Today I started taking Ritalin. I feel so calm and steady. I’m guessing this confirms that I have ADHD. The first thing that comes to mind is, “I don’t feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.” Unfortunate idiom, given that I found one of my chickens dead yesterday. That was hard, but we placed her body beneath a tree and adorned her with a bouquet of dandelions. There are 3 of the white chickens left, my favorites.
The land is beautiful here in May. It’s one of my favorite times of year. It feels like a real farm, with all the animals around. A few days ago we brought home three goats. Our puppies will be coming home soon.
I’m taking several writing classes on Zoom right now. It’s really helping me. I’m starting to enjoy the process of writing again, and not just beat myself up that I’m not “producing” enough. I’m taking classes in poetry and creative nonfiction. I’m working on a lot of poems, and in particular, a chap book about chickens. I’d like to get that published or publish it myself. I’m also working on a novel, but that’s very slow going and I want to keep that secret for now as to not curse it. It’s pretty light-hearted though, and a nice change of pace. I also want to put together another collection of personal essays….something sort of between Show Trans and No Poster Boy. I want to weave stories together. I’ve been through so much these past 6-7 years since I published those. I’m ready.
There’s a robin in front of me trying to eat a worm that is too big for it. It’s pretty funny. We also have barn swallows, Canada geese, blue birds, owls, deer…. Feeling good on my new meds, I can see how awesome my life is right now.
I’m gonna post a few poems that I haven’t shared yet. They aren’t formatted with line spacing and returns exactly how I want them, but you get the idea. Hope you enjoy.
Sometimes the chickens are enough.
The four fat ones tottle out of their coop
to munch on the grass and slurp up worms,
their enormous bodies
almost covering their orange scaly legs and feet.
Like obese dinosaurs
they roam among the dandelions,
running and flapping with pure joy,
or huddling down in the dirt,
rotund bodies pressed together
to wiggle and shake
and throw dirt in the air.
Some lands on me
as I try to keep a straight face
on my Zoom call.
One finds a crunchy June bug
and the others abandon
their demure nature
to peck at her beak
trying to secure a taste.
They buck and groan and chortle
talking amongst each other
between bites of blades of grass
as a mild breeze
blows through the yard
rustling their cream-colored feathers.
A Poem From My One Rabbit, Beau, to the Other, Theo
I love you through our cages.
I’ll snuggle with you through the bars.
Though you bite me
and tear at me with your claws.
I still need the warmth
of your body
pressed against mine.
Why We Haven’t Had Sex in Over A Year
I drink a cup of coffee
And immediately ask
“Where is my next cup of coffee?”
Over and over again
With no end
And it’s sad because
Coffee in the morning
Was our special time together
But I ruined it
With too many caffeinated questions
“When do you think we’ll have coffee again?”
“Was the coffee good for you?”
“Will we drink coffee again tomorrow?”
“Can we have coffee this afternoon?”
“Are you busy or can you have coffee again in
And when you say you’ve had enough
For this manipulation
You will not stand
So I’m left alone
Bare feet on the cold kitchen floor
And there’s no milk in the refrigerator
So I drink my coffee black
Cup after cup
And it’s bitter
And I don’t even enjoy it.
Walking Uphill in Ithaca
It’s getting dark.
I’m walking up Aurora Street
on the cracked sidewalk
past different colored,
two-story, city houses,
porches with pumpkins, plastic skeletons,
and rainbow flags
and leaf-covered yards
with signs that say,
“Black Lives Matter”
and “Bernie 2020.”
As I round the corner
wafting from some student’s bedroom,
the smell comes
and hits me-
I mean really hits me-
Giggling marathons of
Star Trek: The Original Series
under our fleece blankets.
The makeshift green and red light shows
we projected on the walls and ceiling,
and great sex
with Indian music playing
in the dark, in the glow.
The heat of our campfire
in the summer
in Southern Oregon
beside the RV
and the deep green creek
where we really heard Jimi Hendrix
for the first time
over my bluetooth speaker.
And we joked we would be famous
as the two guys who just sat there
for eighty years.
At our spot in the forest
in the hammocks,
how humans are the apes
who were kicked out of the trees
as we looked up at the bright green leaves
of the canopy.
Arguments in bed
over whether I’d had enough.
Then me, threatening to leave
with a packed suitcase
and no jacket
in an Upstate New York blizzard.
The itchy feel
of the hospital gown and socks.
The cold steel telephone
through which you told me
you couldn’t do it anymore.
And still, in that smell,
the empty promise of another life
in which I am “chill.”
So I cover my nose with my soft grey scarf
and keep walking uphill.