Poetry and Prose 2007

On this page…

  1. People’s History
  2. Allowing My Rage Clear Passage
  3. Inspired by a Roy
  4. Life the Day After I Was Inspired by My Roy
  5. Everyday Popes and Elder Queens: In Harmony
  6. The Land Knows Its Destiny!
    1. 6.1  Good Food and Beauty at Shorewood High!
  7. Bodhisattva Pancakes at the Riverwest Cafe Co-op
  8. When London Farmers Prepared to Meet Milwaukee’s Will Allen Growing Power
  9. It’s the ‘Hood, Sweet One
  10. 10,000 Reasons Why Milwaukee Will Win a Nobel Peace Prize by 2002
  11. I Love This Game and Drama
  12. A new David vs. Goliath
  13. We are each others treasure!
  14. When Fantasies Materialize
  15. My Dad’s Going to Africa
  16. There’s Life for Me in My Dad’s Backyard!
  17. Happy Fathers Day From Jung and Olde
  18. Collection of Poems on Permaculture Theme
  19. The Forbidden Pleasures of Permaculture
  20. Happy Fathers Day Al Montesi
  21. Confessions of a Sissy Roofer
  22. The Mouse and the Worm Transformed Milwaukee
  23. Can I Live My Life in Such a Way?
  24. The Marriage of Art, Preservation, and Urban Agriculture
  25. Thank God Plants Eat Sun and Make Bugs High
  26. No Peddlers Allowed
  27. Thank You For Your Continuous Resurrection
  28. Red White and Blue Are Now Green
  29. Dreaming of Life as an Avant Guard City Worm Farmer
  30. Transcending Our Selves
  31. My Riverwest
  32. Best and Highest Use
  33. Milwaukee Awakened and Saved the Soldiers Home
  34. Touched in the Head
  35. Business Savy
  36. City Farmers
  37. My Brain’s Euphoria Circuits
  38. I Love the St. Patrick and St. Brigid Celebration at Timbuktu
  39. Just Don’t Groom
  40. My Milwuakee, cont’d
  41. You’ll Feel My “Olde”
  42. Scars, Scars, Scars
  43. Give Me a Green Death
  44. Our Family’s Destiny
  45. When Milwaukee Starts Feeling Like Some Kind of Holy City
  46. The Harlem Renaissance Is Moving to Milwaukee
  47. A Nobel Peace Prize for a Neighborhood and…
  48. Zen Peddlers
  49. Zen Peddlers in the Noosphere
  50. Why I Am Curiously Fearless
  51. We Need a Woman Saint for New Saint Pat’s at Timbuktu
  52. Our Milwaukee
  53. Beyond Predator
  54. When Milwaukee Becomes The Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas

People’s History

It’s the history of regular people
That’s best for the soul of humanity
These days.

It’s the common sense of regular people
That will save us from the dreadful.

People’s history given voice
Is what our children need and crave.

Allowing My Rage Clear Passage

In deference to my eldest
And in consultation with the Friend,
I have edited a poem
For the better.

Inspired by a Roy

Have you ever been
Inspired by a Roy?

Have you ever found yourself
In the presence of a Roy
Whose breathtaking venality
Coupled with a Faustian deal
Awakened energies
You dare not dream of

Have you ever been so inspired
By your Roy?

I have.

It’s grand.
To survive
Share the story
Keep your eye
On the prize.

In bits and pieces
Over the next 38 years…

I’ll tell the story of
How my bitter enemy
Was transformed into…
My sweet friend.

What has Roy done
To become my sweet friend?

That’s the story I’ll share
Over the next 38 years,
God willing.

I’ll invite Roy
To tell his story too!


Life the Day After I Was Inspired by My Roy

I was so engage
The night of the day
I was so inspired by my Roy
That I went to bed at 6 p.m.
And slept until 6 a.m.—12 hours!

I awoke refreshed and
Filled with resolve,
Grateful for yet another day.

I told two of my golden partners the full story,
And was inspired by their powerful and deft response.

Beauty and grace will be nice to enjoy, they both said
By their actions and their words.

I met and talked with a wonderful group of people
In the trenches of the bio-diversity cause.
They inspired and comforted me.

I fixed a tricky leak on a roof high up,
And taught a young apprentice
Some of the truths of my trade.

I returned home to my loving daughter
Who shared good news about her new life.

And I danced.


Everyday Popes and Elder Queens: In Harmony

Manic moments, sublime,
Marbles lost in ‘99,
Then again, in ‘01,
Unspeakable despair,
Not fun.

Everyday Popes
And emerging Elder Queens
Cannot be…
At every battle waged.

But their reach can be long
And their presence deeply felt.

Be not afraid
In this highly painful
World of being.

I’ll do my best.

But be careful…

Not to ask me…

To exceed…

My destiny.

We are not afraid.

