Saturday, May 28, 2016

Typewriter; Cleo; Blessings; Bedroom sounds; Like poets opening the mail; Bell signals; Oddysey; The boys' cat brushes

From the Sat. Raccoon:

click 'Go to link'


Cleo strikes a classic pose
at a recent Danish cousine get-together.  Thanks to the unidentified
photographer who snapped his!


by Ronald Wallace

Some days I find myself
putting my foot in
the same stream twice;
leading a horse to water
and making him drink.
I have a clue.
I can see the forest
for the trees.
All around me people
are making silk purses
out of sows’ ears,
getting blood from turnips,
building Rome in a day.
There’s a business
like show business.
There’s something new
under the sun.
Some days misery
no longer loves company;
it puts itself out of its.
There’s rest for the weary.
There’s turning back.
There are guarantees.
I can be serious.
I can mean that.
You can quite
put your finger on it.
Some days I know
I am long for this world.
I can go home again.
And when I go
I can
take it with me.

"Blessings" by Ronald Wallace from Long for This World. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003


Up in the bedroom


At the Feeder

First the Chickadees take
their share, then fly
to the bittersweet vine,
where they crack open the seeds,
excited, like poets
opening the day’s mail.
And the Evening Grosbeaks—
those large and prosperous
finches—resemble skiers
with the latest equipment, bright
yellow goggles on their faces.
Now the Bluejay comes in
for a landing, like a SAC bomber
returning to Plattsburgh
after a day of patrolling the ozone.
Every teacup in the pantry rattles.
The solid and graceful bodies
of Nuthatches, perpetually
upside down, like Yogis…
and Slate-Colored Juncoes, feeding
on the ground, taking only
what falls to them.
The cats watch, one
from the lid of the breadbox,
another from the piano. A third
flexes its claws in sleep, dreaming
perhaps, of a chicken neck,
or of being worshiped as a god
at Bubastis, during
the XXIII dynasty.
“At the Feeder” by Jane Kenyon from Collected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2005


Bell Signals

The churchbell lodged in ancient timbers
At the steepletop
Rung by rope knotted into a gigantic wooden pulley wheel
- mechanical advantage -
Strung down through air and pigeon leavings
Emerging cleanly in the vestibule   
A strong Sunday-dressed child can ring it

Doves lodged in ancient timbers
Flutter in and out through louvers
Chicken-wired but time-worn
Keeping their high watches over the town
From coved and linteled archways
Cooing mildly   feather-cuddling  silent

Generations of doves nestled
In sanctuary at this height
Lived with the sleeping giant
Awakened only on Sunday mornings to summon
The attention of the worshipers gathered below
An under-used instrument
Calling not because of fire, death,
Disaster or rebellion

Struck in a foreign foundry over a century ago
Freighted to this town to be hoisted aloft
To be rung sedately by Congregationalists
A ton of bronze lodged in ancient timbers
With peaceful quiet doves
Might be sounding greater attentions
 in times like these

Might be rung in shifts 24 hours a day
With all bells everywhere
Across the world ringing out   
our own ton of bronze
With thousands more might speak out
In mad clamor to the heavens
Our ancient dusty megaphone
Oiled for Sunday use only

Treasured mighty bell
Voice above us though out of our sight;
The news from The Holy Land
God’s Earth
makes me think we should ring you
Until we lose consciousness

[David Dix]


A Space Oddysey


The boys' brushes

A thank you card from the kids
of Tom and Malena Koplin

The special cat-hair brush from
Paws for a Moment salon (top view)

For one of these super brushes for your cat,
shop Paws for a Moment Salon and boutique.
316 South St., downtown Waukesha.
Expert grooming.

From Tom Koplin, CPA, Katman too

Coming next week:

Ukelele moves to Montana
used bigtime once again


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Happy Goldfinch at the Five Points; Ben to the rescue; Curved folding chair; Eddie Condon cont'd; Errol Garner, jazz piano; A great bassist; Milkweed tenacious; Gaudy butterfly - again; A paper raccoon

Waukesha Five Points Goldfinch

perched in the honey locust tree adjacent to the Clarke. (Photo taken from Odd Fellows Hall)

In the the Main Street ongoing re-configuration this is the one tree left standing in that vicinity, and the regular
finch customers for the food finds are happy.  Many daily trips are made by them.


Incoming son-in-law as of July 3, Ben Willard, IT man of Lawrence U. Appleton WI
keeps the computer up to date here at Raccoon headquarters.  


