Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jose Marti; Celia Cruz Birthday; Guantanamera; Pete Seeger; My son's favorite poet - a fall sonnet; Leather; i thank you

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

This is item number 1 due to it's being the luck of the draw on Saturday Writers Almanac,  10/26/13

"i thank You God for most this amazing" by E.E. Cummings, from 100 Selected Poems. © Grove Press, 1994





 wrote these words:

"With the poor people of this earth
I wish to share my fate;

The streams of the mountain
pleases me more than the sea."

Cuban singer, Celia Cruz

On Google today. (10/21)

....HAD YOU LIVED; the song and inspiration LIVES

Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad (October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003) was a Cuban-Americansalsa performer. One of the most popular salsa artists of the 20th century, she earned twenty-three gold albums and was renowned internationally as the "Queen of Salsa" as well as "La Guarachera de Cuba."
She spent much of her career living in New Jersey, and working in the United States and several Latin American countries. Leila Cobo ofBillboard Magazine once said "Cruz is indisputably the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban music."  (WIKIPEDIA)


I first heard of Pete Seeger when he came to the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1954.  I was a freshman.  There were some protests against his being given entree there.  Some thought he was a C-O-M-M-U-N-I-S-T.  (Horrors!)

The Young Republicans for one example, were ag'in him. So was The John Birch Society.  He was singing with The Weavers,
surely a communist outfit, some thought.  They sang such songs as:

  • 1. Wimoweh

  • 2.Wreck of the John B

  • 3.Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
  • 4.On Top of Old Smokey
  • 5.Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
  • 6.The Roving Kind
  • 7.Old Paint (Ride Around Little Dogies)
  • 8.When the Saints Go Marching In
  • 9.I Know Where I'm Going
  • 10.Around the Corner (Beneath the Berry Tree)
  • 11.Midnight Special
  • 12.Lonesome Traveler
  • 13.Hush Little Baby
  • 14.Suliram (I'll Be There)
  • 15.Hard, Ain't It Hard
  • 16.The Bay of Mexico
  • 17.Along the Colorado Trail
  • 18.The Frozen Logger
  • 19.So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)
  • 20.Goodnight Irene

I attended the Seeger concert, and was changed, beginning then, and gradually forever.

and here's one where Pete's grandson
sings it with him:


The song by Marti has been adapted

in many different ways:


and always resonates!

Again, happy birthday Celia Cruz.


Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

"Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold" by William Shakespeare. Public domain


From Raccoon stringer
Rev. Tom Bentz

This fall-themed recall from his formative years
an Email rec'd today (10-21-13) with video clip:

"Our 25-year-old prodigy pianist, organist, composer and church music director
just sent me his music for November
as my favorite fading month of October goes  
while I try to remember
and the late Jerry Orbach
and seeing him in Carnival, my first musical on Broadway,
on my high school senior trip 50 years ago,
turning me into a carny . . ."


not broken

(he lived)


From son Lee's Facebook:

#Leather. So hot right now. #nyc #kindergarten #fashion
Like ·  ·  · 6 hours ago · 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Guthrie's Dirt God; Holy Hill gonna get you!

The Dirt God
by Wis Guthrie 1965
has held forth in a variety of homes -
when I got it I was living above the Decoratory
downtown here on Grand Ave.

Then it migrated yon and hither, eventually
 frightening our children, first in their home
on Arcadian Ave

and now it is back downtown
at the Odd Fellows Hall on The Five Points.

This year at Halloween season the never-dusted effigy
(we were advised by Wis)
has ascended to the top rung of a tall step-ladder
and is lit by a high intensity lamp
 to maximize the fright

even on the far Five Points streets below.
We paint the 18 foot high walls 
to our satisfaction only
with stilted scary shadows
and they are easily-removed, 
erased at the flick of a switch.

The 'ears' of the Mickey Monsterous creature
are formed by the vacuum cleaner brush eyes
Wis may have found in one of his junk troves 
or dumpster-dives.

His admonition of NEVER DUST makes
this never-dusted creature well-suited for
a high ladder.  It is now v-e-r-y dusty.

signed by the artist

Bony Maronie

A Winged Gourd
- named Bony Maronie -
from our own collection
of found objects, this time a 25 cent gourd
from a farmers market vendor two years ago
has gathered enough mould
by standing around 
to warrant final varnish finish

The only paint added
thanks to the effects of time alone
have been the beak and eye
the latter picking up on the mould motif.
It stands (flies) on its own. (Bony-ly;  see it?)

