Friday, August 25, 2017

In a vise; Rivers we have known; Down by the riverside


the vise now reposing here at The Odd Fellows

that we made with welded angle-iron
and a scrapped steel tire wheel
around 1980

Many an object did we fashion on this
tool doubling as an anvil
and acetylene steel-cutting holder

Life itself is a matter of firm grips
and a holding-on
is it not?

Sometimes we hang on by our fingernails


Rivers we have known

Ohio River,  Wheeling West Virginia

Fox River, Waukesha WI in flood bears ears protrude

Dave's Falls, Beecher Wi  

Fishing for walleye on Menominee River, Marinette WI

Bill Vollmer, Marinette, cleans a mess of walleye from the Menominee across the road from his home

Fried Menominee River walleyes cooked by Jane Vollmer

David and Sally, Peshtigo River, WI



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Frog princely; The least of these; In the path of totality; Yet I am never alone


"No. 1,
I'm the least anti-semitic person
that you've ever seen in 
your entire life.

No. 2,  Racism, the least racist person."

 - Donald Trump -

by Timothy Snyder, NYT 8-19-17


In the Path of Totality

Written 8-18-17 by Gaynelle O'Neil
Mastered Veteran Counselor; writer;
US Army Major, ret'd


We are corresponding personal friends
of 18 years. Lives in Dallas, Oregon

With the coming eclipse 
and the frenzy 
surrounding its arrival, 
“in the path of totality” is a phrase 
that I hear and see 
repeatedly in the news,
 in the grocery store, 
at the gas station, and online.
 It is everywhere these days. 
Pictures document the pathway
 of the wave of darkness passing
 over the nation while
 t-shirts and memorabilia
 line store shelves celebrating
 “The Great American Eclipse!”

Call me a Debbie Downer, but
as I hear that phrase and consider
 what is happening in the United states,
 I think of things other than the sun and the moon.
I see a darkness spreading across our nation
that has nothing to do with
intersecting solar pathways.
Oozing across the landscape of the country
 this darkness is a black plague,
 a disease of anger and hatred eclipsing
decency and respect.
The infection has been here before,
but the recent outbreak is caused
by a vector squatting
in the highest office of this nation.

Being In the path of totality
brings to my mind many
different images, most of which
 are directly connected to the toxic toad,
 that frog-prince pretender
illegally occupying the White House.

As the shadow of evil spreads 
across the face of our nation 
the darkness seems intent upon 
blotting out the light of freedom 
and hope which have made our country
 a beacon for the world. 
I cling to the knowledge that even 
at its most total coverage, those of us
 in the path of totality will see that,
 while the world grows dark, 
a corona of light persists, 
encircling the shadow, surrounding 
the darkness with a glow of hope.

That light, reflected
in the eyes of the people who stand up
for the rights of others,
reassures me that light will
not be extinguished;
it may fall into shadow,
but it will not disappear.
Yet our King Lear charade
continues as he gives away the nation
to those who flatter him most. In his madness,
pride and ego drive him to ever more
dangerous positions, putting the entire world
 in danger of being in
a different path of totality.

 Total destruction.


never alone...

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Don't look back; Candlelight; Mosquito aide ode; Collection of one; Hanging on in quiet desperation it's the English way; Grandson Michael Dix, edge strider



Crossing the porch in the hazy dusk
to worship the moon rising
like a yellow filling-station sign
on the black horizon,
you feel the faint grit
of ants beneath your shoes,
but keep on walking
because in this world
you have to decide what
you’re willing to kill.
Saving your marriage might mean
dinner for two
by candlelight on steak
raised on pasture
chopped out of rain forest
whose absence might mean
an atmospheric thinness
fifty years from now
above the vulnerable head
of your bald grandson on vacation
as the cells of his scalp
sautéed by solar radiation
break down like suspects
under questioning.
Still you slice
the sirloin into pieces
and feed each other
on silver forks
under the approving gaze
of a waiter
whose purchased attention
and French name
are a kind of candlelight themselves,
while in the background
the fingertips of the pianist
float over the tusks
of the slaughtered elephant
without a care,
as if the elephant
had granted its permission.

