Ed Higgins' poems and short fiction have appeared in Duck & Herring
Co.'s Pocket Field Guide, Monkeybicycle Pindeldyboz, and Bellowing
Ark, as well as the online journals Lily, CrossConnect, Word Riot, The
Centrifugal Eye, Mannequin Envy, and Blue Print Review, among others.
He lives on a small farm in Yamhill, Oregon with a menagerie of
animals including an emu named To & Fro, and teaches creative
writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR.
Bisecting our farm, wild plum, willow
and black berry on either bank
blossoms. Early May evenings
chorus frogs startle the moonrise.
Diurnal coyote too yip down
the stars. Search the field for voles.
Here and there in the dark
great blue heron croak their harsh call.
The air thick with early morning
song. A rising, hazy sun
warming the barn roof's cedar
and the bark of the farm's fir,
birch, poplar, and apple trees.
Wild blackberry and rose vines,
willows, cattails, and sedges
green, bloom and tangle
along the banks and creek bed.
The guniea hen's shrill
patrolling the barn yard.
The cows grazing the back field,
searching out the best clover.
Steam rising like dawn-departing ghosts
from the eaves of the barn
as winter slips fully off the land.
High horsetail clouds whose thirst
threatens or promises midweek rain.
On your neck the sun's full sweetness
slanting through maple leaves
into our bedroom window.
Later today I will risk mowing
the hayfield nearest the house
and begin the heavy labor
of gathering all this summer in.
To drive away or destroy crickets put Scotch snuff
into their holes. It is too much for them. I have read this.
Put into their crevices with a turkey feather
preferably. Which crevices was not indicated.
Blue jays whenever jay walking should always be cited
as a public nuisance. Unless, of course, it's a crested blue jay.
Have you ever had a bulldog pull your leg? They are certainly
great jokers. The English bulldog especially is exceptionally
funny. Although often ironic.
But speaking of bulldogs, did you ever considered why
the brain stem has neither petals, stamens, nor roots, yet
produces a flowering of thought? Also, sometimes ironic.
Or have your nerves ever gotten nervy with you? Try counting
your toes rapidly while listening to Carl Perkins' "All Mama's Children,"
using the Babylonian base-60 numeral system to count.
I have heard Picasso often cried abstract tears.
Is it any wonder?
It's one of those days
when the cold, fog-dented sky
won't let you see even down
to the barn from the house.
On days like this
the silvered grey air
sticks in your lungs
like a wet campfire.
The cold of it slicks off
your fingernails. And the cows
in the barn loafing area
are hunched nearly into the letter C.
Only the Indian Runner ducks seem
to welcome this damp air.
Eating cracked corn & sunflowers seeds
washed down by gulps of fog.
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