Posts Tagged ‘Perkerson park’

“Spring Forward” and Spring.

March 26, 2010

Kimono looking a little thin.....

Tomorrow is the local Spring Forward Festival…..the first one in this collection of about 3 neighborhoods.  It’s been fraunt with issues from the start…the usual politics, racial issues and naysayers.

However, Vern, a neighbor and friend…has brought this first festival together and there are some really good and interesting people who have come out to support it so far.  These are the organizers and the worker bees.

These have been, for the last 10 or so years, neighborhoods of gentrification.  I’ve been here for 37 years so I remember some of the older residents (and I am becoming one of them now).  It used to be a white neighborhood, then in the mid 70’s became black as integration took hold here in the South, and white residents grew old and died off.  The crack epidemic didn’t help these beautiful old WWI and before neighborhoods, and criminal activity of all sorts inflitrated the area.  A continuely corrupt city government with one mayor going to prison for fraud, etc….didn’t help.  There was quite a racial divide, and whites moved farther and farther away from the city.  Then the trend started to reverse, and whites other races started to move back in.  That was about 10 years or so ago.  There was some resentment by resident blacks but in many cases these people were part of the problem.  My neighbors watched and were excited because they saw an influx of ‘new money’ and energy and a willingness to tackle problems with these new folk moving in.  I was too, though most of them were much younger than we were.

So out of the blue…Vern, who is a social worker sick and tired of the system….came up with this festival idea.  It was quite a challenge because many of us have been sitting on our collective asses for a long time….and we had become chary of events.  In most cases when people attempted to have something public, there were so many hoops that you had to jump through, so many fees because the City of Atlanta has to get their pound of flesh for the parks we pay out of taxes.

There was also the issue of politicians.  Damn them! You couldn’t go to a local community baseball game (meetings, etc) without one or two standing there with their campaign workers….UNINVITED…passing out brochures, leaflets and pressing the flesh.  Hopeful school board members, etc…were like flies over these community events.  And many didn’t live in the area.  A blight unavoidable because these people didn’t have the manners to ask first if they could pass out and corner potential voters.

But this time there seems to be a consensus that politicians will not be allowed to give speeches, pass out literature, use this event for their own promotion.  That is a radical rupture from the way things usually go around here.  And This Is Good.

There has been some issues of ‘people not wanting to go door to door and announce the festival because they don’t feel comfortable doing so’.  Then why are you LIVING here?  You talk about community all day and night  but how in HELL are you to get to know your neighbors???  How do you Build community?

These are new people…whites mostly, and they either will get over that or they will leave.  We treasure our neighbors…black and white, because they have been here almost as long as we.  Yesterday Bobby delivered a bit of good oak to our gate because on a job site they were cutting down some oak trees, and he thought of us.  Blessed man, and thank you!  We will use that good wood next year…perfect timing for drying.  Verlie had to pee the other night at 2am and while up saw four men jump the fence of our neighbor who had a stroke.  He came outside with his phone as he called the cops.  They were gone by the time the police arrived but they left when they saw Verlie watching and callin’.  Another Blessed neighbor.

Spring brings hope and energy to the land.  We have had some major events here with Fred’s kidney failure and he’s having outpatient surgery this am.  The power surge and resulting outage wasn’t fun and cut into a lot of other activities.  We both played a very minor role on the Spring Forward Festival event, but I have composed and will read the opening poem tomorrow at 11am. Vern came up with the idea of a Crazy Spring/Easter Bonnet display on heads and this looks fun and promising…Mine is already gluegunned together…and I have birds, flowers, ribbons, a sailboat, much junk up there that it won’t go unnoticed.  A lot of the gay folk are embracing this Bonnet idea and that should be quite a display.

I was thinking about the different cultures here in our area.  It’s more than black and white, but we forget this.  We need to do a lot more outreach to the Hispanic and Asian residents amongst us or around us.  I decided to wear a formal kimono, actually two….with an obi sash I made just for this Festival.  Something that screamed SPRING!!!!  The local fabric store supplied the beautiful cloth at a very good price….and my husband will also wear a kimono of my making.  This will be funny because he will be wearing (again) a ‘purse’ down his leg.  That seems to be the only joke of urologists:  purse means urine bag.  But he, at least…won’t have to run to the park toilet, over the bridge, up the hill, etc.  He can stand there, smile and wizz as he is talking.  Nobody will even know.