Shop downtown where three of these old church wooden folding chairs
were spied in an antique store around the corner from Raccoon hdqtrs.  This one sits
in the landing to the office.  Note the curved design to comfort sitters' posteriors.

Church folding chairs are now metal and are not as accomodating.


Read The Progressive 
for more articles like this:

You might also read this Opinion from the current Shepherd Express:

Eddie Condon cont'd



OUR LATE FRIEND  David James used to admire Errol Garner and try to copy his style.

as did I with him, The Immortal Babes,
 at the Univ. of W Madison, l958 and beyond;
David regularly commenting on Garner's 
percussive left hand punctuatng his music. ("WOW!)
And his barely audlble  moans / groans in the background when Garner played.
A trademark.

 David too was a jazz pianist.


Jane Little, bassist, expires playing encore
 - from CBS As It Happens
'CBS Dossier/ AIH' -


Milkweed tenacious
grows through asphalt
Colgate WI
at the Helt residence 

'Somewhere Monarchs in a background
sing Fauna choruses of praise
That though their Fauna be weak
They shall be provided for
By also ephemeral-appearing
Flora; part of a shockingly wonderful

In her Email Cindy wrote:

"Notice the little bud coming up through the asphalt" ....

Ref: [Saul Alinsky; Hannibal:  We will either find a way or make one.]


A Westerner sees a similar 
to the milkweed sight  -
a flower growing from a crack
in a stone wall  

and falls to his knees to take 
the plant out roots and all
to study it - 
how that can be? 

Thereby it harmed, killed.

An Easterner sees such a sight,
marvels over it
and moves on.


A Gaudy Butterfly Laid Me
[old Raccoon saw, but germain]

On a milkweed leaf she laid me
with no great hope of my success,
for I was just one of a hundred eggs
she deposited,
flitting, pausing, flitting, pausing,
my mother's abdomen arching
each time and putting us down;
we pinheads were merely something
that made her feel good
or the result of an act that did;
or not even that;
I don't know and will never know.

I ate my full engorgement of clean furrows
in the white-juiced leaves until I grew
to a fat temptation for predators
that eat the likes of me,
but the numbers had it
that I was one of the few who survived,
never got picked off in the hard
mandibles of life.

my disappointment was different;
I spun my waxy cocoon
according to pattern
and then, alas, instead of the transformation,
the metanoia,
I had my beauty taken from me
and my capsule gradually
turned black,
and as I lay dying inside,
rotting into a fetid inkiness,

a monarch's striving nature
nonetheless living still,
my little strength merged to
poke a pinhole in the bottom
of my enbindment, and by dint
of waning force I dripped this
message onto the leaf below,
and that is how you come
to read a distillation of all
I was ever to become,

 a quotation, nothing more, but by a higher power than I:
What we have to be
Is what we are - Thomas Merton

                                  [David Dix 7/06]


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dee then and now; The things we do; Downtown progress; Wis lives; Eddie Condon sings - 1929; Letter to editor

Worn to church, Mothers Day 2016


 The things we do

Country Fair
by Charles Simic

Listen Online

If you didn’t see the six-legged dog,
It doesn’t matter.
We did, and he mostly lay in the corner.
As for the extra legs,
One got used to them quickly
And thought of other things.
Like, what a cold, dark night
To be out at the fair.
Then the keeper threw a stick
And the dog went after it
On four legs, the other two flapping behind,
Which made one girl shriek with laughter.
She was drunk and so was the man
Who kept kissing her neck.
The dog got the stick and looked back at us.
And that was the whole show.

"Country Fair" by Charles Simic from Hotel Insomnia. © Harcourt Brace & Company, 1991


on the upside:

Downtown Waukesha progress

Cement pour at 5 Points 5-12-16

Jose, owner-operator, wielder of ringing double spatulas
 (a xylophone artist) at Dave's Restaurant patiently watches street progress.
Will be very glad when it's done.


Gerry Guthrie
(Wis lives, chapter one)

Gerry talks about his work, father's influence, art


Eddie Condon sings
Nobody's sweetheart now
with Red Nichols and his five pennies


It Was a Cinch

But now it’s a non-functioning belt      watch
Even though hitched to its last notch
The buckle hangs loosely down
The baggy pants staying up barely on their own

Get out the leather punch
Oh devout partaker of the lighter lunch
Does not your wan exhibit make the fat man sour?
Your downcast belt laments:
Don’t Get Around Much Any-mahw-er!