Add barley flakes to boiling broth and cover.
Simmer — standing by to stir — for a quarter-hour.
Prepare a pie plate with some oil
then flatten the flakes to form a crust.
Add cod and kale (cooked ahead)
then whisk ricotta, water, and eggs.
Season with salt and a smidge of pepper.
Pour this potion atop the crust
so it fills all fissures ‘mongst flake and leaf.
Place the pie in a pre-heated oven:
four-twenty-five for fifteen minutes
three-fifty for a further hour.
Let it alone to lose some heat
then slide slices off spatula with a knife
(’twill keep the cod from coming off the grain).
Nutritious? Yes. Tasty? No.
Truthfully told, it’s bland.
But fair fare will suffice for now —
with a chaser of chocolate cookie.
The sky turned black and we were stuck behind
a three-mile line of cars. I’d tried to find
a back way home from Megan’s Boston doc
but didn’t figure in the five o’clock
non-weekender just wanting to get home
to Essex County, Mass (I’d hoped to roam
its Whittier spaces). Rain began to pelt
the car as Haverhill came in view. We felt
quite nervous when we couldn’t see if there
were two or four lanes ‘cross the bridge over
the Merrimack. Our wipers set on max
could not keep up. We followed tracks
of a one-ton truck until it led us through
a flooded patch of Main Street. Thus we knew
we had to park and let the deluge pass.
We turned uphill and looked for treeless grass
to park beside. Rain-Bound. No debate:
John Greenleaf Whittier’s farm would have to wait.
After Michigan’s miles marked with graves
and Ohio’s highways hindered by cones,
I landed some lodging in a lakeside town.
I planned to unpack and plop on the bed.
But I went to the window to watch the traffic
and noticed — through noise and nuisant wires —
sweet-light from the sun setting over the lake.
Driven, I dashed down to the lobby
where a man marked a map to the beach
on Presque Isle (the piece of peace where my son
waded and watched the waves last year).
I revved along roads, racing the sun.
I lost. But the last liquid red
shone on the shingle. The shore glowed.
The wave-rhythm washed away the roar
of a day spent driving and dodging pot-holes.
The sand massaged the soles of my feet.
I paced. I took pictures. My pulse slowed.
No matter that I missed the moment of setting.
The fade was fantastic: a finish worth
extending my trek. Two days to go —
impossible made possible by peaceful Lake Erie.
I left home on a journey today: a road trip to visit family in Michigan. I expected my usual travel-adrenaline, the thrill of away. Instead I found dread at crossing the bridge that spans the Connecticut River and signifies the end of New Hampshire. To distract myself, I listened to the journey of Simon Armitage on the car stereo, the narrator’s voice like thunder through the mist on the Pennine Way. Similarly in Vermont, I wound along hairpin curves in cloud so thick I could barely see the hood of my car. Armitage dodged bulls in the fields he crossed; I dodged a family of Canada Geese [a mated pair plus five yellow-green goslings] as they attempted to cross I-90. And like Armitage, I lost my way. But only once. And only because I trusted (rather than overruled) technology. I’m halfway there; tomorrow the reunion begins, and hopefully with it joy. But for now, for tonight, I’ll sleep covered by the same bank of grey that reaches across New York, across Vermont, and blankets my Meredith meadow.
subaru crawls through cloud,
lines and signs all but invisible—
My world turned green this week—a welcome change.
The winter’s white, while beautiful, had left
behind the brown of empty branches, mud
and rotten leaves. Two days ago, this green
enticed a woodchuck off his sunning-rock
to graze fresh grass behind my house. The deer
now come three times a day to fatten up
(their ribs are showing through their shedding coats).
I even saw a fox emerge to hunt
for rodents scurrying beneath the thatch
that’s pierced by fiddleheads and horsetails. Birch
and Quaking Aspen trees were first to leaf.
The other trees have buds about to break.
This green has sound as well as sight—at night
my wetland rings with courting frogs so loud
I hear their songs through walls and window glass.
But after half a year of silent nights,
this verdant lullaby is what I need.