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