The Story of Loaves and Fishes from the Holy City
It began in earnest when the kid from the hood,
Just 15 years old, shot in the stomach,
A fine Riverwest, gay, pub worker/owner,
A few weeks after an intemperate hood big man
Gay-bashed rogue cops.
This sickening act
Brought forth a community gathering,
Where it happened,
At the Art Bar,
When I arrived there was a
Spirit of graceful, powerful…resolve.
A succession of strong and warm people,
A polyglot, rainbow melange,
Giving voice aiming to heal and renew.
The basic message of the gathering was…
What constructive can we do in response?
I was overwhelmed by these
Bursts of warm light
Coming from everyday people.
I had to leave early,
Lest I lose my composure,
And while driving home
Along sacred city trails,
Alongside resurgent neighborhoods
And cleansing rivers,
The notion of finally meeting Big Will Allen,
Gentle giant urban farmer and genius,
Became an imperative.
And when I got out to Growing Power
More than one joyful soul,
Starting with Miss Karen, greeted me with a warmth and generosity
That continues to inspire, and even, startle me.
Later on I learned that I had experienced my first moment with…
Growing Power Magic!
That’s what Miss Karen calls it.
And it’s true!
I returned home to find an e-mail
Sent from Harvey Taylor, Milwaukee poet and stevedore,
Which contained a song he’d just written
About Big Will Allen and Growing Power!
And then at my 60th birthday party,
At the Kern Park “country club,”
Sally Leiser, whom I’d never met,
Showed up, out of the blue,
And shared the Growing Power story,
In perfect pitch!
From that mix
“My Milwaukee” is now gloriously…
Growing Power as we learn to
Grow our own fishes, bake our own bread!