Saturday, January 24, 2015

'Deep Purple' ~ the song ~ 1933; Rescued; Skin

1930, Ruth Elies, prom queen at Sun Prairie WI high school
beneath arrow, center.

From age 13 Ruth had her own dance band
a music woman more to be.

Three years later the song DEEP PURPLE was written.

It became Ruth's favorite.
She played it through life
and for her children time after time
on her grand piano.

I remember it well
` ~ indelibly ~
and am moved when I hear it,

Even when jazzed up as in
this brother and sister act that won 
a much later Grammy Award for their version.

Or even when mentioned in a poem
as it was this week on Keillor's `WRITERS ALMANAC:  

The Guest
by Patricia Fargnoli

In the long July evenings,
the French woman
who came to stay every summer
for two weeks at my aunt’s inn
would row my brother and me
out to the middle of the mile-wide lake
so that the three of us
would be surrounded by the wild
extravagance of reds that had transformed
both lake and sky into fire.
It was the summer after our mother died.
I remember the dipping sound of the oars
and the sweet music of our voices as she led us
in the songs she had taught us to love.
“Blue Moon.” “Deep Purple,"
We sang as she rowed, not ever wondering
where she came from or why she was alone,
happy that she was willing to row us
out into all that beauty.

"The Guest" by Patricia Fargnoli, from Winter. © Hobblebush Books, 2013


by Anne Porter

When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold
And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying
Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country
I’ve never understood
Why this is so
But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest
And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country
We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams
And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows
Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.

"Music" by Anne Porter, from Living Things. © Zoland Books, 2006




His note:

"cute critters in crisis,
rescued in the nick or tick of time.
but I'm
wouldn't it be good
if we would
exert as much energy and effort
to rescue endangered humans
as we are moved to and by saving endangered animals?"


I've got you
under my skin

Cole Porter

This was another of Mom's favorites
I heard it a lot

Saturday, January 17, 2015

No better than; Party line; Inverted exla-point; Dust on the bible

Life may not get much better than this:

Retired minister John Helt
reads to his grandson

Think of all the times he's read scripture
from pulpits here
and there

 ~ I was there when he started his preaching career
at Friedens United Church of Christ (UCC)
in the shadow of Pabst brewery
at 13th and Juneau in Milwaukee ~

we may not have provided more willing faces
as thoroughly appreciative Emerson Helt does,

 shown here.

John Helt was sent here fresh out of
A gracious demographically dying old church
peopled only by die-hards.

As his first assignment
Helt worked to raised it up.
Helped give it death with honor...

Nice start in a long pastoral career,
reading a lot and etc..



Play here:

All God's children got a place in the choir
some sing low and sone sing higher


Appeal to the Grammarians
by Paul Violi
We, the naturally hopeful,
Need a simple sign
For the myriad ways we're capsized.
We who love precise language
Need a finer way to convey
Disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
For up-ended expectations,
For every time we're ambushed
By trivial or stupefying irony,
For pure incredulity, we need
The inverted exclamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
For whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift
Or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
Or felt love or pond ice,
Give way underfoot. We deserve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn't bounce back,
The flat tire at journey's outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.
But mainly because I need it – here and now
As I sit outside the Caffe Reggio
Staring at my espresso and cannoli
After this middle-aged couple
Came strolling by and he suddenly
Veered and sneezed all over my table
And she said to him,
"See, that's why
I don't like to eat outside."

Paul Violi, "Appeal to the Grammarians" from Overnight.                                                                                                                                  Copyright © 2007 by Paul Violi.  Reprinted by permission of Hanging Loose Press
Yours in mystery,                                                                                                               poetry,                                                                                                                                         and the yet to be,

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Black-tufted catbird; McNally Joel; Step back; Recent Almanac

This creature was seen peering through
the window at the bird-feeding ledge
atop the Odd Fellows.

We don't believe the species
is known to Waukesha...

May be just a matter of perspective?

Another way of looking at things:

On these recent cold days, good reading to you.


Step back..., further:

Yes, that's it:

Hello to the WHS class of 1954

Always remember this:

Jackson, note the requisite saddle shoes...


