_________Shadow Shot Sunday
1. I’ve crossed the bridge of song from the good old days to the older ones HERE.
2. As a day care teacher throughout the ‘70s, I used to help kids string macaroni into necklaces. Now they are using apps to do things like THIS.
3. We wore purple wrist bands at the Donna the Buffalo Show in honor of Prince. Now I have Blue Sky and Purple Rain playing in my head together. – More from I Had Pants Just Like That in the ‘60s HERE.
4. After dancing to Donna the Buffalo Saturday night, we came home to the last half of Saturday Night Live, which was a tribute to Prince with clips all his performances on the show. The next morning I woke with an unfinished gestalt because we turned on the show late and missed seeing his 1981 and 1989 performances. It took me two days to find and watch everything (and then some) online and, as a die hard SNL watcher since the start of the show, it turned out I had already seen every one of his SNL performances, but had forgotten them.
5. “God is Transgender.” – My Dharmacratic poet friend Will
6. I drag myself around / with a metaphoric 10 pound bag / of unplanted potatoes on my back / I sit every chance I get / hoping to catch the chickens in the act / It’s usually just one that escapes the coop / then acts amazed to find herself / on the other side / Soon she misses the flock / and nervously paces the fence / She floats like a ghost out of place / looking for a way back in – More from These are the Days HERE.
7. HERE is a video clip of Joe in the garden in 2012 talking about Occupying the Wild Places during the Occupy Wall Street movement.
8. I like that the word “pen” is in the word “penetrate.”
9. I am from Hail Mary full of grapes / midnight mass and pennies in the poor box. – From Where I’m From, which I recently linked to a poetry blog where poets where sharing their Where I’m From poems and it gave my poem a new life of readers with comments. See HERE.
10. At Dogtown I saw a young friend with a red lipstick kiss on his cheek. At first I thought it might be a tattoo (it wasn’t) and then I thought of THIS old song.
11. So many emoges everywhere. I still just use this: xo.
12. Back in the day, I never said “far-out” but I did say “can you dig it?”
13. I’ve been turning out and turning over weekly Thirteen Thursdays since October 2005. HERE is the first one.
We wore purple wrist bands at the Donna the Buffalo Show in honor of Prince. There was also a Purple Rain inspired instrumental playing over the loud speaker as the band set up. It was the band’s third time playing at the Dogtown Roadhouse in Floyd, and much more in Floyd if you count Floydfest.
“You know, you never know when you leave a place whether it’s still going to be there when you get back, and this really is here. Fantastic,” said Jeb, the lead guitarist and one of the band’s singer/songwriters.
I stood (or danced mostly) directly in front of the stage. Thanks to my friend Rhonda, who, knowing I’m shorter than most everybody else, let me cut in front. This one’s for you, Rhonda, and you know why. It’s not the part where Tara is playing the washboard, although that is pretty cool.
The keyboardist was sick, so Jeb joked about auditions. At one point during a jam, Jeb took to the keyboard himself. At another point, near the end of the 2 ½ hour set, the keyboardist came back and played a couple of songs. The best joke of the night was when Jeb thanked the drummer, who was part of the band years ago and was filling in for the new drummer. “He saw us through two terms of George W. Bush. Those were hard times,” Jeb said.
My pants were bell bottoms, by the way.
Seeing the band again, made me nostalgic, and the next day I looked up past video clips I had recorded. The Dogtown Roadhouse show (called the Sun Hall then) #1 is HERE. Show #2 is HERE. I especially loved reviewing the Floydfest clips. In THIS one my Floydfesting sister Trish is in the shot, and THIS one has my sister Sherry and baby Bryce in it.