We shall overcome.

Why not?

Back to top

The Land Knows Its Destiny!

Good Food and Beauty at Shorewood High!

Eric Gietzen told me that Aldo Leopold,

Perhaps in “Sand County Almanac,”

Said that history is the land.

Land creates its own destiny.

It’s natural potential manifests. And…

We can be land’s partners.

The Shorewood High City Farm

Manifests the Call of the Land.

The Full Circle Stamp:

From “Grasses,

To Classes, to Chases”…

And Back to Grasses,

Greens, Fruits and Veggies!

Eric found a student-made stamp

Of the very sight to become

Quite possibly, a Great Lakes destination:

A Student/Community City Farm Project.

The stamp celebrated the arrival of

The asphalt parking lot!

From grasses, to classes, to chasses.

And now we’re coming full circle.

Erik, Mark, Linda and Mark Keane,
Martha Kipchak, and others,

While walking a month past the asphalt parking lot

In a no-use state,
Felt the pull of the land.

“Why that parking lot?”

“Life went on quite well without those cars

In our midsts.”

The land called for a more enlightened use.

And the Shorewood High City Farm was born!

Back to top

Bodhisattva Pancakes at the Riverwest Cafe Co-op

Dear Sweet Ones of the Blueberry Pancake Moments,

If one of us gathers in our Name
We can all be there enough
To enjoy.

I will be in Brooklyn this Sunday
Searching for Blueberry Pancake Moments
Beyond the Holy City.

Saturday night, October 27, 2007,
Is my daughter Rachel’s 40th Birthday party,
I pray I’m am blessed to attend.

At what age does the child become the parent?

Rachel has been a child so pleasing to experience
It frightens me!

I miss Fathi and Madame Gay!
And each of you!

I wish I had the wherewithal to
Have bodhisattva pancakes in Brooklyn
With each of you.

Back to top

When London Farmers Prepared to Meet Milwaukee’s Will Allen Growing Power

Dear Jeanette,

I had heard about a gentle giant professional basketball player
Working wonders with wastes and worms and kids in the ‘hood
But was too busy with life as usual to check this out closer.

But then a gay neighbor who opened a lovely art bar
Was shot by a 15 year old kid from the hood
In Riverwest, Milwaukee, where I was once “mayor.”

The citizens of Riverwest responded with mind and heart,
Inspiring me to “do something” and I did…
I drove about 20 minutes to check out this Will Allen Growing Power.

And because of that I now find myself working with Will and his team
And dreaming of witnessing profound transformations of communities
Across the planet, one school or neighborhood garden/farm at a time.

And welcoming connections with good people like yourself from London,
And nourishing visions of mighty collaborations that make a mark,
And eating perfect cherry tomatoes and arugula from my backyard “farm.”

Viva, London Farmers!
Viva, Growing Power!
Back to top

It’s the ‘Hood, Sweet One

It’s not now Hitler, nor Stalin,
Not fascists, not commies.

It’s not the KKK,
Not even Al Queda.

It’s us.
It’s us!

Only we, can
Green our ‘hoods.

Green our selves.
Grow beloved communities.

Re-Spirit our sacred cities
Of holy ‘hoods.

10,000 Reasons Why Milwaukee Will Win a Nobel Peace Prize by 2002

Mathi Now Fathi

Who could doubt Milwaukee’s evolution in the direction of…

The first city
To win
A Nobel Peace Prize…

The first neighborhood, Riverwest,
To win
A Nobel Peace Prize…

Who could doubt these
Common sense visions
When Sons of Africa,
South Africa,
North Africa,

Like Mathi and Fathi…

Bring their bags of
To “Our Milwaukee” and
Back to top

I Love This Game and Drama

I don’t get every pitch over the plate.
I don’t hit the ball solid with every swing.
I don’t make every free throw.
I don’t catch every pass.
I don’t ace every test.
I don’t practice perfectly every project.

I love this game and drama!
Back to top

A new David vs. Goliath

I’m tired of slinging stones at Goliath.
My arm is sore,
And he’s of little use when dead

I think I’ll try to deal with Goliath,
With music, poetry, and dance for a time.

Maybe at the Avalon Theater reopening celebration.

I’ll share the results of this experiment over blueberry pancackes at the Riverwest Co-Op if this story interests you.
Back to top

We are each others treasure!

All the way up,
All the way down.

The finest meals,
the most eloquent bouquets.

Sublime gardens,
sweetly laughing children.

When Fantasies Materialize

My lovely brain’s euphoria networks
Dance with delight
When images from
My mind’s eye of yesterday

And even more so
When those embodiments
Exceed my farthest reaching

Joya’s great work reaches far beyond
My utopian projections at the start of
This on-line project to help spark
Some kind of renaissance in
Old Milwaukee, becoming something like a
Holy City on the Sweet Water Seas.

