Saturday, July 20, 2013

A tree comes down; Peace in the neighborhood (that WOULD be a fine thing); Tagged for Wis, puzzle-doer; Happy days; Souls; Heard that song before

We had a tree
on the Five Points
surgically removed
on a hot and steamy day

It appeared healthy
but in the thinning out
of things downtown
maybe it had to go?

there it goes!

What's coming for downtown Waukesha?
Questions posed by warring factions
 varying weather reports
cloud the atmosphere
at times

But we are hopeful
and look for the ultimate V (...-)

Peace in the neighborhood
by Paul MCCartney



Seeing Sir Paul live was an experience. So glad we talked ourselves into it when we heard tickets were going on sale months ago. That boy certainly doesn’t need to be touring at this stage of his life. He must enjoy doing it, is all we can figure. And that’s exactly how the entire show felt. We got the impression that he feels he owes it to us to be entertained and he was happy to do it. As quickly as they transitioned from one song to the next, he still took time to joke and tell little stories about playing for and with Hendrix, Clapton, etc. He reminded us to tell our family and friends we love them as often as we can, as he regrets not saying so to John one more time. He played for three hours straight without a break in 100° heat, although I’m sure they were blowing what cold air they could on the stage. And even when his band did take a break, he continued to play acoustic sets alone with his guitar or piano. He may have lost just a tad of high range, but his voice is just as clear and wonderful as ever. How does he do it? It was quite amazing.

Love you all!



Baccalaureate Hymn

Earth was given as a garden, cradle for humanity;
Tree of life and tree of knowledge placed for our discovery.
Here was home for all your creatures born of land and sky and sea;
All created in your image, all to live in harmony.
Show to us again the garden where all life flows fresh and free.
Gently guide your sons and daughters into full maturity.
Teach us how to trust each other, how to use for good our power,
How to touch the earth with rev'rence. Then once more will Eden flower.
Bless the earth and all your children, one creation makes us whole,
Interwoven, all connected, planet wide and in most soul.
Holy mother, life bestowing, bid our waste and warfare cease.
Fill us all with grace o'er flowing. Teach us how to live in peace.
[Words: Roberta Bard (b. 1940); Music Rowland Hugh Prichard (1811-1887)]

That was the peace theme
sung at daughter Erin's graduation
from Lawrence University in June of 08

Avalon puzzle-worker

Puzzle Dust

When the final piece is lifted and set in place,
completing the field, filling the hole
in a grove of trees, a jagged gap
in the ocean or the flat, black sky.
When the scene is whole before me:
tiny men, arms thin as wicks, walking
briskly along a gray rain-riven street,
the woman bent to her dog under an awning,
his wet head held up with trust,
one white paw in her hand, tip
of his tail I kept trying all day
to press into the starry night, ruffled
hem of her blown-up skirt
that never fit into the distant waves
breaking along the shore,
and the bridge, its rickrack of steel girders
I thought were train tracks or a fallen fence,
when it all, at last, makes sense, a vast
satisfaction fills me: the mossy boulders,
pleasing in their eternal random piles,
the river eased around them, green
with its fever to reach the sea,
a ragged bunch of flowers gathered
from the hills I've locked together,
edge to edge, and placed in a glittering vase
behind a window streaked with rain
which the child in his woolen cap
looks into: boxes of candy wrapped
and displayed, desire burning
in his belly, precursor to the fire
that could have broken his small heart
open like a coal someday
in his future, which for him
is nothing but this empty box
layered with a fine dust, the stuff
from which he was born and will
die into, carried, weightless,
to summer's open door
where I bang my hand against
the cardboard, watch the particles,
like chaff or ashes, vanish in wind.

"Puzzle Dust" by Dorianne Laux, from Facts About the Moon. © Norton, 200


Happy days will come again

Click this:

In 1963, Judy Garland was a forty-one year old fading star just a few short years from her own premature death from a drug overdose, while Barbra Streisand was twenty-one and an emerging star who already had a cult following. Garland, always broke, needed her new television show to be a hit -- and Streisand had a reputation as a guest star who could bring standout ratings and reviews. And so it was that Garland pieced together her own fragile self-confidence and invited the irrepressible Streisand to be a guest on her show:

"At forty-one, Garland looked a decade older. Pills, alcohol, heartache, illness, roller-coaster dieting -- and the recent ongoing battles with her husband over their children -- had all taken their toll. This television show, for which she'd now taped eight episodes, was supposed to make her rich. That was what Begelman and Fields had promised. Garland was always broke, due to bad financial management and overspending. She envied male contemporaries such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope who were rolling in the dough, much of it earned in television. This show, she hoped, would change all that. Her agents had never been wrong before. But problems had arisen almost from the start. ...

