Of journalism, poetry, fulminations
and presidential historical fiction
CATALYST … Looks like the West Montrose Economic and Community Development group is starting up a flashy new monthly newsletter, thanks to the Paradox Strengthening Community Fund – The Community Catalyst. It’s a great name – a “catalyst” being something that makes other things happen … My friend Greta deJong edits and publishes the Salt Lake City alternative monthly, Catalyst – which I love to read, since it features so many stories relevant to southwestern Colorado and keeps me current on non-Mormon Utah’s counter-culture <w.catalystmagazine.net> … WMECD’s first issue, a trimmed U.S. G-size newsprint tabloid printed in Montrose, sports a dusk cover shot of the Paradox Rim by Richard Worth. Its inaugural editorial offers an “open forum, to dream of a better tomorrow for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren” … Marie Templeton of the Rimrocker Historical Society has a column, “Pieces of our Past”. Jeri Mattics Omernik talks about converting grass into greenbacks. Dallas Holmes writes “The Book Nook”. 4th-grader Brydon Haining is selected as the community’s first “Stellar Student”. There’s a Colorado State University Cooperative Extension back-cover color story about canning tomatoes, a full-page community calendar, a West End non-profit directory, couple ads and a survey … It’s really quite nicely done. Pick up copies in Norwood, Naturita, Nucla and Paradox
DIABOLOS … I was surprised to learn, on one of my late-night etymological excursions, that our culture’s idea of a “devil” comes from this Greek word, which means “slanderer” or “accuser” … And that its synonym “Satan” derives from the Hebrew Ha-satan “one who opposes or obstructs”
TALKING THISTLE… “Thistle, a missile of war, or earth repair? Comes to land in need of weedy care. Yes, taproots deep -- breaks up compacted ground, bringing those gardener earthworms around. And all the while brings its presents to us humble, earthy, loving peasants … Blend the alkaline greens with water, lemon and honey. Strain out the prickles and enjoy a life elixir with no money …Peel the stem before it blooms to enjoy a juicy celery treat … Chew the flower into gum that's lasting and mildly sweet … And dig roots for winter liver tonic tea, to rejoice in a good long life of health, carefree! …Thistle, to some, is "Wanted" as the bane of society … Another road to take is to celebrate diversity!” -- Katrina Blair, Turtle Lake Refuge, Durango
SUSAN CULVER … Can it be true? My evil twin poet journalist colleague over at the San Miguel Basin Forum has left her post? No longer editor? No more ad hominem editorials fulminating on the evil ways of the notorious Badtimes? … I’m gonna have to ship my horns and trident back to the factory.
DAVID MASON … Professor at Colorado College, as well as prize-winning poet, essayist, writer of libretti, and former Fullbright scholar, Mason was named Colorado’s sixth poet laureate by Gov. Ritter last year. He made a pledge to visit all of Colorado’s 64 counties and he’s coming three venues in Ouray County and one in San Miguel County next week … Friday, Oct. 14th, 5-7 p.m. at the Ridgway Library for a Meet&Greet … Saturday, Oct. 15, 9-a.m-noon at Weehawken Creative Arts, 1900 Main St., Unit #7, Second Floor, Ouray, for a Poetry Workshop (“Killer Openings: How to Get into a Poem”) … Sat., Oct. 15, 3-5 p.m. at Roscoe Fox, 539 Main St., Ouray for a Poetry Reading and Book Signing … Monday, Oct. 17th, at the Wilkinson Library with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and a reading at 6 p.m. … A second book of David’s essays, Two Minds of a Western Poet, will appear in 2011 from the University of Michigan’s Poets on Poetry Series. Mason lives near the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs with his wife, Anne Lennox.
JIMMY CARTER … Found a book saved from my late dad’s things that had gotten a bit moldy in a storage bin whose top leaked. A novel by our former president. I dried the pages and salvaged the book. I didn’t know Carter’d tried his hand at fiction, but since it was a story of the Revolutionary War, I dove in … And it proved a good read. I learned a lot of history about South Carolina, Georgia and Florida during the time of the Colonies separated from England. The characters were strong and engaging. The momentum dragged a little at times, with (no doubt) accurate historical details getting in the way of the storyline. But the writing was good. Not prize-winning, but solid. I stayed up until 5 a.m. reading one night (morning) just to get to the end … I learned that the Creeks had a clan named after the Potato; a member of the radical revolutionary party for the late 1700s in the American colonies was called a “Whig” – a word that originally meant a horse thief; and a member of the conservative party was called a “Tory,” which had started out meaning an outlaw whose first allegiance was to the Pope … The Hornet’s Nest (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2003). Recommended.
THE TALKING GOURD
Rivers run, fires rage,
End times coming, New Age.
Turning wheel spinning fast,
Fleeing migrants soaring past.
Autumn quells the summer light,
Ushers into longer night.
Western spirit, black holes,
Mystery gate, dead souls,
Bear, coyote, owl, loon,
Baying to night and the Harvest moon.
Voices sing with heart's reminder,
Whoever loses is also a finder.
Nothing else you have to know,
Only this: let go.