My Dad’s Going to Africa

My Dad Is Going to Africa

Don’t ask me why but it’s feeling inescapable.

Mother Mary and Jacky Robinson

There have been signs of this since his Mother Mary
Looked warmly at ease with Old Bud and let him know
Jimmy was still a bit anxious about
Walking a block and a half down the street
To the tavern where Bud cleaned up
And took care of the basics.

Or the lovely very dark girl his age at A & P on Grand Avenue,
A few blocks south from Busch Stadium, where Jacky Robinson
Hit home runs for the people from down South who came in droves
To celebrate one of their most beautiful sons astonish the world.

The Black Irish of St. Louis

Or “his” Dad, so dark in St. Louis summers back around the days of the East St. Louis “race riot,” when Warren Harding was in ascendancy,
So black-Irish dark that the light ones called him N…. Joe
(as they did Dad and his best friend “Rocky” back in the
South St. Louis of the 1950s).

I could go on all night about Dad’s childhood and youthful experiences
That were most fertile soil for the luxuriant growth in his mind’s eye
I’ll call for now the African Return.

We Are All Children of the African Diaspora

This is what he constantly told us growing up, calling upon the authority
Of Harvard, Oxford, the Sorbonne, Stanford, the the top universities of
The great nations of Spain, Germany, Italy, the Scandinavian lands,
The top scientists of Asia, Africa, the highest planetary intellectuals…
And more, they all told him to tell us and live his life as if we were
All children of the African Diaspora.
Because, he said…we are.

We’ve Only Recently Become Citified

And that’s not all. The evolutionary psychologists and evolutionary biologists
Have joined with the best sociologists, anthropologists, and historians
To the effect that our lifetimes as city dwellers in highly bureaucratized societies
Are just a blink of the eye in the drama of our unfolding from the primal stuff
Of this totally miraculous planet throttling through time and space in
Some kind of cosmic orchestration so intensely profound we perhaps must
Distract ourselves from its fullest meaning because our neurological infrastructure
Is not just quite now up to facing this cosmic burning bush with our eyes wide open.

Surplus Suffering Is Boring

Many of us he went on and one are entombed in jobs and ways of living
That add surplus pain to this aleady highly painful world of being.
Pain that does not have to be but for this thought or that line of reasoning,
This good habit would erase, as would that friend or this friend
With expert knowledge freely given…
If simply asked.

To Know Ourselves We Must Know the Bonobos

So our hard wiring, he would say, and hear his friends say,
Has evolved in the main from time spent in Mother Africa.
But more than that. If 98% of our DNA is the same as our primate cousins
The chimpanzees and bonobos, which shared DNA blossomed in the biosphere
Over millions and millions of years, then it stands to reason, he intoned,
That to know ourselves, surely a basic ethical life desiderata,
We must do our best to know ourselves through space and time,
Back to the Great Duration, the eons when we lived in the forests of Africa,
In the plains of Africa, evolving from the common ancestors that hived off
We humans, the chimpanzees, and the bonobos.

Egads, Look at What We’ve Done of Late!

This knowing ourselves is not just some kind of conceit.
If the immediate past is a good predictor of the immediate future,
The record of the human race with its… Hiroshimas, great city fire bombings,
Gas and torture chambers, profligacy for the sake of fragile, status-seeking egos/ids,
Iron laws of oligarchy and destructive oscillations toward extreme prudery and extreme license…

Let Us Accelerate Our Adaptations and Evolutionary Gropings

The record of the human race suggests the merit of accelerating our self-awareness/understanding
Lest we destroy ourselves and the rest of sentient life on earth.

International Partnerships for Bonobo and Congo Bio-diversity Initiatives

But the bonobos to be “studied” require more than treatment of scientific inspection.
They demand a partnership for survival and unfolding self-awareness of us and even them!
The bonobos will most richly inform us of the riddles of our existence if and only if
We partner with them and the humans in the zoos and those in the forest
In natural and “constructed” eco-systems like the Solanga National Forest the the Milwaukee Zoo.
The bonobos chances of surviving the rampaging machinery of globalization

And ancient patterns of human greed, aggression, and wanton aggrandizement
Will decrease in proportion to the degree to which imaginative planetary partnerships
Are constructed to support the evolutionary gropings and adaptations of the
People of the Congo and their partners from the rest of the world.

to be continued…

There’s Life for Me in My Dad’s Backyard!

There’s life for me
In my Dad’s backyard!

The sweetest cherry tomatoes
I’ve ever had!

Wood chips, veggie surplus,
Brewers yeast, coffee grounds…straw,
Throwing out heat for our winter hoop house,
Food for our 10,000 red wriggler worms all year round,
Who make love with our soil
And give birth to beautiful black gold.