These are the days
soon to be “the good old days”
even though I considered them old
when I lived them
With my sons grown
and life’s commitments slowed
I blink through clouds of golden pollen
bringing post nasal drip
and fuzzy thoughts
that don’t feel like mine
These are the spring days of no rain
when I drag myself around
with a metaphoric 10 pound bag
of unplanted potatoes on my back
I sit every chance I get
hoping to catch the chickens in the act
It’s usually just one that escapes the coop
then acts amazed to find herself
on the other side
Soon she misses the flock
and nervously paces the fence
She floats like a ghost out of place
looking for a way back in
These are the days of dirty hands
from planting garden shop flowers
because the ones from seeds take too long
I repeat the same schemes of color
and my shovel somehow finds
already loosened holes from years ago
A flirty first swallowtail gets my attention
and the chirping birds
are like the ones I first heard
through my open bedroom window
when I was a girl
They woke me in summer
when we had no school
Now they mark the cadence
and the transcendence of time
They make a bridge of song
from the good old days
to the older ones
From now to then
and back again
Who knew the cello could sound like a violin, guitar, drum or voice and sometimes at the same time? I guess Community Cello Works cellist Lisa Liske-Doorandish, who organized Wednesday’s “Celebrating the Cello” Give Big fundraiser for Springhouse Community School, did her job showcasing the unaccompanied cello as a concert instrument in its own right, because now I’m sold on it.
“This is the fist time I’ve seen a green haired cellist,” whispered my friend Jayn when a Springhouse Community student (Lisa’s daughter Eleanore) performed Julie-O by Mark Summer, a jazzy, beatnik modern work that lends itself to one-man-band musical poets. The memory of Michael Hedges, the acoustic guitarist who pioneered percussion fingerstyle guitar, came to my mind.
“I feel like a schlep,” I whispered back later, referring to comparing myself to all the practice, talent and skill it must take for the musicians to create such passionate musical extensions of themselves.
One of the evening’s highlights was Lisa’s performance of “Moments at Walden Pond,” five interludes composed by her late friend Patrick Simpson that she performed to the accompaniment of spoken word. Joe Klein, Springhouse co-director (and my husband) read from Thoreau’s Walden, reflections on simple living in natural surroundings.
Lisa announced several upcoming concerts featuring the cello at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the New River Valley. The first Cello Ensembles, Soliloquy in Dialogue, will be performed on Saturday from 3 – 4:00. Some of her professional colleagues, including conductor Farncis Yun from Ohio, are in town for that. Along with Lisa, an ensemble of her students and colleagues also performed at the fundraiser, which was held at the Floyd EcoVillage as part of Give Big, a giving initiative of the Community Foundation of New River Valley. See more on that HERE.
The Cello Ensemble will also perform An Evening of Schubert at the church at 7:30 on Saturday, and Music for Cello Alone, Sunday at 2:00. Cellists ages 4-adult will perform at this family-friendly concert. Donations will be accepted at the door. Springhouse Community School provides project and place based learning opportunities for 7 to 12 grade students and is now accepting enrollments for the 2016/2017 school year. Visit them on Facebook and HERE. Also good to note, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival with Maestro David Wiley will be performing a Mozart in May concert at the EcoVillage on May 7, at 7:00.
1. The Elephant in the Room: “No one sees the elephant in the room for good reason. The elephant is no more. Effective 2018, Barnum and Bailey have announced that their circus will be elephant-free. The lovable Babars will go the way of the eight-track tape. I’m not certain why this is bothersome. Three, four, or five rings under a big tent do not appeal to me. I never went to the circus as a child. It’s not on my bucket list. I didn’t take my children to the circus. Animal rights activists applaud the decision. They make a persuasive argument against animal abuse. Yet, it gnaws. Trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns, and elephants define a circus. It’s like banning cherries from ice cream sundaes.” – From the spring 2016 issue of Front Porch Review, an online literary magazine.
2. My poem, The Girl Next Door, also appears in the issue. It’s a poem I really like because I think it captures my essence. Read it HERE.
3. So THAT Explains It: “Humans may be hard-wired to feel at peace in the countryside and confused in cities – even if they were born and raised in an urban area. According to preliminary results of a study by scientists at Exeter University, an area of the brain associated with being in a calm, meditative state lit up when people were shown pictures of rural settings. But images of urban environments resulted in a significant delay in reaction, before a part of the brain involved in processing visual complexity swung into action as the viewer tried to work out what they were seeing.”
