Archive for February, 2016

Thank Heaven For (Grandma’s) Little Neighbor Girls: Revolutionary Email Free Verse

February 26, 2016

Grandma
lived alone,
central Wisconsin cottage
built with her husband’s hands
before he died,
too early,
there.

She was not
cottage-bound.
She could go anywhere.
But there,
she chose to stay
there
in her cottage home
and grow old.

Little neighbor girls
brought her wild flowers,
and colored leaves,
and crayon’d pictures
they’d drawn.

Eager and happy
they would show her,
and she,
with her
“Oh, how beautiful!”
exclamations,
would put the flowers
in a Blatz beer glass
on the bar,
or would tape
the colorful drawings
onto her old, white fridge,
and would chatter
excitedly
to the little neighbor girls
and learn of their day
and teach them cards
and flowers
and wild birds
and mysteries of
the lake
and the woods
and the pond
and hot chocolate.

When I,
first-born grandson,
would visit
from college,
or from traveling,
or to come home,
she would show me
the drawings,
and tell me
excitedly,
about the little neighbor girls,
M and S H’s kids,
and how wonderful they were,
and how they always
came to visit,
and how she loved
talking to them
and sharing with them.

I met them
a coupla two-tree times,
that Wisconsin way,
as they brought
wildflowers
and drawings
and love.

“Oh, how beautiful.”

Time passed.
I was there,
she and I,
alone,
when she did, too.
That sacred experience
etched deep in my mind.
A great soul
flying home.

Sometimes the little girls
would still come by
the cottage,
but it was never
the same.
Her great heart
which had filled
us all
had stilled,
and all we had
were memories
and love.

Many years later
I met
one of the little neighbor girls
unknowingly.

We were both
grown now,
a woman,
no longer little.
She needed
someone tall,
(which I am not).
And I,
aged,
didn’t know I’d seen her
and her wildflowers
and her crayon’d drawings
in Grandma’s kitchen.

We smiled
as we recalled
Grandma’s love
and warmth
and excitement.

Then,
tears welled up
as I thought of
Grandma,
alone,
in that cottage.

Most widows
whither
and dry,
and die.

But she,
surrounded by beauty,
and love,
flourished for decades.
Looking forward
to walks in the woods
and geese flying
and cardinals, finches and chickadees
feeding by the window
and crocuses and daffodils and tulips
and wildflowers
blooming
and ice out
and first frost,
and bright red/orange leaves.

And,
amidst it all,
little girls
who visited
daily,
when I could not,
who loved her
and let her love them
for years.
Extending her life
and her love
for decades.

Sobbing now,
I realize
the great gift
they gave
my Grandmother
and my family.

I don’t know
how to thank them.
I don’t know
if they can understand.
I don’t even know
their names.

I can only say:
“Thank Heaven
for my Grandma’s
little neighbor girls.”
Grandma Bertha Kuhns, Lake Winneconne sunset just before ice out

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Fathoming A Butterfly-Sunflower Dance: Romantic ImproVerse Haiku

February 24, 2016

She couldn’t fathom/
the butterfly’s dance across/
the sunflower’s face.