Out black gold is a soil so nutrient rich
That red radishes, dark green spinach,
Red chard, light green peas,
Giant yellow sunflowers…arugula and mescline mix
Seem to grow overnight!

Our red raspberries are 5 to 6 ft. high!
We’ve 5 tomato varieties fit for the Riviera.

And now this incredible Riverwest artist,
Shawn Gurath, has painted two giant horses
Two doves, and either a burning bush
Or the new Eden’s apple tree
In a backdrop of perrywinkle blue
On our once ugly garage wall
We see upon looking out our kitchen window.

This backyard alive is in a quite working class ‘hood
In a community of 5 emerging planetary villages in…

Bay View, Wisconsin,
On a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan!

I love my Father’s house!


Happy Fathers Day From Jung and Olde

Please know that I know, blessed with the
Day-to-day genius of Mother Mary Patricia Donnelly Godsil,

The Jungian gift of animus and anima,
The Budhist notion of ying and yang,

Gaian notions of Father Sun and Mother Earth,
Evolutionary psychology’s discovery of the matriarchal bonobos…

Please know that I know, blessed with all of that and more…

Sufi mystic poets Rumi and Hafiz
Walt Whitman and Billy Jean King…

I know that it is entirely fitting and appropriate
For me and a growing throng

To wish you Happy Father’s Day today!

You are Father to many good things.


You have many miraculous Father gifts
For your sweet ones.

We love your Mom aspect!
We love your Dad aspect!

You are helping raise fine families,
Clans, villages, and someday nations, creating…

Some new kind of civilization
That transcends the brutal one
We must quickly surpass.

You are key to the new civilization we’re building,
Your mom and your dad manifestations.

Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!

Jung and Olde

Collection of Poems on Permaculture Theme

The Forbidden Pleasures of Permaculture

Some of these will be read at
The Wormfarm Institute’s
Reenchantment of Agriculture Poetry Night
Friday July 13
7:30 PM
Village Booksmith 526 Oak Street, Baraboo 608 355–1001

Happy Fathers Day Al Montesi

Happy Fathers Day Al!

I think this is the first Fathers Day I’ve had without Al.
I absolutely loved the day when talking on the phone with Al
That I told him I could not resist calling him “Daddy” or “Papa.”

He was one of my most important spiritual Fathers.

But his sense of modest and irony
Prevented my calling that concept to his attention.

Milwaukee trembles a bit
In excitement and sometimes fear
At the small, very small doses of Montesi
I have been offering the culture up here.

Al has offered a vision of sober white men
Dancing in the streets of St. Louis and Milwaukee,
Spontaneous, exuberant, joyful
At awakening to some of the divine pleasures
Sweet Al introduced so many too.

He really was superb in addressing the
Dreadful spiritual malaise
(“the dreadfall has happened”)
Afflicting Euro-American males.

And in blazing some trails
Leading to a myriad of
Appropriate responses
To the same.

Primary among them…the exortation
Bellowed and whispered to…


Confessions of a Sissy Roofer

I love my sissy roofer self.
Sissy roofers are a very good thing!

Sissy roofers wear gloves while working,
So their hands don’t turn to hooves.

Sissy roofers wear knee pads while kneeling,
So their knees don’t fail them before they’re 40!

Sissy roofers send their friends to AA
Or family therapists,
Instead of tying one on with the bubbas
And whining about their lot.

Sissy roofers loathe Rush Limbaugh,
Preferring MPR. They voted for
Adalai, JFK, LBJ, Jimmy,
And now tilt toward Obama.

Sissy roofers partner with strong women,
And look forward to the day
When the corporate boys wake up and
Offer 50 pound bundles, so
Women, elders, and small bodied peoples
Can ply our nobel trade.

Sissy roofers are like the harpooners of Moby Dick,
Except they would never wish to harpoon a whale these days.
They would rather ride whales, in the sea and on the land.

Sissy roofers read the mystic poets of all of God’s children,
To help them deal when a comrade falls to brain injury or death.

Sissy roofers are obsessive about the use of time…
And attention to detail.
If you waste time, you make no money.
If you can’t create a roof
That’s like a 100 page manuscript without one typo,
You make no money.

Sissy roofers read the Greek tragedians,
To find support in facing up to this highly painful world of being.

Sissy roofers have a chance to climb high on the roofs at 60.
Macho roofers are done for, in the main, around 40.

Sissy roofers drink fine coffees at cyber cafes
And waft e-mails to sweet ones to bring closer the day
When the people awaken to the Holy City
They made of Milwaukee over the course of
A mere 5 centuries.

Sissy roofers have more fun.
They make more money.
They win respect.
They respect themselves.

Viva, Sissy Roofers!


The Mouse and the Worm Transformed Milwaukee

There was a time when everyday people
Were too disconnected to intensely engage and prevail
In turf and other struggles with the commercial classes.