4. Makes Sense to Me: Another study found that people over 40 are most mentally sharp working 3 day weeks and not much more or less.
5. Liam (5) to nana: I love you because you borned my dad. I love you because you make me dinner, because you play games with me and sometimes you pick me up.”
6. When I showed Liam the picture (above) of him making science lab potions at my kitchen table, he said, “Let’s take a picture of it so we can always remember it.”
7. And sometimes I have to learn things about Floyd from the Roanoke Times. A new clothing and home décor shop is about to open in Floyd, joining the growing number of boutiques downtown. More HERE.
8. The Next Big Game Changer: 3D printers that print prosthetics, cars, organs, glass, emergency shelters and living organs are all much closer that you may realize. See HERE.
9. The older George Clooney gets the more he looks like Clark Gable and Tom Hanks is starting to look like Walter Matthau.
10. Joe and I just saw the movie “Youth,” a movie about aging that stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel and is set at a vacation spa in the Alps. It’s been described as “an emotionally rich contemplation of life’s wisdom gained, lost and remembered,” “life and death as seen from the luxury of a hot tub,” a “eruo buddy film” and a meditation. It did have an altering effect on me and was like an art gallery of scenes that at times had me unsure if the rich people in it were on vacation of were inmates.
11. THESE ducks are going to work.
12. THIS is my kind of street art.
13. Facebook update from my Dharmacratic poet friend Will: Dear America, when a top contender for the position of our president announces he has decided not to ban dildos if elected, we are already screwed. – More HERE.
Last year I pulled over while driving on Route 221 to capture this view that now graces the cover of the latest Floyd County Moonshine. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the literary magazine holds. Two more of my photos are included inside, I’ve been told. HERE is another cover photo of mine from the spring 2014 edition. / Our World Tuesday
It was my first time at the Phoenix, the music venue club that holds Battle of the Bands contests for Floydfest’s fan-voted On the Rise band competition.
It was a breath of fresh air to feel transported back into the 60s, where I saw bands like Led Zepplin before they were famous in an old church turned Tea Party hip in Boston.
Yes, there were colored lights, retro curtains and even a leopard print couch. There were craft brews on tap, a food truck on hand and a dance floor big enough for twirling. I knew it would be a good night to talk Joe into going down the mountain because one of the bands was billed as “high-conscious, reggae/dub delicious.”
This was the third show in the series that will continue throughout April and May with two bands competing every Saturday night. Check out The Phoenix on Facebook.
Still to come: April 23 — Skribe vs. Two Ton Twig, April 30 — Ripejive vs. The Shack Band, May 7 — Soundwave vs. Octopus, May 14 — Doby vs. Dale & the ZDubs, May 21 — Raising Caine vs. Urban Soil, May 28 — Adwela & the Uprising vs. FeelFree. – Look for a story and more photos in this week’s Floyd Press.
1. Best line of last week was by Morning Joe Scarborough who was describing Sarah Palin’s nonsensical endorsement of Donald Trump: “Was that more White Rabbit or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?”
2. Best Bucket List Find: An all blue city in Morocco. It was settled by Jewish refugees in 1930 who painted everything blue to match the sky so they would be reminded to think of God. See it to believe it HERE.
3. I can’t decide if writing poetry is like describing a cloud as it is floating away or threading a needle without my glasses on.
4. With the grandsons here, the poetry of the weekend was boxing gloved boys jumping on the trampoline, science potions at the kitchen table, making books about fire walls and rainbow portals, using a vice and hand saw to make homemade wooden guns, telling zombie stories in the camper and eating snacks of celery, crackers and cheese.
5. After they held an audience member hostage and did Hamlet backwards, the actors of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) said they were going to Disneyland. – Watch a few clips from the Floyd Community Theatre Guild’s Sunday performance HERE.
6. This is how Floyd is described in Only Your State’s 11 Small Towns in Virginia Where Everyone Knows Your Name: Floyd is a haven for music lovers. Homemade meals, porch-pickin’, and handmade crafts are just some of the wonderful features of this friendly town. Be sure to stop by on the weekend for the Floyd County Store’s Friday Night Jamboree. This is where all the fun and boot-stomping happens.