My old flame...*

( today's Writers Almanac leads to...*)

by Barton Sutter

Well, Old Flame, the fire’s out.
I miss you most at the laundromat.
Folding sheets is awkward work
Without your help. My nip and tuck
Can’t quite replace your hands,
And I miss that odd square dance
We did. Still, I’m glad to do without
Those gaudy arguments that wore us out.
I’ve gone over them often
They’ve turned grey. You fade and soften
Like the hackles of my favorite winter shirt.
You’ve been a hard habit to break, Old Heart.
When I feel for you beside me in the dark,
The blankets crackle with bright blue sparks.

"Static" by Barton Sutter from The Book of Names. © BOA Editions, 1993.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

You got a friend in me; Wonderland - Gerygone and Twig; Atty. John Grau does pro-bona for the Waukesha Burmese refugees; Some pix at New Year


Grace and Alex with cat at the door

Our grand-
Grace Kari

First singer on this CD...
that's HER voice...

Plans to marry up with this fine chap
Alex Lindgren

Their quartet band, expatriated from Alaska to Missoula Montana
 has been fitting itself up for professionalism
and I think they've now got it
when I listen to Winter Wonderland.


the much anticipated Grau year-end letter:

Who are the Graus, some may ask?

John Grau, a Waukesha attorney, was the pro-bona legalist
for the 1st Congregational UCC Burmese refugee project.  That's been a while now,
 but we are on their Christmas letter list apparently indefinitely.

We're glad of that!


Re the Burmese;


Hla In The Trees, Making Sunlight

Our church’s Burmese young father, refugee from a Thai border camp
Soldier of a freedom army used to climbing jungle trees as a lookout
- ‘Monkey Boy’ he calls himself self-deprecatingly -
Balanced and raised a 30 foot extension ladder by himself with muscular arms
To a high branch of the Honey Locust tree in the secret garden
Then ascended to that branch and even higher into the tree
With a sharp Swedish pruning saw over one arm

He walked the branches with supporting hands grasping higher branches
Studied the sun above him and applied the saw to appropriate shading boughs
Sawed them almost clean through and then when they tipped downward
He finished the cut and guided them to a pinpoint drop zone away from the flowers
Some of the outer branches brushed the flowers but they will survive
And already, two days afterward, they are raising themselves to the sun

Some of the neighbors and my wife express alarm when Hla does these wing-walks
But he just smiles and bobs his eyebrows;  my function from the ground is to give the thumbs up or thumbs down when Hla approaches a target limb
And now the tree is thinned and sunlight beams through onto the garden below
So that next year we can plant not just shade-loving varieties of perennials
But all manner of things there;

(The Lawnist’s oft-called  tree-trimming firm would have had at least two men and a cherry-picker
To do what Hla happily did at a fraction of the cost.)

{David Dix 9-15-2002]

Me Monkey Boy

Soon to retire new car set-up man
my good neighbor Darrell
was heading back to work on his motorcycle
when I waved him into my driveway

And lawnist's wife Carol next door came out
when I called to her through her dining room screen:
"Look up there," I said to Carol and Darrell
This was yesterday around one o'clock

Carol looked up and rushed her hand to her mouth
"Oh, my ---!" she exclaimed
Darrell on his idling cycle said
"I sure hope you've got good insurance, Dave!"

He also said, "Man, I could never do that!
My balance isn't that good!"
That from an old-time motorcyclist
sitting on his throbbing machine

Dee came out the back door
and looked up on our roof too
and her hands flew involuntarily
to her graying hair, and she hollered

He was lying legs-splayed, head-low on the edge
of our two and a half story roof reaching down and under
scraping and painting the overhang bottom

With no net;
To get up there he used our fully-extended
extra-long ladder carrying a bucket of paint
and a stiff putty knife in his pocket

He laughed skyward like Buddha
at the shocked, sedentary Americans gathered below,
Then stood up on the edge of the roof on one foot
raised his arms and said, " Don't worry!

Davidix (always as one word),
DeeDix (always as one word),
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, I Monkey Boy"

[Daid Zep Dix 8-9-2002]

Hla rode working elephants like this formerly, in Burma

from the Raccoon: 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Speaking of stones

Fecund, full of life
Lithop pretends to be stone
Doesn't make it


Late 2014-15 pictures

A good one!
A seemingly congenial shot of Reilly and Scrima.

It illustrates an old YIBAWEan premise:

The value of hair
will continue to fall:
Yes I'm Bald, And What Else?

were out, come election day.