But then the mouse of the internet connected them so well
That powerful visions spread like prairie fire
And quite “small” people became quite large
And began to prevail and save sacred buildings and sacred spaces
In the face of outraged opposition from the commercial classes.

There was also a time when everyday people
Were too disconnected from their ancestral power
To grow healthy and tasty food in their yards and ‘hoods.

But then the worms of Will Allen’s Growing Power
Were spread so widely to the four season kitchen and community
Gardens that Milwaukee awakened to the folly of reliance on
Food from distant places grown primarily for profit and often
With frightening disregard for health, safety, and evolution.

And 10,000 gardens blossomed in neighborhoods once written off
As ghetto and violent and ugly, and the people reconnected with
Nature, used waste products for radiant energy,
Became strong and sure enough to ask neighbors for favors
And found themselves walking the sidewalks and biking the streets
Past corner community gardens of beauty and conviviality.

The mouse helped connect people in the realm of mind.
The worms helped connect people in the realm of body.
The mouse and the worms helped connect people in the realm of …Soul!

Can I Live My Life in Such a Way?

Can I live my life in such a way
That I water my plants
In perfect peace
Each day?

The Marriage of Art, Preservation, and Urban Agriculture

Imagine the power and the grace that would ensue
From a marriage of art, preservation, and urban agriculture!

Beauty, meaning, and fine food conjoined,
Locally created by neighbors and friends!

Art that grows from and with the local soil
And sacred places to enliven our minds
And ignite our proper passions.

Imagination and aesthetics as pathways
To daily choices sustaining community and
Public regarding self-reliance.

Why Not?


Thank God Plants Eat Sun and Make Bugs High

Autotrophy means plants make their own food.
Heterotrophy finds animals needing other organisms.
Plants eat the sun to make sugars and starch—photosynthesis.
Earth’s most profound chemical reaction.
Animals eat each other or our miraculous sun eating plants!

Plants also release the oxygyn we breath.
Deep breathing bliss requires our green benefactors.
And the roots and shoots of plants are…forever young!

Insects and birds get drunk on plants’ nectar.
The wind at play and “high” insects or birds
Spread that pollen for new rounds of glorious plant
Oxygyn giving life.

No Peddlers Allowed

I’m sometimes torn when asked not to
Knock on a door and show the world’s wares.

On the one hand, all have the right to privacy.
On the other, just who is this “all.”

Is there just one person in the house
Who is irritated by my visits?

Does that person
Lock the others’ doors?

And what if that person,
Or the others, profoundly needs my wares,
But does not quite yet know it?

After all, there is no question that
The barbarians are not just at the gates…
They are in our midsts! They are us!

We’ll just have a begin to gather facts,
And give the truth its slow time to emerge.


Thank You For Your Continuous Resurrection

My body and my spirit quicken
With the news of your glorious and continuous

I sometimes forget what power your presence
Shoots through my being!

How did you become
So beautiful?


Red White and Blue Are Now Green

Red, White, and Blue are now green,
And Uncle Sam and Colonel Sanders
Must re-invent themselves.

Uncle Sam needs a smart woman.
He’s not nearly subtle enough
For today’s crises.

Colonel Sanders is now an embarrassment.
He’s far too greasy.
As goofy as Joe Camel.

We must raise a green flag quickly.
Red white and blue are now green.
The barbarians are at the gates.

The most dangerous ones
Are us.

All nation’s must raise their own specific
Flags of green.

We must change.
We can change.
We can do it.

April, 2007

Dreaming of Life as an Avant Guard City Worm Farmer

I have visions of re-creating myself
After three score and two years
As an avant guard city worm farmer.

Worm farmers are at the edge of history,
Transforming, with the worm’s help,
Wastes into treasures­the world’s most fertile soil!

Worm farmer take our waste products: ­cardboard,
Wood chips, brewers’ yeast, coffee grounds,
Veggie wastes from table, restaurant, and stores­
Home to their ranch, say, a corner of a city backyard.

They layer this great harvest of good waste and
Introduce some worms to this feasting grounds,
Who process it into “worm castings”
Otherwise called “black gold.”

Transcending Our Selves

Resistance lacking transcendance
Brings not community.

Community lacking transcendance
Brings not an evolving way.

We must overcome
Not just oppressors.

But our selves.

March 20, 2007

My Riverwest

Riverwest is well on it’s way
To becoming the first neighborhood of the planet
To win a nobel Peace Prize.

In the span of one generation
Riverwest has self-transformed
From a traumatized industrial working class community
To a hope-filled urban village of worker gentry activists.

Riverwest is sacred ground for high proportions
Of its pioneering sons and daughters,
Committed to the realization of Dr. King’s dreams.

The people of Riverwest have worked tirelessly
To build bridges across boundaries of race, class,
Religion, gender, and more.

