Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nuthatch (or Chickadee); A gentleman gathering; Unbeknownst; 30; + Radio


What if a sleek, grey-feathered nuthatch
flew from a tree and offered to perch
on your left shoulder, accompany you

on all your journeys? Nowhere fancy,
just the brief everyday walks, from garage
to house, from house to mailbox, from
the store to your car in the parking lot.

The slight pressure of small claws
clasping your skin, a flutter of wings
every so often at the edge of vision.

And what if he never asked you to be
anything? Wouldn't that be so much
nicer than being alone? So much easier
than trying to think of something to say?

"Nuthatch" by Kirsten Dierking, from Tether. © Spout Press, 2013

This poem found on our daily check of the Writers Almanac Wednesday 11-6-13
- my wife's birthday -
reminded me of this:

The reference to 
"The slight pressure of small claws
clasping your skin, a flutter of wings"
brought a recall of the that feeling...
It was 1971 and I was
driving a Yellow cab in Milw for a living
but the photo was taken near Pembine WI


A gentlemen's gathering last Sunday
morning at Panera's Restaurant in Ruby Isle, Brookfield WI
saw gray-haired well-traveled, cultured conversationalists doing 
their customary thing,
friends supporting each other in pleasant weekly pastime.

This day it was the day before one of the friends, Uncle Norman
was to close on the real estate sale of the land-grant family farm of his settler
for the coming Walmart Super Center store at Greenfield and Moorland,
New Berlin, WI.

The farmhouse shown in the above post, where Norman has resided for many years
will come under the wrecking ball and bulldozer soon, and Norman will
relocate to an upscale New Berlin complex with graduated levels of care,
3 million dollars richer.
Norm's remaining land to sell was only 12 acres, but ideally situated.

I am trying to convince Norm to allow ace Freeman writer Darryl Enriquez
- who did not ask for such an assignment but would willingly undertake it -
to write this Rupnow side of the story on the big controversial Walmart sale, etc.

But so far Norm says, "That isn't my cup of tea."
He may change his mind.....I'm saying.

Norm misses his late wife and friend, Sunny,
who may be taking mystic sorties through those woods still.

For this signal day, Norm and the boys were joined by Waukesha art figure Wis Guthrie
and yours truly.  Norm was sporting a fresh haircut.  He was his characteristic
droll 'will believe it when I see it' self.

Norm and Wis reminisced over their recollections of a Carroll College
field trip they took to England once upon a time, and how a few blase students
had to be prodded to get out of the tour bus to see the Stonehenge figures.

The Raccoon News, on assignment for this seemingly leisurely gathering,
saw the import of it and ran a copy of one of its photos to mail to
Uncle Norman, for his souvenirs.

It was done.

It was a beautiful warm and sunny day with blue skies and billowing white clouds.
Wis and I decided to have lunch at Christina's, back in Waukesha.

An overall delightful time was being had and we parted with a firm handshake
back at the Avalon where Wis resides.


Unbeknownst to us,

- ? -

at church
- where we hadn't attended though it was our custom -
shocking word was circulating among the to be bemourned, knit congregation
that a young member, Kyle Kiser, met his own terminus
in northern Wisconsin in an auto accident
the preceding night.


To this issue of the Saturday Raccoon, therefore,
we write an old-school journalist's


with sympathies to the beloved Kiser family.




from Writers Almanac 11-7-13

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

"Radio" by David Lehman, from New and Selected Poems. © Scribner Poetry, 2013

Teddy Wilson's After You've Gone