Jackie Kenny

Writer. Farmer. Bookseller. 

Driven by a passion for the natural world and a belief in the power of words. 


I BUY A BASIL plant for the summer. The plant had stood alone, perched on a barren shelf at Trader Joe’s—lush, a tempting canopy cloud of green. I do not expect it to last the summer, not weeks of leading hiking and camping trips for middle-schoolers throughout the High Sierras of California. But my heart had leapt so involuntarily when I first spotted it, sparkling from a recent watering, blooming happily below a tray of yellowing mangos, that I couldn’t resist.

Fiction from Jackie Kenny

My girlfriend has built her house on the salt flats. The salt flats lie bone white and glittering in the mountains, thousands of feet above the cold roaring sea. She told me that a hundred years ago, the flats were a clear blue lake, salty enough that small stones would float on the surface. People came on pilgrimages from miles away to collect the water in glass vials, plastic bottles, tightly sealed Tupperware. On their return home, they dabbed the water on the cracked lips and warm foreheads of their loved ones.