Seattle Tourist Tips: Revolutionary Email Prose

February 22, 2016

Having lived in Seattle for nearly 30 years, I know a little bit about the tourist side of the Emerald City. After several friends asked me for tips on “What to see and do and experience in Seattle”, I finally decided to copy this email and post it! Go ahead and make additions or comments… and I’ll update it on occasion!
Seattle Tour Suggestions:
The main question to ask is: Do you have a car?
You don’t need one, but if you do, you can see more. (I am going to assume you are NOT going to have a car … and will either walk or take mass transit.)
Do you like Music? Do you like Art? What do you like?
I’ll bring you north from the Airport on the Mass Transit – light rail, and drop you off in the center of Seattle. You can fan out from there. (There are other options as well … depending on what you like).
Take the light rail from the airport . Buy a day pass.
Enjoy the trip… you’ll go past some funky neighborhoods. Somewhere around the International District, the light rail will go underground. Stay on it until you reach WESTLAKE CENTER. Get off there and go upstairs. That area is the main shopping area for Seattle … high end stores, if you like that type of stuff. Pacific Place is just east of Westlake Center, and also has some great stores. Macy’s is just west. From inside the Westlake Center, you can either take the Monorail up to the Seattle Center: IF you like music and science fiction, one of the best things to do will be to go to the Seattle Center, which is where the space Needle is. That’s cool to look at. But don’t go up on the observation deck, it’s not worth it. The experience music Project (EMP) is also there which basically started out as the Jimi Hendrix museum and then it expanded to include Jazz, Grunge, and other Seattle Music “stuff”. There’s also a science-fiction museum That is part of it.
After wandering around Seattle Center, take the Monorail back down to Westlake Center (where it ends).
OR you can take the South Lake Union Transit streetcar to the south end of Lake Union, but ONLY if you like old wooden boats. There is a “Center for Wooden Boats” there, and sometimes they’ll take you out sailing if the wind is right.
Either way, when you’re doing with either Seattle Center or South Lake Union, go back to Westlake Center on either the transit or the Monorail. Get off at Westlake Center. Then go west down the hill to Pike Place market. That is one of the main “cool things” about Seattle, BUT it shuts down around 5 o’clock or so. Wander around there. Gasp at the flowers. See the original Starbucks. There’s a French bakery on the corner that makes great bakery items. Also some other ethnic “street food” type stuff there.
Slightly north of Pike Place market around 1st and Lenora are some good restaurants, some jazz clubs (but they don’t get going until later at night)…
After you’re done there, take the steps down from there to the restaurants and aquarium along Elliott Bay. Great fish restaurants anywhere there… I like Elliott’s or the sit-down part of Ivar’s (the walk-up take out is fried fish, which is probably not what you want). Elliott’s has some salmon wrapped in rice paper, which is amazing… or the cedar-planked salmon. If you like Aquariums, Seattle’s is world-class.
After you’ve go to Elliot Bay, if you head north, and go slightly up the hill, you will see the Olympic Sculpture Park . It’s a nice free park of sculptures that’s interesting (if you like that).
If you want to go SOUTH on Elliott bay, you’ll eventually reach the Ferry Dock. The #1 tourist attraction in Washington State are the Ferries… you can take one to Bainbridge from there, stay on it, and return home… but that will take you a couple of hours. If it’s sunny out and you can see the mountains, it’s VERY worth it. If it’s cloudy/rainy, not so much.
OR you can just watch the Ferries!
Once you reach that, it’s pretty much the end of the cool stuff to see THERE. So, head east and you’ll go into Pioneer Square. Wander around there… If you like Native American art there is a great gallery there, Stone_____ (haven?) gallery. Near there is the smallest National Park in the country, the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. If you like history, that is cool.
If you can get into the Underground Tour of Seattle, that is a lot of fun (and it happens right around there). Wander around Pioneer Square and Occidental Avenue for some cool shops, art galleries, restaurants, etc. There are GREAT Italian restaurants on the corner of Cherry and 1st (I think). Cafe Bengoti or something like that.
From there, you can head north again along First toward Pike Place market again. Before you get there, you will pass the “Hammering Man” at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). If you like art, go there and spend the rest of the day!
Once you get at SAM, you can keep going up the hill, to Westlake Center again. OR you can head east (up the hill) and catch a southbound bus on either 3rd or 5th (I don’t remember which) … to the end of the “free ride” zone. That should put you in the International District.
Wander around there. It is one of the largest Asian districts in the country (New York and San Francisco are bigger). If you like Asian food, any of the places there are great!
By that time, you should probably be pretty “done” with Seattle…
Will you have a car? drive from the Seattle Center north over the Fremont Bridge and Park in Fremont, and wander around Fremont. There’s a good Greek restaurant there on the corner, and great Thai food on the other corner. As you’re crossing the street north of the Thai food restaurant which is called Jai Thai, in the middle of an island of the on the street you’ll see the center of the universe. Most people don’t know where that is, but now you will. Head east from there, up a hill, and see the Fremont Troll, a cool piece of urban art.
If you can, drive to the Hyrum Chittenden Locks/Fish Ladder in Ballard. If the salmon are running you can see them not only in the fish ladder, but also inside. Also, boats go through the locks, which is an interesting event to watch. South of the locks (south and west across the Ballard Bridge) is Chinooks, a GREAT seafood restaurant that overlooks the Seattle Pacific fleet of fishing boats. The “Deadliest Catch” boats harbor there.
Enjoy!

Another Saturday Night (And I’m Here On Facebook) : Romantic IMprov Song Cover

February 20, 2016

Sung to the tune of “Another Saturday Night” by Sam Cooke, also sung by Cat Stevens and others

Another Saturday night/
and I’m stuck on Facebook!/
I forgot an event/
(but I hadn’t paid).
How I wish that I’d gone out hiking*!
I’m in an awful way!

It’s hard on a fella/
when he’s been too long around./
I’ve dated all the honeys/
and all they want is money./
I’m gonna have to blow this town.

(Chorus)
*dancing

A brother once told me/
he knew a sister who was so fine./
Instead of seeing inner beauty,/
she wants to date a cutey/
with his body that is so divine.

Ohhhh (Chorus)
*eating

I stumbled and I fell bad;/
consumed with worldly lusts./
I truly have repented,/
but I may as well be dead/
because they feel no trust.

OOOhh (Chorus)
*to anything!

Her Deep Desire: Romantic IMprov Haiku

February 15, 2016

Her desire was not/
to be wildly taken, but/
deeply listened to.

2 Get Love Equation: Romantic IMprov Haiku(s)

February 15, 2016

He was so shy, love/
was impossible for him/
without her boldness.

OR
Don’t be so shy that/
love’s impossible for you/
without their boldness.

I Like To See Her Facebook Smile: Revolutionary IMprov Haiku

February 15, 2016

I think I keep her/
as a Facebook friend just to/
see her photo’s smile.
OR
I think I may keep /
them as Facebook friends just to/
see their pictures’ smiles.

Utah Post Valentine’s Day Lament: Romantic IMprov Haiku

February 15, 2016

Gosh darn it all to/
Heck! I forgot to wish you/
Happy Valentine’s!

Valentine’s Day Ancestry Bouquet: Revolutionary IMprov Sonnet

February 12, 2016

SS Leipzig Bremen to Baltimore April 30, 1881, Heinrich Geerdts (Gerdts) familyFor my family’s Valentine’s Day
I thought I’d make a bouquet
showing our German ancestry
as they crossed the sea.

They departed from Bremen
to seek a new land’s safe haven
on the Sovereign Ship Leipzig:
a two funnel/two mast rig.

In “stearage” the small family came,
Just five with misspelled Geerdts name;
One suitcase each as they came ashore
under Fort McHenry’s watch in Baltimore.

With little more than their love, hope and trust
they paved the way. Happy Valentine’s to us!

Valentine’s Day With A White V-Neck: Romantic IMprov Haiku

February 12, 2016

He asked to be her/
Valentine: White t-shirt with/
red barbeque stains.