Wednesday, May 30, 2012

water in the city

I love cities with water flowing through them. You stick your nose out of the door and voilĂ , somethings strange happens. A small pilot boat dragging two huge cranes in the sunset...

I love the reflections on the water, the activity on the water..
The tall ships I can actually see from my bedroom window and sometimes i see a glimps of the water mirroring the sky.

So the cranes disappear into the distance, soon to stand sleeping in the mild summer like night.

The problem is when I look at the tall ships, I also can see the smoke rising from the nuclear power plant at the edge of a million people's town.

No nuclear energy - change to solar and wind.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Leonard Peltier week end

The two organizers, Uncia and Hakate, did a wonderful job. They had an empty chair for Leonard Peltier and had choosen four documentaries which left us wiser and better informed. They  were: A good day to die, Warrior, Incident at Oglala and the movie Thunderheart. Supporters of actions could by could by CD's, T-shirts, books, jewelry and Peltier's Prison writings. 
Native American poetry was read and Dave Betts performed with his own songs and read a wonderful text by Buffy St Marie. It was a fine week end. Thank you Unciya and Hakate.

 A poem by John Trudell:

Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One earth one mother
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our mother
How do we sell the stars
How do we sell the air
Crazy Horse
We hear what you say

Too many people
Standing their ground
Standing the wrong ground
Predators face he possessed a race
Possession a war that doesn't end
Children of god feed on children of earth
Days people don't care for people
These days are the hardest
Material fields material harvest
decoration on chains that binds
Mirrors gold the people lose their minds
Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One earth one mother
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
Today is now and then
Dream smokes touch the clouds
On a day when death didn't die
Real world time tricks shadows lie
Red white perception deception
Predator tries civilising us
But the tribes will not go without return
Genetic light from the other side
A song from the heart our hearts to give
The wild days the glory days live

Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One earth one mother
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our mother
How do we sell the stars
How do we sell the air

Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
We are the seventh generation
We are the seventh generation

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jimmy Durham in muhka

 Jimmy Durham is a Cherokee artist. Muhka is a great museum. In the stairwell they put up an impressive time line. Yet what really pleased me was the collection of animals and some of his 'thoughts': Language is a tool for communication, like a city or a brain.
And also the title of the exhibition is: a matteR of LIfe aND Death aND sINgINg. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vulcan greetings..

Here Mark giving the vulcan salute... It is a hello and a good bye blessing.
So here I leave the USA for a while and dive back into the other languages of my life. This man has invented, constructed three different languages for far away planets.

I just reinvent poetry in an other language. So if ever you come acros an alien and have communication troubles, call Mark!

And yes: prosper and live long!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunrise at the Ohio

Sunrise, just behind Patriot on the scenic byway along the Ohio, is a quaint small rather artsy town. The majestic Mississippi boat which never arrived in Madison because of the fog was discovered here.

Houses and streets are well kept and decorated. It looks neat, like for culturally minded baby boomers. But alas, here too the economic crises is all too visible: The national bank of Sunrise is up for sale.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day and night in Madison, Indiana

The Riverboat Inn is a good refuge for the weary traveler. Small, old fashion rooms, a place to sit in the shade to read or work on the computer, a stunning view of the bridge of which the on and off ramps had been exploded  less than a week ago. It felt a bit wobbly when I crossed it.

The owner ready for the week end  entertainment, which was good, yet the fog climbing out of the valleys and rising from the Ohio was the true spectacle to me.

 The vague light, the warmth of a May evening, night falling, is what enchanted me. The fish in the Shrimp restaurant is fresh, the town post colonial with a lot of antique shops: glass work, quilts, old toys and the bridge in the changing moods of the days.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mound builders and Paducah

The Indian Trading Post alerted us to the location of Wickliffe Mound State Park. The mounds were build about 1200 years ago. Some flat topped as meeting grounds, others for structures of importance for the community.

 There must have been about 15 dwellings and the exhibition shows the tools used, the food eaten and the pottery. The light spot on the picture left is a burial mound where 14 people were found, unburied, studied and then returned to their original grave in as close the same pace and position as they where.
 Then it was Paducah, a town with a theater, with bistro's, wineries and quilting, being the quilting capital of the USA. Of course also here the 'Ministery of Harley Davidson' and Free Spirit. Yet also frozen mocha was to be had and even decent bread, hippie stuff and dirty chai: chai with chocolate and a shot of  coffee. Of course antique shops and restaurants: the catfish was excellent, a pleasant surprise along the Mississippi.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Old man river: The Mississippi

Rivers, each different in mood, in speed. The greenish steel bridges however are similar or even the same. The martins are building their nest on the underside of the bridge so big swarms flock around bringing new life.
The river with its highs and lows carries driftwood, or floods the land, killing some trees while depositing good topsoil.

 The river itself runs muddy and dark, maybe that is why I feel the atmosphere is darker and broodier than along the Ohio, which seems to stream faster.

Bridges for crossings and new horizons are beautiful symbols and real objects from another dimension, belonging to land, water and air.

The Ohio in Cairo on it's way to the Mississippi

Cairo, desolate, crumpling, abandoned, poor,  strange beauty... At the Fat Boy bar and grill  there were 3 $ margaritas and a few other drinks at a good price for the cinco di Mayo. The signs in town point to the mental health institute, the rehab, in house, half way house, in the hospital.
No hotel nor motels, not even outside of town were the Day's Inn had the door open,  one car parked and further total emptiness. The booze shops are busy and are extremely well stocked. The few official buildings are grand and well kept.
 The Ohio River runs clean and with majesty, is being fished, yet a restaurant was not to be found either.

 A strangely attractive atmosphere of decay contrasts with the few spruced up buildings and churches.

And yes another abandoned gas station... and as you will see  tomorrow bridges to cross from Illinois to Missouri, over the Ohio and the Mississippi. Daily life must be hard here, yet people have a good time, masking their hardship, surviving the grand history of their place.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The desert poetry night

 Desert Poetry night, on April 30th, was the fourth and final leg of the Festival on Tour. We had a good crowd, listening well, showing their appreciation.

We counted 40 people sitting in the changing desert light. The first one to read was Carol Calvillo, with  a poem titled The House of Marie Durant. A great start. Although James Smiths, Jim, started with the intro signed in ASL by Dori, followed by Dan Bishop and the tribute to Johnny Cash. Some songs like Pocahontas and me and Jackson were just played over the loudspeakers but all the other songs Al Brock sang life with his guitar.

Jean Bishop read a poem by Jennielee Bishop, her mother in law: The Cowboy's wife. A fun, yet insightful poem about life on the ranch. Dan read two poems about work on the range, about a mean bull and building fences, written by Judd Bishop his father.

Cooper Gallegos read powerful poetry about living in an Hispanic  neighborhood in an abusive  relationship: bravo for brave and strong poetry. There was also Dori Signing three poems of her choice  from Traces, Annmarie Sauer  reading from Traces and Fred Schywek reading from Felsenleiter with the English translation. And then  10 poets read Global Night Car as a premiere in the USA. Then there was abundant food, excellent potato salad by Mary and a surprise birthday cake offered by Nadine. The next day was the big cleanup and saying goodbye to friends and neighbors... and on the road again.