7. Last week my husband, Joe, met Liz Murray, the author of Breaking Night, a memoir about growing up in poverty with drug addicted parents and the author’s journey from homelessness to graduating from Harvard. Murray, who once ate toothpaste and lip balm to stave off hunger as a child, was the keynote speaker at a Radford University McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching that Joe was invited to. She made quite an impression, and I’m currently finding it hard to put her book down.
8. Since writing her best-seller, Murray has given motivational speeches alongside people like Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama. At one speaking engagement she shared the billing with Stephen Covey – whose book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, she had once shoplifted. She says, “I know it seems like self-help cheesy, but I didn’t get the best advice from adults growing up, so when I discovered the self-help section I was, like, wait there are all these people who will just give you advice? So I stole the books and I read them. And then I ended up at the Stephen Covey event and I’m like: ‘Oh you’re the guy who wrote that book. I owe you 20 bucks, man.'”
9. Is there something wrong with me because I like taking pictures of flowers more than I like just looking at them? THESE made my day on Monday.
10. I’m also slightly anti-social and border on being disagreeable, which is often seen as a negative, but then I read this: “The irony is that a personality disposition normally seen as antisocial — disagreeableness — may actually be linked to ‘pro-social’ behavior,’” writes Psychology Today‘s Kenneth Worthy. “This connection seems to arise from a willingness to sacrifice one’s popularity a bit to act in a moral and just way toward other people, animals or the environment at large. Popularity, in the end, may be more a sign of social graces and perhaps a desire to fit in than any kind of moral superiority.” – More from Angry Rebels are More Compassionate Than Nice People HERE.
11. “I had decided I would do one of two things when she died. I would buy a little cabin in the woods, and go inside with all my books and shut the door. Or I would unlock all the doors—we had always kept them locked; Molly liked that sense of safety—and see who I could meet in the world. And that’s what I did. I haven’t locked the door for five years. I have wonderful new friends. And I have more time to be by myself. It was a very steadfast, loving relationship, but often there is a dominant partner, and I was very quiet for 40 years, just happy doing my work. I’m different now. – Poet Mary Oliver on losing her life partner of 40 years.
12. We have a bird in our yard that sings for hours on end and seemingly goes through the top 40 of every bird song I’ve ever heard before, which causes me to say, “It must be a mockingbird.” Listen HERE.
13. I’d rather watch a “How to open a wine bottle with a shoe” video over a cute cat one any day.
After they held an audience member hostage and did Hamlet backwards, they said they were going to Disneyland. Look for photos from this Floyd Community Theatre Guild’s presentation of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in an upcoming Floyd Press.
The following first appeared in the April 7, 2016 issue of The Floyd Press.
“There’s a war on drugs in Floyd,” said Judge Marcus Long at the public STOMP (Standing Together to Overcome the Meth Problem) meeting Tuesday night at the Floyd high school cafeteria.
Judge Long, spoke about the region’s newest Drug Court, a collaboration between the judge, the Department of Social Services, Probation and Parole Services, the Sheriff’s Department, the Commonwealth’s Attorney and New River Community Services Board. “We have 3 drug courts now: Pulaski, Giles and Floyd, and hopefully we’ll be doing a few others in the near future,” he said.
The Drug Court was approved on October 19, 2015 and those involved met in early March to approve the first two Drug Court participants. “Our goal is to break the cycle of addiction and incarceration and get people back into society as good people,” Long elaborated. He explained that Meth is 3 ½ time more addictive than heroin or cocaine and that most people he’s seen don’t want to be on it, but can’t get off.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom, another STOMP speaker, also spoke about the goals of the Drug Court to stop meth addiction. “The Drug Court changes the adversarial process that we generally have in court between us and the defendants. With the drug court it’s all of us vs. the drug. The drug is the enemy, not the addict.”