The people of Riverwest have self-consciously experimented
In a myriad of projects to explore a political economy
Where people, community, nature, and spirit matter.

The people of Riverwest have been the vanguard
Re-spiriting Milwaukee, leading movements for
Peace, social justice, historic preservation,
Environmental stewardship, collective self-reliance.

The people of Riverwest are helping to
Save the Milwaukee River and
Transforming old worker homes into
Green habitats of great beauty.

They have been the original spark behind
The emergence of food co-ops and
Soon to be created edible playgrounds.

Riverwest is home to Timbuktu, the epicenter
For the convivial encounter of the races and classes
Breaking bread, dancing, and marking holy days with joy.

Riverwest is growing power
For the people, mindfulness
For Mother Earth.


March 2007

Best and Highest Use

Imagine the kind of city we’ll have created
When the “best and highest use” for vacant lots
Is defined by our own Department of City Development
As city gardens chaordically creating
Community, self-reliance, and
City farms.

Milwaukee Awakened and Saved the Soldiers Home

Could it be that the people of Milwaukee
Will Save the Soldiers Home?

Could it be that these sacred buildings,
These sacred grounds,
Will ennoble Milwaukee,
And the world beyond?

Will the good people of the Great Cities of the Great Lakes,
Join with us to save these grounds, sanctified, at the start,
In honor of those who gave the last full measure of devotion,
In a war that ended 10,000 years, at least,
Of state sanctioned slavery.

Do we have what it takes, to introduce the
Veterans and civilians of the Great Cities of the Great Midwest,
To to glory and the beauty of the Soldiers Home?

Can we organize ourselves to Save the Soldiers Home?

Do we have the capacity to reach out
And win partners from the towns and countryside of Wisconsin,

Of Minnesota,


And Ohio?

Can we organize work teams
Who would commit to introducing
The Soldiers Home to the history students
Of Great Lakes high schools?

Senior citizen centers?

Touched in the Head

If the earth really is
The insane asylum of the universe,
Our touched in the head
Becomes, perhaps,
A higher form of being.

Business Savy

Business savy is a good thing
To cultivate as best we can.
It requires the deepest kind
Of self-confidence and
Artful awareness of others,
Whose exuberant partnering,
Even if only for the sale
Or the work-a-day chores,
Is vital for survival.

City Farmers

City farmers are a vital
Source of energy and light.
They have a glow about them,
As if some kind of beings,
Totally and gracefully

My Brain’s Euphoria Circuits

Laughter gets them going good,
To open the door for my social brain’s arrival.

Derisive laughter…devolution.
Laughter hierachies, to be overcome.

Laughter grow allies.
Laughter, growing power.
Laughter, spiritual food for humans!

Social networks, “social capital”…
Are also neural pathways,
Of incandescent majesty!

Light meets light!


March 13, 2007

I Love the St. Patrick and St. Brigid Celebration at Timbuktu

It’s the most chaordic way to celebrate
The communion of St. Patrick with St. Brigid
And soap box orators with exuberant revellers.



I am totally fixed on a celebration at Timbuktu
On the day when many of God’s children
In the Holy City
Of the Sweet Water Seas

Made it sacred for
St. Patrick and St. Brigid
To make a little love,
In the purest sense of the word.

March 17, 2007.

This is Year Number Five
Of these celebrations.

In the way that I pray,
I pray to live to finally do
Some dancing
In Year Number Twenty Five.

St. Pat’s and Brigid’s at Timbuktu
Is good for your brain’s euphoria circuits.

Laughter, as much as you can stand,
Quite likely.

Laughter gets them(your brain’s euphoria circuits) going good,
To open the door for your social brain’s arrival.

Laughter, spiritual food for humans!

Social networks, “social capital”…
Are also neural pathways,
Of incandescent majesty!

Light meets light!


Timbuktu…the place.

To honor
The best of the Irish
That’s in all of us!

An oppressed race,
Healing from
Lots of trauma
In this highly painful world
Of being.

Having a good enough time of it.
We shall overcome.

This Saturday, March 17
Timbuktu in Riverwest
On Center and Booth

5 p.m. until around 9 p.m.



Just Don’t Groom

Never the need
To hit or shout.
Just don’t groom
‘Til they come around.

March 11, 2007

My Milwuakee, cont’d

Working class elders
Will read well crafted
Poems in local bookstores

While prodgial teans
Turn in handguns,
And intern at Growing Power
City farms and community gardens.

Reformed rednecks do tai chi class,
Followed by the salad bar
And shots of wheat grass
At local Outpost Natural Foods Co-ops.

At-risk teens learn ceramics at Muneer’s studio,
And sometimes hear Rumi readings
By Israelis and Palestinian poets,
A married couple since about 9/ll.

