needed some solitude just some time alone by myself I am so glad I didn’t have to ask anyone to leave even though we have gone days barely even seeing each other this still feels luxurious and kind of evangelically Roman catholicky sinful

I’m ignoring the moon this is the hottest May 9th on record I just heard a boy scream down in the valley it’s startling how sound travels cross water and through forests I’ve been busy all day and I had ice cream for dinner

Some things

Some things that have sustained me during the plague an ongoing list in no particular order

1. The Kid
2. My yard
3. The beach
4. Old cable teevee shows that I have on DVD
5. Chocolate
6. Bag Balm
7. Cats and other assorted Animal Gods
8. Potted plants and their propagation
9. Writing
10. Beans
11. Cheese
12. Cows
13. The Stillaguamish River
14. My iPad
15. Coffee
16. Yo-Yo Ma’s twitter posts
17.  My writing group
18. Laughing children

I actually saw two red cows fight each other this morning they were really going at it one of the cows bumped the other cow on her side then nipped her on the ear boy something awful must have been said between them outstanding entertainment and something brand new 

Pig and farm report

I don’t know what espresso flour is but I was so excited to see this arrive in my CSA box this morning in other news I planted my strawberry starts washed half of the dishes got out my summer dress and watered the garden I was shocked to see that it wasn’t at least noon o clock time has crawled down to March levels with the kid gone I’m going to go hunt for road eggs Jack the Egg Man has not been selling his on the road lately and has not been  around for conversation not many people have been around at all  except for those who come from the big city to love on my state park and beaches I read today on my library‘s Twitter that they’re going to start testing in the parking lot of the library sort of a drive-through testing the virus started in Snohomish county which is the next town over and it took them this long to get this kind of testing which is I don’t know what it is unbelievable I guess

this volunteer rhododendron growing under my deck is absolutely spectacular it’s getting eaten by blackberries that might not be blackberries they look like blackberry vines but they might just be fierce invaders who the hell knows until they produce fruit it is folly to think you can tame blackberries anyway I have to go under there and and pull them out to save this beautiful rhodie that lights up my eyebulbs they honestly blaze and dream of whole wheat espresso bread flour and its many possibilities (espresso cinnamon rolls?)

Friday, May 8, 2020

If one single person wishes me happy mother’s day I will sincerely scream so loudly into the void that my socks will turn inside out

Pig and farm report

I have summoned the dreaded shopping guy again to replace food my son took with him on his journey (doesn’t venturing out seem like a journey now? a quest?) the worst part of shopping this way other than the cost is the constant texting do you want ripe or unripe avocados (I don’t care) can I replace whole tomatoes with crushed (yes anything but Hunts no Hunts) so Hunts crushed etcetera not only that but the phone either ringing or pinging with a text triggers my PTSD I only text with (to?) two people and one of them is my son that ping ping ping happens then waiting for a stranger to drive up sometimes texting me again asking front or back door (I don’t care) which also triggers my PTSD so I order then I crumple and hide and wait for it to end

none of this is okay but because I am 66 and have had pneumonia and bronchitis especially bronchitis frequently when I was a young I am a disposable human at least according to our government

Weekend Update

I lived through it and even got a small jar of peanut butter and just look at this sky so onward to my journey

mockingbird wish me luck

Sailing gracefully into solitude

Thursday, May 7, 2020

I cried this morning at Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah then I turned on the telly to a silly Hugh Grant romcom and the tears didn’t stop they just came harder then my son saw me crying and for that I am sorry I have been holding it in afraid that once that shield is pierced there will be no stoppering it up again not for a long while but I dried up quick enough he is still preparing for his trip to his father’s only a four six hour drive (he just corrected me on that I forgot!) but one now that feels fraught and down in the weeds and dangerous and weird

I am going to attempt to write every day during my alone time even if it is just a sentence or two this morning a poet wrote on twitter “forgive my covid lit” a sentiment I have read many times lately the old lit standard that we should not write about topical circumstances and it makes me sad that some writers try to shame other writers into not writing about such an earthshaking event the way I see it is how can we write about anything else right now also to be honest I’m not an academic poet and I have never followed those prescribed rules even though I know them I unfollowed the poet who wrote that she does not follow me or know my work so it won’t hurt her feelings a small loss

I’m going to go see if John the Carpenter has eggs then let the day unfold

good morning from the left coast

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Pig and farm report

There is nothing happening here I dreamed of buffalo on an open plain I saw them in Montana when I was small I saw them from a train solid and sad snorting cartoon steam out of their noses this is my second buffalo dream my refrigerator sounds like a buffalo when it cycles it may be interrupting my dream head that and the wind which has not let up I don’t mind it right now nor do I mind the buffalo as long as they don’t trample my garden I read somewhere a woman wrote that her father was so miserly he turned the heat off at night and it traumatized her my theory is that while we’re asleep under down comforters and quilts it doesn’t matter so much especially if we have cats and buffalo to warm us my theory is the woman who wrote that never had to worry about money and especially never had her gas turned off in the winter because she couldn’t pay the bill I am glad for her there is nothing happening here except I feel worried and brittle and weird not mental weird but sick to my stomach weird which might be mental weird come to think of it I hope I'm still connected all the way through the neck bone connected to the thigh bone hear the word of the lord kind of connected I have a ball of metal shavings in the middle of my stomach last night I dreamed I made a huge wooden wheel maybe seventy feet in diameter and it was flat and turned like a playground wheel only not wobbly it turned very slow and all manner of animals were walking around on it dogs and cats and cows and pigs and goats and sheep and koalas and Tasmanian Devils and bears and deer and elephants and giraffes and raccoons and wombats and wolves and badgers and tigers and giant golden lions and horses all these animals walking around the wheel sauntering along then they clattered down a huge ramp and the ramp led the animals to the best place for them to live the tigers to the jungle the cows and horses to beautiful open fields and meadows the dogs to tall houses with children clapping their hands in delight and of course the buffalo back to Montana I just watched and gave the wheel a spin every now and then it was an involved cinematic dream made stronger by the new antidepressant I’m taking usually I dream I’m lost in the factory which turns into NYC if I begin having PTSD night terrors again I’m to stop the medication but there’s no nurse to tell me yes or no or answer hazy ask again later it occurred to me today that I’ll probably never eat at Bengal Tiger again that surely darling  Mohammed won’t be able to keep paying rent there with no business coming in Page is getting emails from all the taverns where he has photographed shows and they too are on the brink of ruin even The Tractor I don’t even know if there will be enough strawberries to make jam this summer I don’t know if the farmers market will be able to open or if Maria Sanchez will sell her spectacular peaches at her little stand in front of the furniture store none of us really know anything right now none of us can no anything there is nothing happening

