Saturday, April 25, 2015

The flower-fed buffaloes; Blue Skies; The right one; As seen

The Flower-Fed Buffaloes
by Vachel Lindsay

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The flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
In the days of long ago,
Ranged where the locomotives sing
And the prairie flowers lie low: -
The tossing, blooming, perfumed grass
Is swept away by the wheat,
Wheels and wheels and wheels spin by
In the spring that still is sweet.
But the flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
Left us, long ago.
They gore no more, they bellow no more,
They trundle around the hills no more: -
With the Blackfeet, lying low,
With the Pawnees, lying low,
Lying low.

"The Flower-Fed Buffaloes" by Vachel Lindsay


Taken this week from our perch at the poor man's penthouse.

Cousin Steve has a spooky theory on these everpresent high-up contrails.
I think this one might be a flight to Minn heading northwest over Waukesha?

Blue Skies




We ran the wrong text
of Rev. BB's sermon.
(It was a prior one)

Below is the right one. 


Note: It is because
of leadership like this
that the 1838-founded Waukesha First Congegational Church (UCC)
is growing.

We razed a neighboring house
this week to enlarge our parking lot.




As the Raccoon sees it:

The lady is a champ?

If Hillary really wants to hear us, let’s make some noise

By Ann McFeatters

Tribune News Service (TNS)

Finally, thanks to Hillary Clinton, we “average” and “ordinary” Americans are getting our day in the sun.

Folks, this is a big responsibility. The only viable Democrat so far in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes is depending on our telling her what it is we really, really want. We have to get this right.

The first thing she did after issuing her “I am running” video, which did not exactly give us any reason to vote for her but made her look pleasant, was to head in a van dubbed Scooby to Iowa, via Chipotle, to talk to “ordinary” Americans. (Notice she did not go to Garrison Keillor’s hometown where all the men are good-looking, the women are strong and the children are above-average.) She said she wants to begin a conversation with us. OK. (The conversation she had with us in 2008 is so yesterday.) As Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post said, her Iowa trip was a little like the Advanced Placement girl going down to the high school basement to visit the shop class.

But she actually made news right at the beginning of her campaign, suggesting it’s time to get unaccountable money out of politics even if it takes a constitutional amendment (which could not possibly pass in the toxic political climate we live in). Never mind that she would like to raise $2.5 billion to get elected.

The woman who has been front and center in our polarized politics for decades is hoping to reinvent herself as just one of us. Never mind that Wall Street loves her and she is worth millions of dollars. Let’s just say that everything has been said about Hillary but not everyone has said it. Her aides say she wants us “average’ and “ordinary” Americans to really get to know her as a warm and caring person, which is true. She is also political, ambitious and calculating, none of which is bad but which she is less eager to demonstrate for us.

On the other hand, she has had a different hairstyle every day of her life and many, many pantsuits, necklaces and earrings. Reinvention is she.

Hillary says she has four main goals: Building the economy of tomorrow, strengthening families and communities, fixing the political system, and getting unaccountable money out of politics.

So far she has polished her cliches to perfection. “We have to figure out in this country how to get back on track.” “I’ve been fighting for children and families my entire life.” “I want to be the champion who goes to bat for Americans.” “The deck is stacked in favor of the rich.” She needs some new cliches.

We don’t want to be churlish about the first woman with a real chance to be president. But New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio is right: No endorsement until we see what she actually proposes to help struggling Americans. How would she solve the problem of CEOs making 300 times the rest of us and hedge fund managers paying less tax than nurses and truck drivers?

At the least, will she endorse a $15-an-hour wage for fast food workers? Empower unions? Sign new trade deals? Close loopholes in the tax laws? Back universal child care? And how would she get past Republican opposition in Congress?

Hillary’s real political challenge will not be today, tomorrow or even this year. It will come in the general election in the autumn of 2016, when the mammoth GOP field has been weeded out and one Republican emerges. He (there is no she) will be well-financed and will position himself as a change agent. Hillary is essentially running for a third Democratic term in the White House and may be somewhat shopworn by then.

Republicans will chant, as Marco Rubio rather rudely pointed out in announcing his campaign in a slap at both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, “Yesterday is over.”

