Saturday, September 10, 2016

Old friends; Sunny; Round redounds; Gourds; Sept. marching band; Another old friend and Lee's birthday; Try to remember

Two grey beards

Bob Heeschen and Zoey

S/A Heeschen, former 113th CIC group agent
takes his retired greyhound Zoey
out for her daily walk in a nearby St. Paul. MN woods.

We'd asked Bob recently for a current picture of Zoey.

He promptly complied.  This Email exchange ensued:

Play while reading ~

"There she is, Zoey in the car ready to walk.
I have a "stick" but so far it does not work my phone.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID"


Thanks Bob raccooned for sure

Why the muzzle-like collar?

That is called a Gentle Leader.  For walking it lets you control the dog without pulling on their neck as a choke collar does.  This turns their head where you want it.  Zoey will really pull if the lead is just attached to the collar and the GL works well.  It was developed by a U of MN veterinarian.  With it on, she will usually "heel" easily.  And she could eat or drink if necessary.  Or bite me (which has never happened).

Bob Heeschen

Should have mentioned that tomorrow will be the three year anniversary of Zoey moving into my house and heart.

Bob Heeschen



Future Plans
by Kate Barnes

Listen Online

When I am an old, old woman I may very well be
living all alone like many another before me
and I rather look forward to the day when I shall have
a tumbledown house on a hill top and behave
just as I wish to. No more need to be proud—
at the tag end of life one is at last allowed
to be answerable to no one. Then I shall wear
a shapeless felt hat clapped on over my white hair,
sneakers with holes for the toes, and a ragged dress.
My house shall be always in a deep-drifted mess,
my overgrown garden a jungle. I shall keep a crew
of cats and dogs, with perhaps a goat or two
for my agate-eyed familiars. And what delight
I shall take in the vagaries of day and night,
in the wind in the branches, in the rain on the roof!
I shall toss like an old leaf, weather-mad, without reproof.
I’ll wake when I please, and when I please I shall doze;
whatever I think, I shall say; and I suppose
that with such a habit of speech I’ll be let well alone
to mumble plain truth like an old dog with a bare bone.

"Future Plans" by Kate Barnes from Where the Deer Were. © David R. Godine, 1994



Everything about Sunny was colorful:

She lived in beauty, and was beauty
Her walk upon this earth was light,
Her voice was soft, and she was the brightness
Of the dome of stars on a northern cloudless night!
Set your garden sundial by her, and be right.

She did not tread, she glided,
Crushing nothing and no one
In her impish winged rounds
From flower to flower, ‘shroom to ‘shroom
And in her house from room to room
She barely disturbed dust with a broom.

It’s the kind of girl she was, no doubt,
‘tis the way her nature is; naught
But Norm would bawl her out,
And even curmudgeonly he
Had a love of her, as choppy and deep
As the sea.

With woodland spirits she had some valuable

I used to think she was witchen –
So many odd things in her kitchen;
divining locations of hidden treats,
vaporizing in the the damp of deep woods weeds
and coming back with edibles
from her known bounds and metes.

She was never lost in her labyrinthine heart and mind,
Sunny was honey for Norm’s internment,
A particular grandma who brought discernment
While being extraordinarily – mystically – able
To set great food and such upon her table.

By David Zep Dix 4-9-1999

Her famous quote:
“You’re not going to throw away that perfectly good snake,
are you?”  uttered graciously in Pembine WI 1973
She was given farmer Hertig’s dispatched snake
hanging over a barb wife fence line
and cooked it up for our supper…..



Is it a sign of being civilized
To live in spaces that always have an angle
Squares and rectangles
Cornering us in the dust
When all uncivilized simple creatures
Around the globe
- Under the dome of heaven -
Live in tepees, igloos, round or oval nests
Without reservation
The choice is automatically made
Make it round;
:"We'll have what nature's having."
Why our angular fixation then when
Our own preliminarily-cultured children
Given their first crayon will draw
Instinctive curves and ovals
Nothing in nature is straight
We use our squares, plumbs, transits,
And snapped chalk lines to get it straight
We need straight to build high; but not nature
Nature is round
Even a squirrel outside my window
Chewed a near-perfect circle enlargement
In a gourd filled with bird-feed
He'd squeezed through my smaller
Bird-sized hole but it was a tight fit
So while I secretly watched him
He went around my circle all the way
So I wouldn't notice what he'd done?
He could have hacked a jagged opening
Any shape to gain access to the seed
But he carefully widened my circle
I think this wasn't really a squirrel squirrel
It was an Indian squirrel
Or an Esquimaux squirrel
A spirit squirrel from another world
Following an instinctive blueprint
And I sat in my square room
Looking out my square window, amazed
And roundly amused
[Zep 6-11-00]

Northern Dipper Gourds, Canada

The Raccoon gets the free E subcription of this site
and recommends it to any people who love gourds
as do we, or wants perhaps to be inspired to grow them.

Go to

Northern Dipper Gourds


A greafully published RERUN:


Gourd vines unfurl on the trellis
So fast now that a pulse is nearly felt
at the growth tips

Little buds that will be flowers
emerge from nothing
Up the wire mesh go the vines
a rung or two at a time

and the tendrils wave
and writhe in air
seeking purchase
Wire to bend

Finding something to grab onto
they kink up
in tight spirals
like octopus tentacles

Twelve plants started from seed
in my south window sill indoors
fragile they were and now

They have enough
collective force to produce
a bin of future horns, rattles
bowls and dippers

or to make good on a sci-fi
and do me in
I will not turn my back on them

At night through the open
bedroom window I hear them
muscling their way toward me

I could have stopped them once
but now they have
harnessed the sun
and they want to grow
all over me

I have to make a run past
this trellis in the morning
when I go to work
They might snatch an arm or pantleg

but I close the door on
the offending tentacles
and back down the drive
a struggle between an auto
engine and photosynthesis

So far the car always wins
and the tendril ends whimper
when their connexions to the mother vine
and come bungeeing back
at the windshield

Neighbor's pets
have begun to disappear
 The vines have a way
of beckoning innocently
like a benign cobra

You have to stare at them
and  you want
to move in for a closer look
because you are curious
aren't you?


[David Zep Dix 2001]


The High School Band in September
by Reed Whittemore

Listen Online

On warm days in September the high school band
Is up with the birds and marches along our street,
Boom boom,
To a field where it goes boom boom until eight forty-five
When it marches, as in the old rhyme, back, boom boom,
To its study halls, leaving our street
Empty except for the leaves that descend to no drum
And lie still.
In September
A great many high school bands beat a great many drums,
And the silences after their partings are very deep.
"The High School Band in September" by Reed Whittemore from The Past, The Future, The Present. © The University of Arkansas Press, 1990


This Shining Moment in the Now
by David Budbill

Listen Online

When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house—all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold…
when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees…
when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind…
when I am only here and now and nowhere else—then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.

"This Shining Moment in the Now" by David Budbill from While We've Still Got Feet. © Copper Canyon Press, 2012


Another old friend
a cactus
has been with us for many years
bought from a lady at the farmers market
who delivered it and

is after a long period of seeming dormancy
apparently liking its present new location
in the window under KD Kat's jungle gym
step-ladder it


Cacti stand for resilience
will take long periods
of uncareful treatment
and will survive

What's happening today?
on son Leland's birthday