A little red-haired girl of about twelve was there all alone. She had made herself a pair of earrings with sorb-apples; her grey linen bodice revealed bare shoulders, slightly bronzed by the sun; her white skirt was spotted with jam-stains; and her whole person had the grace of a wild animal, tense and fragile. 

~ Gustave Flaubert


Dear three people who read here,

I apologize if the below post looked bonkers to you. I posted a poem then deleted it but due to bloggerfuckery I was only able to delete part of it not to mention the different sized fonts because I typed the post first on my computer then finished it on my phone.

Your Editor Becky

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Sisters

these are the only trees that I didn’t plant here that I have named when I look out my front window they are the first things I see the space between them is a powerful portal that I have stacked with stones for the time being to protect myself and the Animal Gods with whom I live it is the space through which Little Bear disappeared that terrible night I want to wind pink satin ribbon around them both in the infinity symbol but satin is hard to come by these days and it takes a lot of ribbon to bypass a portal in fact ribbon itself can easily be a portal

my son is going in and out of the house working on his truck preparing for his trip to eastern Washington on Friday his father needs him too but he’s feeling wary about the trip and honestly I am going to be lost without him at least the state park is open today though the trails are closed for now but I can go stand in the old growth trees and breathe and see the Saratoga Passage and breathe

we went back down to the beach a few minutes ago and sang Brown Eyed Girl together sha la la la la la la la la la la la la la te da and marveled at the way fresh cut grass smells during high tide and tried not to think about the plague or my messy emotional state then we saw a picnic table full of noisy flag waving patriots from multiple families eating together with their ugly Amerikkkan bumper stickers and that new Amerikkkan stance that come at me bro look

I had a surplus of blueberries this week and made blueberry crisp that was too sweet by far but that’s what I had for dinner

there’s an Anna’s hummingbird that has been visiting the feeder in the front of the house she drinks then she moves a foot away and stares at me through the window then she flips me off

my blueberries are doing well and my tomatoes and sugar snap peas and double peony are going gang busters no sign of the runner bean though I planted 50,000 wildflowers out into the forest the wrens can have the those weird little hoppers or they might catch and surprise me when they grow

I wonder what I’ll do when Page leaves will I be industrious or dreamy maybe I should give myself a plan I really should work on my book which I have ignored now for weeks as the entire world seems stuck maybe I should make a mask out of the fabric with my poem Love Letter to the Whores on Aurora Avenue printed on it but instead I’ll probably bake a complicated bread that takes all day then eat it while it’s still warm or make a puff pastry or maybe I’ll finally teach myself how to make risotto because I have mushrooms I think in the guts of my fridge

I’m going to enjoy this here thunderstorm

Saturday, May 2, 2020


I watched an advert for some phone or other that featured members of the Shanghai Ballet practicing Swan Lake in masks this is the thing that broke me today that made the tears burn out of my eyes


Is the Asian murder hornet this generation’s African killer bee? I’d put money on it. Fear culture at its best.

Pig and farm report

I should have written this morning when my writer brain was still functional instead I stood outside on the deck in my jammies in the rain watching two deer who think they own the place it was so incredibly green and smelled so fragrant I should have written this morning when my writer brain was still functional instead I stood in the rain stunned by the green of it all then I drove around the island checked out the state park that is practically in my backyard the state park that will open Tuesday and I fretted over the opening of the gates and the fact that all the people from the city in their brand new gigantic trucks pulling their brand new gigantic boats will crowd in on that terrifying narrow one way road that drops off into Possession Sound and they will befoul my beloved rocky beach with their garbage and gasoline and noise and maskless faces at least for a few days scaring the deer and foxes and cougars and bears that live here and the Orca whales that migrate to the Saratoga Passage this time of year then in ten days they will all get sick and our governor will reconsider kissing the amerikkkan president’s ring in fealty in order to get PPE and ventilators and everything else we’re going to need for opening the gates too soon just like Germany who opened in April and ten days later their numbers shot up and we still don’t have testing widely available thinking about these things this morning gave me a woofy gut so I came home and made soup simple just leftovers from last week’s CSA box carrots celery onion chard lentils and organic broth

this is what my backyard looked like this morning the green that held me

I stole these lilacs because mine aren’t ready I am a lifelong lilac theif but only if they are growing out into the road and I’m careful about which branches I take understanding lilacs as I do I also stole the rosemary in the jar next to the lilacs it seemed like the right thing to do

last summer I had a glut of strawberries and I kept making small batches of pectin free jam and freezing it which seemed a wee bit excessive at the time (it was a very glutty glut) but now just a spoonful of that jam tastes like the very best day of every summer I’ve ever lived through don’t they look like rubies gleaming

I wish I had written to you when my writer brain was still functional before I stepped outside and was stunned by the astounding earth