The gourd bird hangs drying from a canoe
paddle secured by our HD vise
in the Odd Fellow loft workshop high above
the turgid commerce of the Five Points.

KD is eyeing the skylight for real birds.

I am working at the newspaper-covered old Samsonite card table
of Haynes and Ann Bunker's on Arcadian Ave.
Many activities have taken place on this table......

Uncle Lee, Mother Ruth, Grandpa Ray, Father Les playing cribbage.

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
"The Garden of Love" by William Blake, from The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake. © Doubleday, 1988

(The ages go dark and come light, alternatively. - D. Septix)




Hubertus Oct. 2013 / A pleasant drive up Hy 164 from Waukesha to Holy Hill the other day took us near the double-wide trailer of John Helt, pastor of St. Paul's UCC and spouse Cindy Helt. John and I'd planned to lunch together at the Holy Hill Cafe but a death in his congregation stilled that idea. So I was content to solo it to the much-visited hallowed ground of the basilica and just pass near the neighborhood of John & Cindy in the process.  Their mobile home (in appearance only) lies in the shadow of the mighty cathedral.  See Illus. above.  A certain striking juxtapose, there.

John and his wife occupy a garden of their own after a few years back taking possession of their trailer located in the loosely-zoned Colgate subdivision where it sits, still, but now, converted through their sweat equity into a veritable Eden.  Subdivision neighbors regularly pass by in awe
over what John and Cindy have wrought.

We've written and photographed reams on the dwellings over the years of the Helts and their kin.  Above, their present front portal shows the door light of their perpetual welcome under a full moon, taken by us as we left them, just, as it later turned out when we saw the picture we'd gotten, at the right moment to maximize this current Trailurian Era resting place.

It is where they and their chicken Huldy, an egg-layer pet, are dug in for a duration.  The landscaping they've done - tree-planting, gardening, etc., make the current visage much different from the immediate shot above, an old picture emphasizing the trailer (just pretend) origin.


Holy Hill continues:

We first spied the twin spires as we drove west on Hy 167, having turned off 164.  The view has been seen by millions, but we paused and snapped our perfunctory picture, such as it was.  The fall colors were not at their height (yet? anymore?) but is is always striking to see that topo-alignment.

And from the lower parking lot:

A discalced (sandaled) brother greeted departing worshipers as the basilica door. 

Wheel-chaired tour bus visitors wait outside gift store/ rest rooms/ main lobby entrance, catching the holy sunshine.

Inside the gift store, a bin of St. Joseph statues and a gazillion other religious items await.  I checked and the low price of this plastic Joseph
model is still what I paid, almost.  I bought many of them to bury in the yards of homes I was trying to sell as a Realtor.  Uncolorful, plain, suitable for underground committal.

Sometimes they worked.

This crucifix, one of many displayed, caught my eye.  Jesus appears to be putting a dove of peace to wing just prior to paying the ultimate price.

My minor gift store investment on this visit, during these current economic times,
was merely a Ten Commandment ruler that glows in the dark.
I confess my lifetime batting average in keeping these rules was low
in earlier days, and I expect to answer for that later. 

The cafe where John and I were to meet for lunch, but for the unexpected death in his congregation at St. Paul's UCC church, which is, again, just over a couple of hills from here.

With all the savory entrees, I chose a hot dog.  A very good hot dog.

Seating is available in the main dining rooms or in a sort of an enclosed veranda add-on.  Opposite my table, I noticed the rustic look of the original double-sash monastery windows in a once exterior wall.

A regular patron pilgrim from North Lake WI
was personable and allowed me to photograph her.
She even offered to take my picture. I demurred.
I was interested in the chartreuse Piggly-Wiggly shopping bag
she carried.

The blessed virgin stood in effigy beneath the spire in the distance.

The woman, a multi-mother, explained that she makes regular trips
to Holy Hill to refill many small holy water bottles
from the designated faucet.  The water was offered for free.  It cost money
in the gift store.

She told me that she keeps a bottle in each of her children's
bedrooms, plus she pours holy water around her house's foundation.

"In times like these," she allowed, "you can't be too careful!"

I said I thought that was probably right.



O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have

               fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched

, has the naughty thumb
of science prodded

         beauty                  how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

to the incomparable
couch of death thy

              thou answerest

them only with


"5" by E.E. Cummings, from Complete Poems 1904-1962. © Grove Press, 1994


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beer truck zeppelin; Horse's hooves, it's not; At the train station; Hot Damn again, always

This picture of a beer delivery truck once caught my eye
and got saved.

