Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gingko trees; Raccoon behavior; Jazz for cows; Then and NOW; You want camping?; Buffaloed; On the run

South Street Gingko trees

 are budding

to become this: (last year)


Reported Raccoon Behavior:

While the City Sleeps

Waukeshans complacently enjoy their town-grown-to-city
With it’s well-policed, clean, safe streets
And the cerulean blue skies overhead;
Or when it rains

The rain washing everything anew and flowing
If heavy
Away like dirty bathwater down the drain
Out of sight, out of mind;  oh yes,

We think of everything and take for granted
That the solid terra-firma plane on which we work and play
 IS as storybooked as it appears
And that the SKY overhead here is relatively terrorless

That covers two of the three physical dimensions
But we never think about the seething subterranean world
Beneath the city where that dirty bathwater flows
Unless we happen to be with the Sanitation Department

And as far as I know, they aren’t talking;
My friends, we co-exist over a nether-world
About which we never think
And the Sewer Raccoons down there - that’s right - count on our ignorance;

Their profligacy festers beneath us
Growing daily, like whiskers becoming a dread-locked beard
But we don’t know it because we trust in our local government
And in what we see

The coons, woe to us!  phantoms of this opera are
Just a few feet beneath Waukesha in archen coves and caverns
Until nightfall when every storm grate at every corner
Becomes an open doorway into our elysian yards and gardens;

Marauders on velvet paws which they keep licking, masked,
They steal about under cover of nocturnal shadows, late,
When the windows of our proud houses show black; 
It’s then the Sewer Coons take over the town;   by day,

These slick creatures have free rein in their underworld
Bartering our garden produce in little shops and bazaars
In their sub-city
Where they swarm and reproduce like rabbits;

They have their own school district where all the little coons
Study burglary and ankle-nipping;
So far they are content with their lowly position, hence,
The Sanitation Department, the Mayor and the Aldermen

Only monitor them and do not tell us of their spreading presence.
 An Amos or a Paul Revere I send this warning
For I live nearer the Fox River in one of the town’s ruder huts
And the Sewer Coons are, though proliferating

Concentrated only in our poorer neighborhoods at the present time;
By the railroad tracks and the Fox River waterway,
But the storm sewer web is beneath us all, free and accessible
And even now no one is completely safe

I have again lately seen the coons emerge from the grate at our corner
As has my wife;  we know the desolation
Of having our grapes stolen from our vines;
We’ve actually heard the coons’ little “chick-chick-chick” sounds;

Close-up, we’ve seen the phosphorescent reflection of their eyes
In our flashlight beams; they run, are not brazen yet – oh, no -
Carrying little bindles over their hump-ed shoulders
And making their dash back to their grated holes,

Furred hit-and-run warriors, in place,
Waiting for their messiah to come, perhaps from Milwaukee or Chicago
The Really Big Coon, to marshal them into an invading army,
Meanwhile waxing stronger in secret on Dix grapes and sacked left-overs;

And sometimes I think I can hear muffled “tink”s
As they pound on their tiny anvils under Arcadian Avenue
Making suits of armor on foot-pumped forges; flaring
Light seems to flash from the gratings after the clock has struck twelve

And I go out and listen at my corner sewer entrance
And hear their deep “YO-OH, HO HO!” chants
Echoing softly up from below;
The Sewer Raccoons are coming, the Sewer Raccoons are coming

[David Dix 9-19-2002]


When the saints...

Yes, we know this is an oldie
but so is the fellow 1954 WHS classmate
who sent it to us.

Thanks again!


Dee when I met her in 1982




As people now get ready for church camping
it was like this in 1972:

(Archival:  1972)
Many are called, Few are eaten

An entourage on four wheels waited
In line at the Yellowstone park entrance
For the ranger with his clipboard who
Spoke grimly to the would-be campers
In their tinned vehicles with lawn chairs
And bicycles lashed to the sides

In many ways we weren’t like them:
We were traveling light, the only way to go
We had a VW beetle with a pop-up
Canvas tent on top and two ten speeds
On a rack over the rear bumper
The back seat of the car was out

To make room for our six month vacation
Gear and space for Sally the Siamese cat
A mere speck we offered on that canvas
Of  seriously-traveling metal units
Lined up to be admitted into
The nirvanic national treasure, Yellowstone

The Ranger had something serious to tell
All entering vehicle’s occupants
Something that caused most of the
Drivers to do U-turns and head out
With expressions of chagrine
Was the park closed?

We finally reached the number two position
At the Ranger’s shack and I got out
To hear what he was telling the vacationers
Ahead of us:
“Enter at your own risk!

A grizzly bear had dispatched a woman
The night before by performing “A howlingly
hungry, hurried historectomy,
Hideously, horrifically, Honestly!”
Proclaimed the harried Ranger, who
Seemed taken with the letter H

That explained the U turns out of the park
But the man driving the camper ahead of us
Wondered if they wouldn’t be safe
In their  mighty Winnebago
The Ranger stuck his fingernail behind
The camper’s door edge and said

“You see this?  This is a grizzly claw
behind your door.  He’ll peel it back with
no more effort than it takes to open
a can of sardines!”

“Oh,” said the man, and he did a Yooey
While his wife said, “And, you know I’m…”

But after hearing our own private warning
From the hellacious Ranger, we said
 “We’re going in! Lower the drawbridge
As we are the Dixes!”
This was in August of 1972, and the Ranger
Didn’t know I had a break-down .22 Browning

Semi-automatic rifle but if he had known
He would have said, “Those little bullets
Will bounce right off a grizzly; no disrespect,
But you’re a fool!”
So we signed a warning acknowledgement
And deep within a thickly wooded campground

Found a secluded site
And        spent
A~ very~watchful~ night
Encanvassed atop our car
With me hoping I could shoot a bear
Exactly in the eye

[David Zep Dix 

The fact that I am telling this in 2015
means we survived, saw no bears, left early in AM
Fear not, Devils Lake WI has no known grizzlies]


Re:Buffalo poem from last week
daughter Laurie in Alaska sent this after reading the Raccoon:


On the run


( journalism/composition room  term meaning 'the end': ~Thirty ~)