Monday, July 18, 2011

July Poetry Corner

Bavarian Gentians
      - D. H. Lawrence

Not every man has gentians in his house
in soft September, at slow, sad Michaelmas.

Bavarian gentians, big and dark, only dark
darkening the daytime, torch-like, with the smoking blueness of Pluto's gloom,
ribbed and torch-like, with their blaze of darkness spread blue
down flattening into points, flattened under the sweep of white day
torch-flower of the blue-smoking darkness, Pluto's dark-blue daze,
black lamps from the halls of Dis, burning dark blue,
giving off darkness, blue darkness, as Demeter's pale lamps give off light,
lead me then, lead the way.

Reach me a gentian, give me a torch!
let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of this flower
down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness
even where Persephone goes, just now, from the frosted September
to the sightless realm where darkness is awake upon the dark
and Persephone herself is but a voice
or a darkness invisible enfolded in the deeper dark
of the arms Plutonic, and pierced with the passion of dense gloom,
among the splendor of torches of darkness, shedding darkness on
the lost bride and her groom.

D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
Published posthumously.
From 'Last Poems', 1932.


Monday, July 11, 2011

That Phone Call From Steve Pierz

When I was a Historic Preservation Commissioner, I voted against allowing the Paulson-Pierzes to put vinyl siding on their High Street property in accordance with the Historic Preservation Ordinance at that time.

Both Pierz and his wife work at the same major employer as I do.
When I returned to my desk following that HPC meeting (the initial public hearing), I received a call from Pierz from his Mossville office. Our office phones have caller-ID, and I answered "Hello, Steve".

He began with these exact words (I wrote them down):

"You dirty scum-sucking dog."

He then chuckled and went on with a "just kidding" attitude, but it definitely was not funny to me.

I called HR after the call to ask if they kept a record of phone calls. They said they did not unless I wanted to file a harassment incident, which I declined to do at that time.

I knew the Paulson-Pierzes on a superficial social level. I had been to their house on a couple group occasions and they probably had been to mine.

However, I did not know them well enough to take such a comment as a joke.

And with his wife in a position of relative power at work (reporting directly to a vice-president) in my building, the threat and the implication were very clear to me.

Someone who would resort to threats and intimidation in an attempt to influence a case before a city commission is not someone I would trust to serve on ANY commission.

Mayor Ardis calls statements made by HP Commissioner Tim Herold "disturbing" in today's PJStar. 

I wonder why Ardis does not consider Pierz's statements to me to be equally disturbing.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!

- Walt Whitman
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, 
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, 
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.