It was probably influenced in design by the zeppelin era in the 1930s and 40s.
Which may have given rise to the VW bus. I did have one of those.
Would that I had it again.



 which leads us to think of Icelandic horses again.
Get out to Winterpark Icelandic farm in Eagle WI sometime.


by Robert Frost

A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
and look for what had made me stall,
there sure enough was an apple tree
that eased itself of the summer load.
and of all but its trivial foliage free, 
now breathed as light as a lady's fan.
for there had been an apple fall
as complete as the apple had given man.
The round was one circle of solid red.

May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left
so smelling their sweetness would be no theft.

"Unharvested" by Robert Frost, from The Collected Poems. © Holt Paperbacks, 2002


Bill Gross, long-time employee of The Waukesha Motor Works and member of the 1st Cong. UCC Church,
 is 87 and having a little trouble getting around with his reconstructed knees,
but he asked me as we sat drinking coffee in the fellowship hall last Sunday after service
if I'd like to come out to his place west of town to see his collection of pulleys.

I am a pulley man; I happily agreed.

Bill drove into his driveway and around the house, 
through the yard to the back tree-line
where a shed stood nestled in the pines.  
I was arrested at all the stuff 
Bill has collected over the years.  
Pulleys are his favorite thing, 
but he's gotten together an assortment of antique tools, 
car license plates, a forge, oil cans,
RR memorabilia, and et-cet-cet-CET-tera.

Bill sits like this commonly 
by my experience after church 
in the coffee room.
Sometimes he brings odd things in to church
 to show us and our mutual friend, William The Curious,
now 13 yrs old. 

After a long time at the shed, 
Bill hoisted himself from his old wicker arm chair 
sitting in the midst of  hanging pulleys
 and tool miscellany, and
drove me home to the Odd Fellows.

I vowed to myself to get him here 
sometime soon to see my old pencil sharpeners.
And etc. (ibid)


They greeted each other
as the old friends they are.

In front of the old train station
gone Mexican restaurant:  La Estacione.

Two women who have served
the Congregational church long and long.

A carnival of color
inside and out
Dee and Susanne are like the train station.

Trains and children have always play a part
in their common life;
Dee gave birth to Erin shown above
as she plays with a train engine
made by your editor from misc. parts *

and Susanne, for years head cook at Phantom YMCA Camp,
has trained to her home state of Montana.....
 and gave wee Erin piano lessons
Erin is now the archivist at Lawrence U.

The history spanning incarnations
mine and ours with Susanne
makes for good lunches,
good rides.


*  Composed of scrap wood, old spray can, brown porcelain door knobs,
engineer's cap from 35 mm film cannister, flashlight part, etc.


Hot Damn Band

again appeared in Waukesha at the farmers market
last Saturday.

We have always a gladdened heart
when that group appears
This time again for free in back of the Pix Theatre
under the canopy where they set up this time
in case it rained, but since we stayed
in the open for the whole thing,
holder-back of rain
 it did not rain, afterall.

Chief operational Fred Pike
keeps us posted on Hot Damn appearances
and the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra
he plays in, too.

Fred with one of his several guitars.  He also plays mandolin


see red arrow  below

Band members are left to right:

Brian Carter - Percussion

Jeffrey Binder - Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Linda Binder - Violin, Stroh Violin, Mandolin, Bass, Vocals

Fred Pike - Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Jay Kummer - Guitar, Ukulele

Linda played her Stroh violin at the farmers market

provoking lots of questions from fruit and vegetable customers
as to what it was.  She cheerfully answered each time, variably.
Linda is a celebrated artist musician with her own website:
(catch her sound tracks on this site)

Jay Kummer played a beautiful rendition on his ukelele
of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
It brought listeners forward to jostle for ideal
cell phone close-up photos of the glabrous fellow.
We got ours:

Throughout the free concert as always
the band was a perfect unit,
and Brian keeping rhythm steadily
on various percussion devices, including spoons.

"Somewhere Over"reminded me of


~ Coming next Saturday ~

Our fall trip to Holy Hill was on
10-10 (Who has a 10-10?*) 2013

Regular  customer  North Lake woman comes to free holy water faucet with Piggly-Wiggly shopping bag full of empty bottles
at a station of the cross in the autumn HH woods.  Friendly, she consented to photos.

*  A footnote for Milw. Yellow Cab driver, once, now in Albany CA, our friend '206'.
A 10-10 was cab-dispatcher radio code for "an accident or emergency".

Discalced brother smiles at raccoon editor
in Basilica doorway