A Vietnam American grad student in fine arts,
And his Norwegian American architect partner,
Team up with a Yoruba priest and New England baker,
And win a national design contest,
On green adaptations for a whole city block,
Now an eyesore,
Soon a major eco-tourist destination.

March 11, 2007

You’ll Feel My “Olde”

I can only stand
A willing audience,
Or partner.

Tell me your story at

If you hear my story,
You’ll understand my “Olde.”

If you send your story,
You’ll win my attention.

That will be a good thing.

March 11, 2007

Scars, Scars, Scars

Oh man, you bet we’re scarred.
I won’t even let my self know
Some of the things I’ve seen and heard.

The only reason I’m not afraid to be
“Pretty” honest about the race stuff
Is because I’m one of those “Euros”
Dark enough to make the light ones pause
When I got my summer mousy haircut
And got baked deep brown by the St. Louis sun.

And the Nazis burned my 1957 metalic blue Chevy
With an overhauled V-8 engine during the Open Housing Marches
Chicago Freedom Summer 1966.

And I’m a roofer.
Roofers don’t have to dissimulate much
To anybody of whatever “identity,”
If they can still climb.

I won’t ever tell you what the St. Louis Irish
Called me or my Dad on more than one occasion.
And we’re Irish!

Talking race in mixed crowds in Milwaukee?
Only place I would ever do that is at Hoodmomma’s,
And even then I’d feel lots better if there was some
Giant dude and powerful sister
Who could control things if one of the hot ones
From wherever
Got a little crazy on me.

But I think some of us had better start talking straight,
If only a few of us, if only for short periods.

We’ve got to slowly let some more nuanced truths out.
The media and normal politicos are too “busy”
To do justice to this drama of unraveling
Centuries and centuries and centuries
Of hate, ignorance, and greed
Across color lines and other lines.

We’ve got to start somewhere.

I vote we start at Hoodmomma’s!



Give Me a Green Death

In the way that I pray, I pray that my dying
Drama finds me improving with age,
And learning from my living.

What would a green dying look like?

Let me die lightly.
Let my death be “light.”

I hope that I and my loved ones
Can give me as much pleasure
As I and we have given me in living.

Is there a consensus that cremation
Is most in accord with the way?

If that is the case, I should wish to be cremated
By the closest cremators held in high esteem
By the families they’ve worked with.

My friends who’ve died “green deaths”
Were cremated without much ado.
One friend’s Mom was driven in the back
Of the family station wagon.

Community’s Red Truck that I now use
For roofing and hauling(light),
Would be fine.

Value Village should have something
I can be wrapped in with no loss of dignity,
As least as far as this black Irish Roofer goes,
And what can we say about all of the rest?

I think the Quaker House offers the finest place
For one kind of gathering to commemorate
Our loved ones passing from this mortal realm
Into whatever realm is beyond it.

One quite tangible door to immortality as I can see it
Would be a good-bye that brought forth
Great bursts of laughter and good feeling
In stories of the best outrageous moments,
Full of exuberance and paradox,
Fearless joy in the face of life’e inescapable

If a butterfly’s wings in Tokyo
Can set in motion events culminating
In some momentous event across the planet,
As the chaos theory rage at Stanford claims,
Then why not the energy from the laughter
At our memorials turned party,
Spark some movement that lives on in culture streams
Only an omniscient deity could every really understand.

Also nice would be a participatory send-off,
Which allowed the deceased to have “voice”
From somewhere in the world beyond
By virtue of written, audio, or visual offerings,
Prepared sometime in advance.

At least for those of us who like to hear ourselves talk,
Even from the grave!

Why not?

I’m growing weary and weary of my thoughts
So this will be continued another time,

And thank you once again for
Letting me talk!


Our Family’s Destiny

The Marriage of Tiny Homes,
Compost, Gardens,

Recycled Computers,
Intentional Communities,
Family & Co-op Bakeries and Cafes,
Our children’s theatre at the Avalon,
Our elders’ olympic games and contests.

With all of God’s children,
Planetary humanity,
Urban villagers,
Guild sons and daughters,
Civitas loving wise elders.

Sacred city places,
Forest and river valley moments,
In the city,
Cleansing lake,
Cleansing air.

Ligthening our burdens,
Awakening our spirit,
To our broader family’s
Unfolding Destinies

With our friends and

The Friend.


When Milwaukee Starts Feeling Like Some Kind of Holy City

When Milwaukee starts feeling like some kind of Holy City,
On cold winter days laid off construction workers
And retired young elders will gather veggie wastes
From every neighborhood’s food and cafe co-ops,
Brewers yeast from the finest micro breweries,
Wood chips from the city yard,
Coffee grounds from Alterra roasters all over town.

They’s deliver this precious cargo of potency
To neighborhood gardens, edible school yards,
And emerging at-home city farms and kitchen gardens,
For composting food for a myriad of city worm ranches
And neighborhood year round food growers.