Our hens are laying prolifically with this warmer weather and the increased light.  I think I’ll put a sign on the back of his kimono advertising  “Organic, Free Range Eggs:  $4 a dozen.”

The weather says sunny and 65 degrees.  I did a run through of the kimonos and they ….and the obi….are Heavy.  How can silk be so heavy?  But I guess I can shed layers or go home and change into jeans and sheepskin boots.  I’m not willing to have cold feet yet, regardless what the weather says.

Lady Nyo

PS: Malcolm’s weblogs:

Just a random poem….


The flowers, the cherries,

The blossoming things,

Colorful heralds of tender Spring–

Do not bloom for our eyes

Or delight.

They bloom for the bugs,

The insects

In a lovers relationship

Of give and take.

But we are

Nestled in the curve of the planet

Perhaps with the status of bugs,

Transient, fragile things,

Then perhaps the cherries

Do bloom for us.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010

“Take a Breather”

March 22, 2010

I was thinking of doing so, but then remembered there were a couple of things that would go against this.  Age for one.

I am getting older.  Not old/old, but old enough.  I think of what I want to do, and write is on the top of the list.  I am supported in this by my husband who only asks for paired socks, dinner and that I continue to write.

I add things to his  ‘wish list’, but I write now for my ‘profession’ or at least that is what I am trying to see this time  set aside as.

I am still piling up corrections on “The Zar Tales” but dear Bill has guests so I know he won’t be getting to them soon.  LOL!

THAT’s my breather.  Calling Mary in Ohio was another one as we gossiped and had a good time on the phone.  Email is fine, but a phone call is much more fun.  Especially with a long term girl friend.

It’s Spring, and the Spring Forward Festival is going to actually happen in Perkerson Park this Saturday.  It’s the brainchild of Vern, a great guy here, a social worker who goes back up to his farm and drives his deceased father’s tracker around and around  the fields.  That’s HIS breather.

Vern is a hoot.  Half country, half urban man with a lot of golden heart gilding his insides.  I have composed and will read the “Spring Forward” poem to open the Festival.  I will also be wearing a formal black kimono, with a pink under- kimono, and an obi sash that is a riotous mix of spring flowers and colors.  I am supposed to wear a crazy Spring/Easter Bonnet….but I think it would insult the kimono.  Perhaps I will go home and change into jeans and sheepskin boots and then wear the bonnet.

A less complicated cultural statement.  LOL~

It’s Spring, though it is dark and gray outside with a few snow flurries this morning, but I am turning my energies to “White Cranes of Heaven”.  It’s to be an all poetry venture, and I am curious.  I am curious to see all the poetry of the last 2 years at least in one place.

Over the year I have moved from erotica to more poetry.  Of course, sex still figures in my stories and novels….God Forbid that ever stops….LOL!….but I realize that striving for an erotic content in most writings is a bore…and not really a good thing.  I think thinking with our heads between our loins will limit our view of the world.  There is erotic poetry, and there is poetry that expresses other things….views.  I’m doing something different now, and I feel a sort of liberation.

I made the break from some sites where I learned a lot about the craft of writing…..but the sites were (rightfully so) limited mostly to erotica.  But a class is over in a few years…and you have to look up and outside and find other things to write about.

I feel a sense of freedom.  Liberation.  I have left an old stomping ground and I have made a precious handful of friends.  They are the core of ‘respected writers’ and a great influence and hell…just damn good friends.

Spring is a time of rebirth, and right now…..I feel a quickening.

Lady Nyo

Opening Poem for Spring Forward Festival

Hush! Listen!

Do you hear it?

It is the sound of Winter limping off,

Ice falling from desiccated limbs,

the rattle of old bones grown too brittle

To support  further existence.


Look up!

Do you see the azure sky?

How clear and fresh with  promise!


Let’s go knock on doors,

Ring bells,

Call out to neighbors,

Gather our dogs,

And head into the soft, spongy

Grounds of Spring.

Let us marvel at the tight buds tipping  branches,

Tender greens that harken to a mysterious seasonal code.

Let us fill our lungs with fresh air,

Not stagnant with the too- close months of Winter,

But  a wind which blows away

The sadness and loneliness of our seasonal hibernation.

Let us welcome Spring, and spring forward

Into a season of rebirth, renewal and hope.

Let us welcome with upturned hearts and faces–

This great, promised turn of the Earth.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010

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