Tricia Knoll

 

Moving Through Challenges

She likes the way I walk my hands through air.
First now, a second now, and yet again another now.
Living quickly turns from now to past to next. 

I flap my palms, churn, stim in the sunshine,
conjure chance, potential, and sequence,
She might call it hope, or prayer

as people do when hands waltz.
The woman in the wheelchair whispers back
vowels to mudra motions of temple-seeking.

The tai chi student, a girl with a ponytail,
whips the wind with switch grasses,
and lifts on tiptoe like the heron,

pushing against the pressure
of now, almost as slow
as Lentent rose unfolding.

We skim through with clouds,
spiral born in dancer’s heat, yield
breath in calm imitation of combat.


 

 

The Fetch of Change

appeared as a dog exposing her belly
in plea of rub, underside frankly up
opening as trust to a hand
that held the magic stick.
Roll-over as inevitable as dawn,
this one with fur and silence
as if the day came with a promise
that rubs would be soft. 


 

 

 

An Uncommon Prayer for the Farm

            after Brian Doyle

This morning three cracked and cleaned-out ducks eggs rested in mud. The ducks ignore the coop they share with broody hens. A raccoon slinked through the night, egg eater who slipped under the guard dog’s radar.

First petition:  safety.

Yellow jackets nest in the propane tank lid. A dead squirrel showed up yesterday in the grass while innocent-seeming dogs begged for a romp down to the creek. A mother tiger-cat stepped aside to let her kitten finish off a garter snake, her hand-me-down hunting dance. Later she ate a mouse. Two hawks flew in concentric rings over the chicken coop, and the guard dog barked at them. I work to get five range-born lambs to accept grain from my hand. Fated to become chops and roasts, they have a right to be skittish.

May we be safe within the confines of our being.

A farm is always in want of something. The deep hole we dug to the cracked irrigation valve needs filling. The piglets had metal tags in their ears before they came here to fatten up into proud Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. One ear oozed the day before yesterday. Then the ear crusted up. Now the tag is gone.

So: repair.

Today – clear sky summer and a grass tickle-breeze. The black herding dog pants in sycamore shade. The kittens made a straw nest in the goat barn. Three species of butterflies are out and about, as are the moths that head-banged the lamps last night. The black currants, blueberries and raspberries are ripe. Organic vegetables are swelling up, and sure, abundant kale, and the first cucumber.

Repair of gratitude.

 

This poem is from the recently published (July 2017) collection of poems called Broadfork Farm.

 

 

 

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet, often eco-poet. Her most recent collection is Broadfork Farm, a love song to the creatures and land of a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington (The Poetry Box, 2017). Her collection How I Learned to Be White will come out from Antrim Press in early 2018.  For more information visit: www.triciaknoll.com