The November 2016 election is likely to be hard-fought and close. There is no inevitable conclusion. We hope it will be fought over vital national issues, not personal mud.

In the meantime, we of the average and ordinary persuasion must do our best to keep the focus on our needs, shouting to make ourselves heard above the cacophony of cliches.
(Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at.)


AS POPE FRANCIS prepares to release his encyclical on climate change, it’s worth remembering exactly how far the conversation on religion and the environment has come in the past quarter-century.

When I wrote The End of Nature back in the late 1980s, there was very little religious environmentalism. Liberal churches believed that ecology was a subject to be addressed once you’d finished with war and poverty; conservative churches viewed it as a way station on the road to paganism. And Christians in general still reeled under the idea, propounded by Lynn White in an influential essay inScience magazine, that the Genesis call for dominion had led directly to the destruction we saw around us.

In those early days, there were a few wayfarers on this path. Thomas Berry, for instance, and even more important a pair of academics—Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim—who picked up his clues and sweated blood to assemble theologians from around the world and search every tradition for the roots of ecological thinking. Episcopal Power and Light—now Interfaith Power and Light—was an early and successful effort at congregational action; Shomrei Adamah (Guardians of the Earth) was an early effort in the  Jewish community that has blossomed into many flowers.

More senior figures began to join. Patriarch Bartholomew, leader of 400 million Eastern Christians, became known as the “green patriarch” for his straightforward reckoning that environmental desecration was just that, a sin. Desmond Tutu has called climate change the “human rights challenge of our time.” Now the pope. “It is [humanity] who has slapped nature in the face,” Francis said. “We have in a sense taken over nature.”

There’s pushback still, of course. When the pope made his remarks, a blogger at the conservative journal First Things announced, “Francis serves an environmentalist mindset that, unlike the traditional ethos of conservation, views [humanity] as a parasite.” Oof; them’s fighting words. And from the corporatist, compromised center, there’s the usual dismay at having to take sides. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, for instance, has done its best to blunt the growing movement for fossil-fuel divestment, arguing that “companies aren’t the enemy.”

Happily, though, the momentum is clear. Denominations such as the United Church of Christ and the Unitarians have called for divestment; Methodist colleges and Catholic research universities are joining in. Religious people do understand that there are enemies in this fight—that the companies who melted the Arcticand then moved to drill for yet more oil in its open waters meet any theological test you could devise for radical irresponsibility.

This movement unites young—who will have to live for decades with a changed planet—and old, who will have to go to their graves knowing that we’ve left a damaged planet behind. It reaches across ideology—the question of how and whether we evolved is less pressing than the fact that we’re now running Genesis in reverse.

There’s a streak of sadness that runs through this movement: Clearly we’ve failed to responsibly exercise dominion (we’re the bad babysitter, who takes the 2-year-old out for a tattoo and some piercings). But there’s also a streak of joy. Unlike secular environmentalists, we’re entitled—if we work as hard as we know how to work—to imagine that some force will meet us halfway. Despair is optional, thank heaven. 

Bill McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College in Vermont and founder of [7].


Seen 4-23-15
downtown at East and Broadway
battered but still standing

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April by April; Orange peel happy; Just married; Pore Jud is daid; Pancakes; In like Flynn (Edward); AU

Some SRN readers will remember our earlier VULCAN WEATHERANES effort in the early 1980's.
This quote from a century before VW - 1880.

the earth is weary of our foolish wars.
 Her hills and shores were shaped for lovely things
Yet all our years are spent in bickering
beneath the astonished stars.

April by April
laden with beauty comes;
Autumn by Autumn turns our toil
to the beat of drums.

Knowledge to knowledge adding,
skill to skill we strive for others' good - 
and then like cavemen
snarling with a bone
we turn round and kill.

With a life so fair
and all too short a lease
upon our special star!

Nay, love and trust
not blood and thunder
shall redeem our dust. 

Let us have peace!


A rare Pinocchian Orange got peeled in just two pieces at the midnght snack last night.
A good Sharpie pen slightly augmented the two pieces before
they went into the garbage disposal. First, a picture! The kitchen grew extra sweet
to the nose.

(Note the orange nose came out in a long configuration.).