(Fez interior label is satin)

There is DRAMA
and there is D-r-a-m-a

SRN editor wears his DOKK fez
on New Years Day,
parades, and
special occasions

as 1-1-15

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Christmas report abbreviated; A downtown Yule; Wis's Xmas letter

A new tree ornament
in raccoon form
joins the phalanx of raccoons here 
at the Odd Fellows

Ben reposes on Dee's new Plowshares cushion

Ben and Erin and feet (warm)

Ben and Erin 

Ben is the tech wizard who enabled me to conclude 
the 2014 60th Waukesha high school site:

Lee and old friend Joe play cribbage

Lee computes

My Christmas squid
brought back from Japan by Lee
earlier this year.  Yum!

See this:


A downtown Yule 2014

The Alcoholics Anonymous club (Alanon)
across from the Clarke Irish Restaurant 
 - both out our window -
is a scene for warm and tragic comings and goings
when, during the difficult holidays

we see folks embracing each other as they come and go
through that doorway.
Or entering and exiting hoping to be unnoticed.
There is no sign identifying the club.

That juxtapose with the upscale restaurant and hotel
where guests according to the Police Blotter columns in the local 
paper recently complained to the cops about the undue noise down beneath their boutique rooms
(foreground of our picture)

had us thinking that when the bars spill out at 2AM and the baying at the moon
commences NIGHTLY from the drunken patrons
who have been over-served
and who are not at all thoughtful of the downtown residents
who are trying to sleep -

the cops ARE GONNA GET called sometimes
and staggerers are wrist-slapped and told to move on.

But on the other side of the ledger
good things do happen downtown:

The recently opened pet spa next door to our South Street entrance
operated by a great young woman who works hand in hand with the
humane society, also working out there at the Northview HAWS as a volunteer,
has had kittens in her shop window - the hope being to increase the chances
of adoptions happening with the downtown shop window exposure.

Meantime she and her mother groom animals.  A satisfied friend of ours from church
has become a regular grooming customer. Our KD Cat has her nails done there.
(Her Xmas toys came from this PAWS FOR PETS store.)

As it happens,

'The purple-haired lady'
- operator of the Altmont Art Gallery a scant block and a half away -
was passing by the spa and fell in love wth the two current kittens in the window.

She and her husband have adopted them.  A little more time must go by
for the male to reach the point when he can be neutered.  And then
The purple-haired lady and her husband, a jolly good fellow,
can stop making their beloved daily bonding visits to the shop
and take the little creatures to their new forever home.

Something tells me its all happening...


Wis's annual American Gothic Christmas letter
(Always highly-anticipated for decades)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's in Santa's bag?; Wis Guthrie celebrates Xmas 2014; The Sun; Bell ringer


Not a sobriety test


 Wis Guthrie celebrates Christmas 2014
by attending the children's pageant at the 1st Cong. UCC
Broadway and East Aves. Waukesha

(Fast break by Brandon)

Wis's sculpture of the old dirt monster casts a menacing shadow
in our Odd Fellows bedroom last night.

This was why.  Our night light was behind where the monster got put
in stage one of our yuletide clean-up ahead of the kids' Xmas visit.

Startled us for a second as it cast its shadow under the still dark skylight.

At Halloween last year the dirt monster (or 'god' as it is sometimes known)
cast a purposeful shadow.  We've had this effigy since the 60s when Wis created it from found parts - raggy burlap, a roaster, vacuum brushes, shoe brushes, belt-kit links, etc - 
as an art professor at Carroll College.  Wis's instruction before he would sell it 
was that it must never be dusted.  His will has been done thusfar.

John Tyson, Wis Guthrie, Carroll art profs. circa 1963

Wis has a popsicle at the Waukesha Farmers Market this year.
He rides his electric scooter/chair on his rounds at the market along the Fox River.

To be continued.


Our last issue of The Sun came yesterday.  As usual I read it cover to cover
getting up in the middle of last light to finish it.
It is the most intriguing Christmas gift I'm tempted to say EVER
 John and Cindy Helt gave it to Dee and me.

I'm sorry to admit I had not heard of the literary monthly 
- done without ads- before last Xmas
but its monthly arrival now has been anxiously anticipated
 at the Odd Fellows.

 I have renewed it for another year.  Below is just one page
as a sample, with a high-lighted letter in their READERS WRITE
section (there are about 6 pages exquisite of letters):


Bell ringer Bruce Boeck.  How many years has he been doing it now?