The kids in the hood will gather buckets of compost material
From just about all the neighbors,
And simultaneously deliver their block’s newsletters
Filled with images and information to promote and defend
Their increasingly connected neighbors,
On higher and higher planes.

(to be continued)

The Harlem Renaissance Is Moving to Milwaukee

The Harlem Renaissance is moving to Milwaukee,
But that’s not all.

The people have learned some
Since back in that day.

Lot’s of new players,
From absolutely
All over the world.

And not just one renaissance.
Not just a Harlem one.
Not just Milwaukee.
Not just Great Lakes.

A myriad of simultaneous ones,
Like folk blues and jazz
Background to our
Self constructing
Arts and crafts.

Lots of re-birthing underway.
Lots of new births.

Lot’s of fun.

February 9th, 2007

A Nobel Peace Prize for a Neighborhood and…

And Riverwest wins a Nobel Peace Prize
For neighborhood contributions to evolution,
And Milwaukee wins a Nobel Peace Prize,
For city contributions to the same,
And the Great Lakes wins a Nobel Peace Prize,
For some kind of bio region “self construction” breakthroughs,
By the year 2020.

Zen Peddlers

Aspire to be like Zen Archers,
Shooting arrows detached from outcomes
Thereby always hitting the bull’s eye.

If a dervish peddler can’t make a dollar
She makes a dime,
Happy just the same.

If a Doroth Day peddler gets “No, not now”
For an answer to a request,
It’s all good,
Even if the door is slammed
Or a sign says…

No peddlers allowed.

Joy in the sale.
Joy in the “not now, thanks.”

Jan. 29, 2006

Zen Peddlers in the Noosphere

Digging into mystic mountains
For images designed to woo you
And spark reminders of the
Utopias that grace
Your daily rounds.

Feb. 8, 2006

Why I Am Curiously Fearless

Hypo-manic moments, sublime,
Marbles lost in ‘99,
And again in 2001…
(Unspeakable despair…
Not fun!)

Reborn… sometimes…
As Hafiz’s drunk,
Wandering blind,
behind farting camels.

Reborn…other times,
As some kind of visionary,
Helping materialize
Practical utopias.

Indifferent about which self
Prevails at which moment,
Just happy to be alive,
Grateful for each day…

Olde at Svens on KK in Bay View of
The Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas

We Need a Woman Saint for New Saint Pat’s at Timbuktu

Some of my best friends are old white men.
My Mother died before her time hoping I would be as much.

But we need new blood in the agora, the markets, the shrines, and
The sacred communal rituals and celebrations.

Might anyone have a thought as to the most appropriate female icon
To alchemize into the glory and the joy
Of St. Pat’s at Timbuktu?

Or, am I daft in wishing to elaborate upon the images for this day?
I am no longer ashamed on St. Pat’s because of the curse of drink
That has befallen so many of my ancestors.
St. Pat’s at Timbuktu has added something very new, fresh, and healthy!

But one of my friends told me some terrible things about St. Patrick.
And Wole Soyinka blazed theatrical trails mixing deities from East and West,
North and South, into his productions.

So what say anyone to uncovering some magnificent female archetype
To elaborate upon our all city gathering at Timbuktu
On what is conventionally known as St. Patrick’s Day?

Our Milwaukee

Our Milwaukee is harvesting
The energy and glory of our ancestors,
Yeilding so as to better listen,
Growing stronger with grace.


Beyond Predator

Please slowly think and breathe out
Your predatory instincts
And on-guard posture.

You’re among friends.

Your with…
The Friend.

You Are.

January 16, 2006

When Milwaukee Becomes The Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas

When Milwaukee becomes the Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas,
Perhaps only a generation or two from now,
Irish German Polish Italian American families
Will bike from the western suburbs to the Juneteenth Day Celebration
On MLK, stopping on the way at the Amaranth Bakery and Cafe.

There they will meet up with Hmong African Arab Indian American families
For a feast of soups from the kitchens of the world,
With ingredients picked that morning in the Growing Power city farm across the street,
Where now stands an empty lot.

As they bike across Lisbon and Walnut
The sidewalks will be filled with families in their Sunday best
Walking a mile or two toward the festival,
Past family businesses and artist/artisan workshops that pay the bills.

At the LGBT Center the west and northwest throng
Will join some south and east side Mexican Cuban Jewish Bohemian American families
For last minute practice to prepare for the folk song, dance, and theatrical offerings
In honor of the day when freedom grew stronger, on Juneteenth Day,
Preparing the way for that great moment, when it dawned upon the people, that Milwaukee had made itself
The Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas.

And I, or my descendants, will not be judged chauvinistic for hoping that the dance choreographed
By the Kho Thi with the Trinity Dancers wins first prize!

January, 2007

Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on May 18, 2009

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