"Barbra [Streisand] was the most exciting, most talked-about guest they'd had on their brand new revolving stage since they'd started production. Everyone was hoping Barbra could bring a little of the razzle-dazzle she'd bestowed upon [shows like] Brasselle and Garry Moore and Dinah Shore -- and the ratings and the reviews as well.

"In her trailer at the end of the mock Yellow Brick Road, Garland, wasn't unaware of the excitement being generated by the arrival of this Streisand kid. She was 'nervous and anxious and jealous,' one friend, Tucker Fleming, observed. Looking at her face in the mirror, Garland ran her fingers down the wrinkles and creases she saw there, clearly aware of the youthful features of the singer she would soon be rehearsing with....

"To Garland, Barbra wasn't ugly or funny-looking. She was young, fresh-faced, her eyes undamaged by the battle between insomnia and sleeping pills. David Begelman had introduced his two clients in Lake Tahoe, where he'd brought Garland to see Barbra perform at Harrah's. So the old pro had witnessed firsthand the confident, youthful energy Barbra exuded onstage. No wonder she was insecure. While Garland still conjured an exquisite alchemy in front of an audience, youth and confidence were two attributes she definitely did not possess. Barbra also had a voice that everyone was raving about, in ways Garland 'could only remember people raving about her.' ...

"No wonder Judy Garland's hands were shaking as she headed down the Yellow Brick Road to meet Barbra Streisand, who was waiting for her on the soundstage. By rights, it should have been the other way around. It should have been the twenty-one-year-old kid, the neophyte singer who'd been performing for barely three years, who was trembling to meet Judy Garland. But Barbra's nerves were steady, her manner calm, as the cameras began rolling on Friday, October 4, for the final taping of the show. ...

"The veteran star kept taking Barbra's hands, touching her, putting her arm around her. She was trembling. Barbra was flabbergasted. Garland was older, successful, venerated. Why should she be shaking when meeting a girl who was just starting out? Barbra didn't get it.

"Her heart went out to Garland. An 'instant soul connection' was how Barbra described her encounter with the older woman. She probably didn't know the full story of what was going on behind the scenes, or the sense of trepidation that Garland lived with nearly every moment on the show. If the fragile star made one false step, she feared that they'd give her the ax. ...

"Barbra sang two solo numbers that night. ... Yet as good as her solo numbers were, it was the duets with Garland that everyone was waiting for. ... The familiar piano introduction for 'Happy Days' began [familiar to audiences from Streisand's first album]. 'Happy days are here again,' Barbra sang, as Judy matched her with 'Forget your troubles, come on, get happy' [a legendary Garland number]. The older woman seemed to be holding on to the younger one for dear life; Barbra felt, once again, the trembling of Garland's body. During rehearsals, the two had developed a tender chemistry that emerged now in front of the cameras, real and vivid and palpable. It may have been borne of sympathy on Barbra's part and competition on Judy's, but it was genuine, and it made for fascinating television. Masterfully arranged, the counterpoint of 'Happy Days' and 'Get Happy' riveted the audience, including those hard-to-please network execs."

Author: William J. Mann 
Title: Hello, Gorgeous 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Date: Copyright 2012

Un-met acquaintance bears soul
Our cat does likewise

A woman presently in Greece 
who has been sending the Raccoon
for years
words of encouragement off and on
sent a lengthy and welcome Email last week
which we printed out
 -invested ink in.

After showering we sat down 
in the Mona memorial chair

and read the collection of terse comments
stapled together to this lengthier exposition:

Placing the sheaf of paper on the floor
we sat and reflected on this receipt of the day,

And Mona's inheritor of this Odd Fellows residence
- a sublet supreme,
KD Cat rolled over on her back at my feet
and exposed something of her own:

She bared her underbelly white 'V' (for Victory)!
Something she's been previously loathe to do.
She held the pose for me to get the camera.

No messages were lost on us that day.