Branscom stated that the Drug Court is a cost benefit overall and Long agreed. “Drug courts have 85% success rate. There’s nothing that comes close to that. Right now our Drug Court cost nothing. It cost around $30,000 a year to keep someone in prison,” said Long, who pointed out the need for long term funding for the Drug Court.
Between Branscom’s and Long’s presentations, STOMP attendees learned the specifics of Drug Court, which considers high risk, high need, non-violent offenders who are not manufacturing or distributing drugs. The Drug Court program has 4 phases and takes 12 to 24 months to complete.
“We meet twice a month,” Long said. “Our treatment goals for participants are that they go to 2 self-help groups a week, do 100 hours of community service, get frequent random drug testing and comply with probation requirements. There’s a fee they pay to participate.” Branscom stated that Drug Court participants plead guilty to charges at a hearing, and if they successfully complete the goals outlined by the Drug Court, charges can be dropped.
Long estimated that somewhere around 90% of the crimes he sees are directly or indirectly related to drugs. “The main thing addicts need is structure and support and they don’t have that,” he said. He stated that any treatment can work for anybody, but what works for one person may not work for another. In Long’s experience, treatment programs that are a year or longer have the most chance of turning around addiction, which he described as a lifelong disease.
Long noted that he is tough on crime but realizes that “we have to think outside the box” when it comes to addiction. He stressed that the Drug Court has been one of the most rewarding things he’s done in his life. He described how participants feed off each other in a positive way and that the Drug Court feeds off the participants’ successes. Branscom stated that Floyd’s strong sense of community will be something that can be drawn on in keeping the program successful over time.
Another presenter in the STOMP speaker line-up was Chief Deputy Chad Harris. Harris guided attendees through a power point presentation on what is involved in making “shake and bake” meth. Among the items associated with homemade meth labs that should raise red flags are plastic bottles and hoses, stripped lithium batteries that can explode when they come in contact with water, coffee filters for drying the meth, a pill grinder for grinding pseudoephedrine pills, coleman fuel, instant cold packs, scales and paraphernalia for using the drug, which can be snorted, injected or smoked.
“If you go into someone’s house and see muriatic acid (a cement cleaner) and they’re not a brick mason, chances are there’s going to be a meth lab,” Harris said. “If you see drano next to camping fuel, it’s another pretty good indication.” He stated that law enforcement can track purchases of Pseudoephedrine, the decongestant stimulant that is used in making meth.
Harris recommended not touching a suspicious plastic bottle with any residue in it, as the chemicals could be dangerous and an explosion could be possible. The average age of meth lab cookers that Harris has come across is 30 – 60 years old. “I’ve never come across a juvenile using meth or heroin, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen,” he reported. He stated that crystal meth from Mexico is becoming more popular.
Dr. Pam Ray of the New River Health District spoke about how we can help prevent addiction in children. Children can become addicted to everything from sugar, caffeine, tobacco and technology. She reported that children’s brains are not fully developed until their mid ‘20s and that the earlier a substance is used the more pathways for a circuitry of addiction are created.
“Nicotine is the single most addictive substance you can put in your body,” she said. Although tobacco use has declined among teens, electronic nicotine delivery systems, also known as vaping, is on the rise. E-cigarette companies are marketing to young people with flavors called gummy bears, root beer float, cappuccino, tequila sunrise and more. Studies have shown have shown that youth who use E- cigarettes (which are easy for anyone to purchase online) are more likely to go on to smoke conventional cigarette. E-cigarette aerosol can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory conditions.
School Superintendent Kevin Harris reviewed the results of a Youth Risk Survey recently taken by some middle school and high school students in the county. Noting that some risky behaviors fell above national levels, Dr. Harris said, “We know we have issues to deal with and that anytime you ask kids these questions, you’re going to get some answers you don’t want to hear.”
Stating that the school system is a reflection of the culture and a part of the culture, Dr. Harris spoke of needing resources and help financing programs for children. Another Youth Risk Survey will be conducted in April. “For us this is a starting point, building a pattern that will tell us the direction we need to go in to create a safe environment.”