"Candlelight" by Tony Hoagland from Donkey Gospel. © Graywolf Press, 1998


Mosquito Aid Ode
 Here’s a toast I want to give
To a dear friend
Calamine lotion

For mosquito bites and hornet stings
Folks think you’re just the potion
Your fame has spread
Just like a rash
From here to the great land
Of Goshen

To poo-poo your
over-the counter
Let no one take a

We swab you
On the part of us
That’s harmed by sting or bright sun
Then lay back and feel your chalky pink
Commence the soothing

How could we make it through
The summer
Without your balm
that someone
Way back when thought up for us
The extremist
Of all itching unction

So lift those glasses, yes
Lift them high
To Calamine you deserve rank
So thronely

We would in fact quaff a pink
Drink to you
If you weren’t for
External Use Only



Collection of One

The red veined thing I hold as in my hand
Was  hard to collect
involving  snags and cuts and cracked bones,
seasons of taking  it for granted
It brittled, turned in color,
 too soon to be approaching nature’s compost
It may be dying, but I am only 80.

Now, I see this single one
in a proper perspective
 as only one in a billion
But it’s my one in a billion
Standing out from all the others
 I ponder it, top and bottom
So radiant still,

beating all, beating
others in a fuzzy background
even at a pulse of only 2 pixtels
  it’s clear enough for me
to win a contest if I could get to it

I do hold it

the nurses and doctors
listen for signs of life
It reminds me of a fallen leaf
So fragile
I’d press it, if I had a big enough book
of gentle poetry

Ye shall find it still
flexing in this manger
A small but once mighty engine.
A leaf, a fire, my heart.

[David Dix, 2005]


Adventurer, with his KM buddies an Extreme Man,
 Grandson Michael Dix

Mike practices ski-board flip
with KMHS buddies


What's happening now
climbing in Utah where he lives

Mike ascending Utah mountain

Mike makes vertical climb

With his brother Chris Dix

salutes with friends

Mike and his mom
a very patient mother
Sue Peters-Dix

[Her father, mike's other grandpa,  was  Berlin WI's CRAZY RALPH
so Mike is multi-endowed with zane]

Mike wears seaweed

At brother Chris's Carroll graduation
with mom, dad and sister, Melissa

On family vacation in Colorado
Uncle Dick, David Jr., Mike, Chris

Mike and his Uncle Lee Dix
play with an early computer

Who knows to what other heights Mike will climb?

For sure he'll be with Us and Them:
the Dixes and his buds


Note card to Alaska Kari's sent 8-12-17

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Old friend visits Odd Fellow; I wants to get an Airstream; Album; All that we have is now

A Druid, clair-voyageur, seer
trekked under the blue awning
 waterfall overhanging the Odd Fellow hall entrance
to call on an old friend Wednesday.

This time he brought another gift
beside a half-head of cabbage
from his wife's garden
which was later that very day partaken of
and enjoyed. 

His own offering was a vial ~ or phial ~
his own formula of an essential oil
he uses prior to putting himself down nightly for bed.
A method he uses to zone-out and put
the days care's and business behind him.

A restful mode overcomes him and he then sleeps
His host did not inquire why he had brought
this gift.

Conversation flowed unhindered by 
any solicitations of prayer
yet some divining hand seemed involved
in the spoken zig-zag.

Other gifts have issued from Mystic Mike.
He brought an Escher cardstock solid
to his friend when he was laid-up.

It rests at the top of a basket of get-well cards.

Seen at a dessert table is
the Druid's wife Bev.
She too is kindly, sharing, for example, batches
of rhubarb cakes from her garden:



Album of history

at the Three Brothers
Tom, Wis, David
circa 2014


All that we have is now


Interfaith Power and Light

from Rev. John Helt, ret'd

Religious activismFaith grows greener in the era of Donald Trump

An equal and opposite reaction to the eco-scepticism in the White House

Americans working at the interface between religion and care for the global environment have a new spring in their step these days. The reason is a paradoxical one. Donald Trump’s decision to pull the country out of the Paris accord on climate change has galvanised green-minded congregations, and even those who have not hitherto been especially green, to think harder about what they can do for the planet.