i have never posted poetry here, as this is generally a public forum (and this our only members-only post so far!), but as these are both deeply farm-related poems, i thought they might be of interest to our reading community. i’d love to hear what you think. i think i would, anyway. :-)

i doubt i’ll make a habit of posting poetry here, though, so if you’re interested in that kind of thing, feel free to friend my personal journal, at !

Year Two: How to Pickle Your Own Cucumbers

first, lose track of the vinegar.
it’s important, it’s large, and it’s somewhere.
possibly in the pump house, kitchen shed, barn– or even the kitchen.
having found it, in a corner under a bookshelf,
boil water to sterilize jars.
when they’re done
remove them from the sterile water bath
and place them and the lids
on your nonsterile countertop.
this is okay, because it’s your kitchen,
and you know your counter is safe to eat off of,
even if it’s not.
then wash the cucumbers.
these come in two sizes–curled, and ungainly.
they lurk under leaves in the garden,
growing in secret,
then spring out at you,
nine inches long and larger than a quart jar.
you’ll want to slice those ones.
a whole garlic in each jar, or maybe two.
maybe a peppercorn here and there, mustard seeds, chile.
as much dill as can be managed.
appreciate the dill. the recipe works better
with some advance savoring.
put cardamom in four jars, but don’t mark them–
that’d ruin the surprise.
let inspiration rule the moment.
get salt on the floor.
don’t write the recipe down–
that’d ruin the spontaneity
and render it repeatable next year, or next week.
pack with vinegar and salt water,
tighten the lids, and into the boiling water they go.
at the end, try not to stick your hands in boiling water.
this actually matters, turns out.
your future self will thank you.
finally, they emerge–nine quart jars of your own pickles–
your own harvest.
all the beauties of the world
in a green and amber jar,
all the riches
you can imagine.

*****

every time i stop to think about it,
i realize
my life is perfect.
notwithstanding troubled times–
a challenge to rise to,
real work to do.
people i love loving surround me
and the life i have always wanted engulfs me
and still i want it.
every day i choose it over again,
and fall in love a little deeper.
i am stronger in this love
than i have ever been.
all that i want to do and be flows through me.
i am inside a thousand webs
and everything feeds me, and those i love.
the more loving i do,
the more i am loved,
the more love there is.