14 Possible Ducks
Yesterday, in the immigrant rallies, marches and protests, I was spared. Not even my pals in radio called to make me babble about the border. No CNN, no MSNBC, no local news, no newspapers, no C-SPAN. No Jay Marvin or Air America! No NPR! I slipped under the border fence this year, and I want to say Thank You to the universe for that! Because the upshot of being forgotten this year is: no hate mail, no veiled death threats, and no insults from good Christians and noble patriotic Americans. No Minutemen manques writing me insane "lick our boots" screeds. No idiots sending me diatribes about criminal Beaners. Nobody saying I'm a bad American, a bad Mexican, or a traitor to anybody. Nothing! Just...poems. People send me poems! Nice notes! Pictures of hummingbirds! Thoughts about God and David Grayson! People even flirt!

Still, immigration never sleeps. I'm ending my first border/immigration course at UIC this week, and my big bad Border Patrol amigo, Warrior--The Swedish Samurai--will come and end the class with a visit. The students don't know what to expect. Perhaps he doesn't, either. But we have had undocumented farmworkers speak. And we have had authors write them letters. And now the USBP will be representing. The secret message, as always, is: Oh my God, they're human.

All you need is love, John Lennon used to sing before he got shot.

Hey--the garden has gone INSANE. I approach the plants like I approach the cat, my writing, and my relationships--as a sensual experience. I can't help myself. I pet the plants I put in like they're my prom dates. I'm a freak. But the flowering dogwood flowered, the dead poppy set off unexpected fresh fireworks, the columbines know I'm missing the Rockies and overnight put up massive stalks loaded with buds, the hydrangea is blooming, and I already have three tomatoes. I AM MR. GREEN JEANS.

We put a birdbath in the middle of our little circle garden in the back, and I put violas around it. I'm just faking it, since I have no idea what I'm doing. But, you know, it's yellows, reds and oranges over here, whites and pinks over there, and lavender/purples over yonder. We'll see how it grows. The birds are contributing by scattering sunflower seeds, so it'll be a human / avian garden. Kind of like my writing.

I like to think that the earth and the hummingbirds help me compose. This is how Spirit (and the spirits) speak to me. Through the Border Patrol! Through the geese that get on the neighbor's roof and scream threats at me. Through that slinky little tweener raccoon who lacks only an iPod to make her fit in with the girls around here. Chayo loves worms and dirt and millipedes and more worms. How can God not talk to me when she yells in delight over a long red centipede or a colony of roly-poly bugs? These are my partners, along with the writers I attend to. The cardinal, the goldfinch, the butterfly, the nasty monster spiders. My crazy kids. Dragonflies really get me going. I need a pond with many, many dragonflies. That's for the future Rancho Urrea: dragonflies! Oh, and some peacocks! Uh, and a pig! And chickens! I enjoy spending mornings with chickens!

It is all brilliant chips of light. It is all fragments of the Soul. The big Maker's Soul. Scattering verses across the page of the world.

Can't we stop killing it all?

Can't we stop erasing God?

By the way, the mallard family that has been grousing all over our back yards has settled in Miss Felicia's garden and laid 14 eggs. Ducks, man! 14 potential ducks! How can you not WRITE?

Send me a letter--I miss you.

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