Just Married
by Peter Schmitt

Listen Online

Oh, they can be forgiven such innocent
indulgence, the couple whose car we saw
in the darkened parking garage today-
the white spray paint filling the rear window,
“Just Married,” and the date, now more than two
weeks old. Let them enjoy this extended
moment as long as they can, let them feel
this way always. For their lives, all history,
could have begun on that day. Regardless
that the buoyant numerals and letters,
like the asking price of a car, would appear
insensibly reversed if, driving, they glanced
back; the message looms between them and the world
which will always be trying to gain on them.
and if in noon glare their first full wedded day
they cut with a room service knife the strings
to the cans clinking like obligations,
they will not let go yet this brief announcement.
Oh, the elements might eventually
combine to erase them, enough downpours,
or the blistering sun, but by the time
the words no longer quite ring true, it will be
their own hands that make them vanish. Then let it
end happily, in a bright lather of suds,
gentle hiss of the hose and the radio,
the two together, hands crossing the glass
until what is revealed are their own faces:
hovering where their older, wiser friends
had been that day, imprinting the letters
the numbers, and giving them their first push down
that road in a storm of rice and flowers.

"Just Married" by Peter Schmitt from Country Airport. © Copper Beech Press, 1989.


Pore Jud is daid


The big pancake 
church supper (historic)
was held this week.


'In like Flynn' (Edward)

Look for a lot more from this man!


Gold (AU) is awesome:

Below follows
the first issuance of the SRN Goldfish Award;
conferred upon Rev. Brittany Barber
for her sermon last Sunday, attached.

(We have poured over it so much it is dog-eared
and we got some drops of chocolate pudding on page 1.
It would not come off without spoiling the print.

Read down for goldfish reference near end of text.


(Insert this message:)

The sermon we meant to print
was not the following one.

The one we meant to run was the one
of LAST Sunday that had the giving
of a crumpled bag of goldfish treats
to  a grateful but unhungry woman
who accepted the gift kindly.

We will obtain the right copy and
have it in the Raccoon next week.

Sorry! Old age creepeth.

~ ~ ~

One of Brittany's finest
in our opinion.

Reprints available
at the back of the sanctuary

Want more?  Attend
the 1st Cong. UCC
100 E. Broadway
Waukesha WI
53186 Ph 542-8008

All are welcome
That is:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Flowers will come of it; Stix by river Fox; Norb Blei

April 5, 1974
by Richard Wilbur

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The air was soft, the ground still cold.
In the dull pasture where I strolled
Was something I could not believe.
Dead grass appeared to slide and heave,
Though still too frozen-flat to stir,
And rocks to twitch and all to blur.
What was this rippling of the land?
Was matter getting out of hand
And making free with natural law,
I stopped and blinked, and then I saw
A fact as eerie as a dream.
There was a subtle flood of steam
Moving upon the face of things.
It came from standing pools and springs
And what of snow was still around;
It came of winter’s giving ground
So that the freeze was coming out,
As when a set mind, blessed by doubt,
Relaxes into mother-wit.
Flowers, I said, will come of it.

"April 5, 1974" by Richard Wilbur from Collected Poems. © Harcourt, 2004

Five Points dove at Odd Fellows window-sill feeder


'Stix" the marionette fishing at the river Fox
and inspecting sewer pipe at W. Main and Maple
for raccoons (none)


"Chops"/ Thanks to Lee Dix, teacher,  Harlem NY, for putting us onto this)


Norb Blei 1935-2013

I had a long correspondence going with Norb.
But we never met face to face.
He wrote and drew from a chicken coop
 near Ellison Bay in Door County WI
 for over 40 years after living in hometown Chicago.

Blei closes up his shop

Blei's coop bathed in green

Norb sent pictures he was taking up there.

Good morning Lake Michigan - Blei

Nobody home - Blei

A watercolor postcard by Blei

Norb sent me post cards c/o Odd fellows, and before

On this one he took one of my haiku attempts and made it better
and then gave it to me signed by me (him) - water color on postcard added by Norb

card is up in my office

"I'm Back"
Norb after health fight began

Last pic rec'd

Attn Wm R.!


check him out (ibid):

Jacky Terrasson

No dissapointment in Heaven