Saturday, September 7, 2013

A text to son; A work space; Waiting in a; Getting Light (revisited); Bob Sellars from my view

Simple fare on the menu last night
an entre I am well-used to
sauer kraut and spare-ribs
which Dee (Mom) prepares for me
whenever I feel like it.

I had my un-fill of it in my grandma's house
on Arcadian Avenue
- you know the place -
It's a German dish, the kind known
to poorish folk, simple taste types.

Aromatic, not much to look at, but real good.

Simmered down over hours in the crock pot

served over farmers market small potatoes and Cindy Helt's tomatoes


where the raccoon happens


Getting Light

I saw a golden cat as the barely rising sun
Still behind the West Virginia mountains
Made the sky slightly pink and not as blackened
As it was when my walk across the river
An hour ago had just begun

The cat lay on top of a garbage can
In kind of a no-man’s land
Off an alley I was walking
On Wheeling Island hawking
For queer things to expose my film at, and

It was soon after I’d passed an Hibiscus hedge
Following a tenuous crossing
From Wheeling to the island
On a pre-Civil War suspension bridge

An isolated community I so much annually enjoy
I quiver looking down from such a high ledge
Through the swaying gratewalk at the water
Far below

The cat had likely been out all night
A satisfied smile showed just a trace
As maybe full of mice it looked benignly
Upon my out of town face

And we spoke in wow wows kindly
Then he graciously said signly
Take my picture Mr. Man, it’s quite alright

That’s how I read him all the same
So I raised my camera squinting through it taking aim
Got him centered for quick shooting because
He was sitting on his paws so nice and tame

His face turned to glowing phosphorus
I could see it through my finder
I could have not made him blinder
In incandescence he was one loud screeching puss

The mood of our acquaintance turned dreary
And he ricocheted round so bleary
And I knew in an instant I should have used
Available light

Would the cat have sat still for that though
Was something I did not know so
The flash went off and temporarily
So went his pussycat sight

Next year when I go back there
I hope to see his cat hair
Resettled and him once again
At his curmudgeonly ease

I shall pet his golden coif so
He will be ready when I show him the photo
And to his eyes and heart
I might hold the kitty cat keys

I’ll pledge to him in the sternest of stricture
Should I ever again capture his picture
There’ll be no flash in his face
When he says cheese

[D. Septix]

Not a rude entrance,
the courtyard to the Odd Fellows hall
with lovely flowers kept by Fiona
who lives down the hall from us.

Note the Silurean-age limestone
rockpiles of which much of the downtown exists.
This courtyard used to be just a service alley.
That rockpile wall wasn't intended at first
to be so attention-getting.

Note also the new awning(s) just erected
across South Street on the bank building
which is now the Guzman insurance agency building.
That is a magnificent work in progress,
the restoration of another old dormancy
by a young couple long on energy.


Green Canoe

I don't often get the chance any longer
to go out alone in the green canoe
and, lying in the bottom of the boat,
just drift where the breeze takes me,
down to the other end of the lake
or into some cove without my knowing
because I can't see anything over
the gunwales but sky as I lie there,
feeling the ribs of the boat as my own,
this floating pod with a body inside it ...

also a mind, that drifts among clouds
and the sounds that carry over water—
a flutter of birdsong, a screen door
slamming shut—as well as the usual stuff
that clutters it, but slowed down, opened up,
like the fluff of milkweed tugged
from its husk and floating over the lake,
to be mistaken for mayflies at dusk
by feeding trout, or be carried away
to a place where the seeds might sprout.

"Green Canoe" by Jeffrey Harrison, from Feeding the Fire. © Sarabande Books, 2001


[not known for]


Just gone

The church - Waukesha - lost a giant last week. 
Among hundreds (pick a number? Thousands?) of others, I lost a friend
the other day.

The service for Bob last Sunday afternoonwas thorough in tributes
- his children and grandchildren spoke eloquently -
so I only want to add a couple things of my own.
Bob in his last years, years of massive muscle debilitation,
relied on his computer and Email to reach out from his confinement.

I got and kept some good stuff from Bob.
At random, I will pass along just a few things.

First though, I've got two pictures from the meet the new
interim minister gathering held at the Sellars home
that showed Bob and Libby at their traditional
welcoming 'anything for the church' selves.

This was in 2009, when Rev. Deb Howland came to meet members
in individual homes in getting acquainted.  The Sellars dining room was
bathed in gold light, per the rudimentary camera I then used.

DH prepared the way in her protracted and stellar interim service to the Congo
for the eventual calling of our current pastor, Brittany Barber,
who so well conducted the memorial rite last Sunday for Bob.
A huge choir of friends of Bob sang his favorites.  They wore the stored
robes to fulfill Bob's wish.  Mark the music maestro worked everything Bob and
family wanted in,
including beginning the service with Debussy's Claire de Lune.
Raccoon readers have only to search the names 'Howland' (she too was in the choir)
and 'Barber' on our SRN blog/diary page.

Vocalists Sean DeBoth, Steve Hale and Dave Huber sang for Bob.
Dave used to zip Bob's choir robe on and off for those later years when Bob
couldn't manage.  When Dave wasn't there, Steve did it, including walking at 
Bob's side to and from the choir loft.  Bob loved to sing.
Singing for Bob at the service meant a lot for the 25 choir members.

a picture of a strive through desolate terrain from my Bob Sellars file
- he sent it recently -

From Bob via E:

Perhaps hard to believe. But this is true. I saw this more than once in Beer Halls
in some of the European cities while attending IDF meetings.
Those of you who are or were IDF - USDA members – perhaps have seen this yourself.
I looked at one of the waitresses’ after she had delivered the steins and saw the muscles
in her arms, decided she would not be one with whom to have a problem. 

WOW. One of the things I was most impressed with them was the length of their fingers
      long enough to hold them without significant spillage. I could not tell but I believe she
had some of the handles over her forearms?   

             Hope all is well with you.


A little-known fact:

The Congregational Church does an historic pancake supper annually.
For many years our batter was renowned for a delicious flavor.
Some, but not many, knew that Bob Sellars had devised
and introduced
a pancake enzyme through his professional effort and affiliation.
He did not ballyhoo this fact, sought no credit or compensation
for the secret ingredient.  When Bob retired from his company
the free additive was no longer available to our church.
 Bob once told Steve Hale, under his breath,
that if the true cost of this augmentation
were passed along to us,
there would have been no profit
for our labors shown on the balance sheet.

Such were the many kindnesses of Bob Sellars!


I did not just drag and drop.
I did not just haul a burden so heavy
that my hands, arms, and shoulders
gave way
and I had to let it go.

Neither did I just browse.
I did not get on my hands and knees
and join the gentle cows
to slowly sample
whatever the open field had to offer.

Instead, I sat here at my desk
manipulating a mouse
which is not, in fact, a mouse
and I searched
for something on the web
that is not, in fact, a web.

And isn't this how we move forward:

with horsepower for jet engines
and candlepower for light bulbs
we take what we understand from one era
to describe
what we don't
in the next.

"Progress" by Julie Cadwallader-Staub. © Julie Cadwallader-Staub. 
The Writers Almanac for today, September 7, 2013