Saturday, December 10, 2016

Raccoons are everywhere; Flip a Christmas coin - Heads or Tails; Cookie time; Driftwood Santa thanks to Lake Michigan; Zoey and Bob; CHRISTMAS, have yourself a merry little Brazilian; Pick a carol - they will try to sing

Sewers, burglaring, Santa's cap tossling, street cleaning up discarded pizza slices,
collectors of bright broken glass, frightening children by touching their ankles,
....they're everywhere

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 is 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 crazy.

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.
 As Amos or 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 safe!

I have again lately seen the coons 
emerge from the grate at the 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 backs
and make 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 other sacked left-overs;

And sometimes I think I can hear muffled “tink”s
As they pound on their tiny anvils under the 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 Russian-like “YO-OH, HO HO!” chants
echoing softly up from below.

The Sewer Raccoons are coming,
 the Sewer Raccoons are coming.

[D. Zep Dix 9-19-2002]
 OK, here it is 5-16-2012, ten years later

 but they're STILL coming

and now almost 2017 -
they'l still be here


You call it

Heads ~

or Tails ~



It's that time of year again
 for Cathy and Dee
to do their annual
LONG-standing cookie bake
out at the Degroot rural estate
on Hillside Rd across from
the Hy D Wern game farm

an event that gave rise to the following in 2011:

With Christmas Colors, Flying
by David Zep Dix
[Appeared in the quarterly, LANDMARK,
Waukesha County Historical Society Magazine
John Schoenknecht, Editor]
The adult male pheasant escaped prison camp
outside of town at the ex-dairy, now game farm
for gone-soft gunners who want their kill
served up to them unsavvy and easy;

now it was winter and the Wisconsin snow
had accumulated to a depth of sixteen inches,
but when he was taken out of the pen,
the only world he’d ever known,
to be set loose in an adjacent stubby corn field
it was autumn and he was without portfolio;

a suppressed instinct told him
to take to the air when the hunt dogs came,
sniffing close to the sumac stand
where he was hiding at the edge of the field
in a world he had no warning was so threatening!
The sports club had deprived him of an education.

They were flusher bird dogs
rustling and rooting through the undergrowth
for their shotgun-poised followers,
and luckily the dogs hadn’t smelled him.
But the guns rang out shortly afterward
and he heard falling fluttering feathers and a whump
as one of his unlettered fellows from the breed pens
made the fatal mistake of taking to the air.

Our bird passed his crash survival course
and became one of the escapees
who turn up along the country roads
in the vicinity of the game farm;

citified motorists briefly spot these newly released and marvel
at their beauty, likely not knowing how they got there,
fugitives on the lam,
birds who learned how to lay low in hostile territory;

birds with a suit of attractive feathers
meant to attract females.
This pheasant had a moment
of myopic or ancient joy
when a woman drove up a steep farm lane
near the hunt club with a Christmas cookie icing project
on her mind; and as she crested the sunny hill, The One
With Rainbows On His Wings chose to blast out of a snowdrift
twenty yards ahead of her,
and flying up to land on the drift’s icy summit
he lingered in the bright sun
and spread his wings triumphantly!

Looking down at the site of his captive birth,
he provided a brilliant though ephemeral sighting
in Waukesha County, known widely for its stewardship
of vanishing habitat and stupidly-named sprawl,
famous for its permission to make Fox Run shopping malls
out of its fox runs, and Rolling Meadow subdivisions
from its disappeared rolling meadows.
future generations may study the falsity and foolishness of it.
In earlier days before the bulldozers, before the lure of the dollar,
the big working farms were out there in profusion
And pheasants weren’t dropped loose,
in front of quick-fix gunners;
from chicks they were free and
had more of a chance to learn
what a pheasant needs to know.

Hail to the die-hard farmers who stay and farm!
Hail to those who harbor the ever squeezed-in wildlife!
Hail to their forbearance when the newly-arrived
city folks complain about their animals’ smells
and curse their slow-moving tractors on the roads.
Revere them, these people threatened,
the salt of earth,
the bread of heaven we once had.

DZD 2011


Driftwood Santa

May be missing its...


Zoey and Bob
Xmas greeting card

Bob, 80 like me,
lost his wife Dee
some years ago.

He has great friendship and solace
with his retired racing dog,
 Greyhound Zoey.

She has been featured in the Raccoon before.

Our correspondence and tendencies
remain faithful
since we met in the US Army
in 1958.


have yourself a merry little Brazilian


Caroling, pick a song 
and they will try to sing it


Coming next week:

Driven by marbles