“STOMP has done a great job bringing this issue to the forefront,” said supervisor Linda Devito, a longtime STOMP member. “We need all the segments our community to come together on this.”
Photos: 1. Deputy Rick Morrison (left), Supervisor Lauren Yoder (center) and Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom pause to pose. 2. Judge Marcus Long outlines progress on the area’s first Drug Court. 3. Attendees enjoyed homemade chili and cornbread as Deputy Morrison opened the evening with some humorous storytelling. 4. Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom talks about the Drug Court. 5. Sheriff Brian Craig introducing Chief Deputy Chad Harris, who gave a power point presentation on the neighborhood meth labs and what to look for. 6. “Burn piles are located at 99% of all residences where meth is produced,” said Chief Deputy Chad Harris in his presentation. 7. STOMP attendees listening to a presentation. 8. Standing in front of an educational display on vaping, Dr. Pam Ray talks about how to prevent children from starting on the road to addiction. 9. Superintendent Harris goes over the Youth at Risk Survey that some students recently took. “We need to do more,” he said. 10. An attendee asks a question as supervisor Linda DeVito looks on. 11. During a brief intermission community members socialized with each other. Pictured center is STOMP organizer Jack Wall speaking with Superintendent Harris.
1. Lying in bed last week with something like the flu, I noticed a perfect swordfish shape in the knotty pine logs in my bedroom that I hadn’t noticed in all the 25 years I’ve lived in our cabin.
2. It figures: Talking about being sick, in every email I typed FU by mistake, instead of FLU.
3. I can never tell a joke back well, like I can never think of a good April Fool’s prank.
4. On April 1st, I saw a picture on Facebook of a Springhouse Community School teacher/advisor with his desk in the bathroom pulled up to his chair, the toilet!
5. I feel so out of the loop. When my niece posted this on Facebook – If Rubble isn’t your favorite member of the Paw Patrol, you crazy – I had no idea what she meant.
6. While watching the American Country Music Awards Sunday night, THIS song, You Should be Here, reminded me of my sister Kathy and made me cry.
7. I just saw a video on “How to Parallel Park,” which made me think of the amusement park in the town I grew up with and the question “How to Paragon Park?” You just pull in and have fun!
8. Bucket list: The world’s first underwater sculpture garden. On the seabed off the coast of Cancun, British artist Jason deCaires Taylor is creating an extraordinary series of underwater artworks, concrete figures representing refugees and selfie-taking tourists that are transformed as they become slowly colonized by marine life. Wow. See it HERE.
9. Being sick and chilled to the bone made me think and caused me to say to Joe, “If you ever need to send me to a nursing home, that’s okay as long as you bring me home on weekends and run me a hot bath.”
10. It’s a lament / for a lack of inspiration / It doesn’t have a beginning / or a meaningful ending / It’s a an exercise in practice / because a poet should have a poem / should have a good pick-up line / that’s more than a bluff / in sickness and in health … More from Placeholder Poem HERE.
11. “I think what a writer is supposed to do is to ask what is the human condition and what’s the deepest accounting I can give of my presence here. Not to lie about it or whitewash it.” – David Payne talking about his new memoir Barefoot to Avalon on Charlie Rose
12. Kudos to Bernie Sanders, who was the only presidential candidate who didn’t speak at the AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee) lobby rally. He, the only Jew in the group, offered to speak on video but was turned down. All the other candidates that spoke (aka pandering) praised Israel but didn’t mention their decade’s long military occupation of Palestinian or that they continue to build illegal settlements where Palestinians live. We give Israel more than 3 billion a year in military aid each year but don’t hold them accountable to UN resolutions that they are not in compliance with. We don’t hold them accountable for doing their part to create a two state solution in the region. So I was happy to hear Bernie’s position on Palestinian civil rights and ending the occupation of Palestine. “If we are going to go forward, it cannot be that the United States just takes the side of Israel,” he has said. – More HERE.
13. “Rather than people choosing to affirm their relationship to each other in love, they chose to extract something from the other person that the other person wasn’t willing to give and that was what was at the center our family and what went wrong with it.” – David Payne on Barefoot to Avalon