Saturday, September 28, 2013

Automaton (for Wm); Halloween cat dances, cont'd; Dogs; Indian Love Call; The Yak; How it is; Cactus; Hot Damn

Convey to William R., please:



A constant amusement can be a cat
KD likes to go behind the shower curtain, that
is a game for her.  I sat
on the throne next to the tub with my camera,
put my finger to the curtain and eventually: SPLAT!
She slaps hard at the membrane, so hard
that her clipped claws show through 
the transluscence.  The old curtain is taxed
but so far has not been penetrated by the rounded nails
that we tend as assiduously as in BB's own.

Now look as this still picture bordered in Halloween
Imagine yourself holding your own fingers to the
filmy screen, not knowing just when the cat
will lunge fiercely and mightily.

It's kind of scary, that!

KD is black and a miniature (she says NO!) leopard
as is in Rudyard Disney's Jungle Book.

Another cat dance
has to do with a lead zeppelin
pull toy.

Actually it is cast iron
but 'lead' sounds better
and the persistent dance KD does
is to ceremoniously push the heavy thing
down off the bookcase, over
and over......we put it back up
and she pushes it down again
at odd times often in the middle
of the night.

We will say, "There goes the zeppelin!"



How It Is with Us, and How It Is with Them

We become religious,
then we turn from it,
then we are in need and maybe we turn back.
We turn to making money,
then we turn to the moral life,
then we think about money again.
We meet wonderful people, but lose them
     in our busyness.
We're, as the saying goes, all over the place.
Steadfastness, it seems,
is more about dogs than about us.
One of the reasons we love them so much.

"How It Is with Us, and How It Is with Them" by Mary Oliver, from Dog Songs. © Penguin, 2013.


The year 1953 we moved from Windsor Drive
to Hy 18 near Brandybrook in the Wales region
and my stepfather and my mother bought a dog,
a country dog, finally.

His name was Tar and we all loved him.
It was reciprocal, though he was really my
little brother Steve's dog.  He was born 17 years 
after I was, and we were from the start
in different places.

Tar became known as Tardy
and Steve was totally in love with that dog.
I was about senior in high school business
and liked Tardy, but Steve loved him
with all his heart.

John, my stepfather, was a great man
with numbers who swerved to business
and alcohol, I'm sorry to say 
on the latter.

There were some discordant moments
for Steve, and that dog took on a role for him
all the more.

John wanted am image of a country gentleman
with horses grazing on his land, 
so he bought Bill, a Golden Palomino
stallion, and built a corral and a tack room
that matched the modern house we had
on the other side of the turn-around
where we lived
in splendor.  Bill did, too.

 Bill made the mistake of kicking Steve once,
in the head, and it was a serious injury.
That ended Bill
and John's foray into horses, forever.
It was adios, Bill.

Tardy was there to muzzle Steve back to health,
but lingering unknown head injury might have been there 
in one form or another.



Somewhere in the bowels of the downtown 
sweatshop district

a made-in-America industry blossoms
like the morning glories
year after year.

A taxer might like to see 
the company balance sheet;
what are they doing with all that income
they must be making
and do they -
could they owe taxes on it?

It's for the mfgrs to know
and them to find out.
just maybe the work is given away........
as in
Money Cannot Buy.


Visible in the picture -
note RED TROUSERS custom-made
by a business partner
for a cat who insisted on owning
such a garment.

She, the cat, is gone now
but is memorialized.


In the 30s when mother and father were courting
Ruth played the saxophone in the Sun Prairie HS band.
Les, her band teacher, caught up in the romance of the day
fell in love over Indian Love Call.
Les wrote it out for Ruth in ink, five lines, music and lyric.

They all grooved, folks of that day to


The Yak

As a friend to the children, commend me the Yak;
     You will find it exactly the thing;
It will carry and fetch, you can ride on its back,
     Or lead it about with a string.

The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Thibet
     (A desolate region of snow),
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet,
     And surely the Tartar should know!

Then tell your papa where the Yak can be got,
     And if he is awfully rich,
He will buy you the creature—or else he will not
     (I cannot be positive which).

"The Yak" by Hilaire Belloc, from Sonnets and Verse: The Collected Poems of Hilaire Belloc. © Duckworth, 1947

NOTE: As is the custom here at the Odd Fellows
I first thing opened the computer's doings
to the Writers Almanac
and found this poem of the day
written in the 1940s - a good and bad decade
about a friendly animal
which Trooper and Tar and Sally
and Mona were, and now KD Cat is.


MORE ANIMALS:  Mysteries abound in the downtown.
In a daylight walk through Cutler Park
large animal prints were found on the sidewalk
meandering backards from Wisconsin Ave to the bandshell.
Certainly not squirrels though they have been actively
pursuing the fallen acorns from the oak trees.

No, these looked more like...................bear prints.
As in Bearfoot In The Park.


Life is prickly.
This a new cactus at the Odd Fellows.
Bought at last Saturday's farmers market.
It was kindly delivered by the vendor
to our door.
We were burdened by other things we'd purchased
and it was no imposition for her, she nicely said.

Cindy Lou's Exotic Cactus
New Berlin, WI

21855 W. Greenfield Ave


Autumn descends

and the hardy zucchini planting
that never got magnificently placed
in a home garden as was the hope
perhaps of the vendor
at the farmers market

or maybe he only cared
for the $3 I gave him

It did its thing in spades
only set on a window sill
no shoveling or scooping of soil

No tender patting of a soil bed
just watering by us
in what was apparently
the right quantity

Or maybe it wasn't fussy
it just went to town
in the Odd Fellows hall
with only northwest light

But now it too winds down
but still casts blossoms
even while its leaves
begin to wither......

Its fall time.

Photo taken 9-26-13



Behind the running lane
last night
The Hot Band set up and played
6 pm to 9
in font of the Pix
now known as the Civic Theatre
and we ducked under the tape
and found a seat for it was early.

Fred Pike of the band
greeted me with a smiling handshake.
I love this band as previous editions of the raccoon show:
Scroll down

Multi-instrumentalist Fred Pike on his mandolin

The percussionist plays on the box he sat on, customarily
and his perpetual bright smile rarely left his face

A strolling couple broke into dance behind the band.

Colorful Pix usher sports tux and sandals
Sewer Raccoon peers from storm grate
Watches doings safely
The Civic never dreamed life could be like this
The Hot Damn beat went on......

Under the canopy of the Pix (Civic Theatre)
Friday Night Live ended for another year
on the teeming closed for vehicles streets.

Inside the Pix, the great show
plays through Sept. 29th.