Prose Poem: Look Me In the Eyes Judge Me & A Part Of You Not Me Dies


I said I don’t know how it is happening, this rolling through hidden, painful diseases, migraines unfolding over the years suddenly, calmly, admiring the sun casting shadows over the horizon edge into the elms, oak, maple and yellow pine, thinking this is beautiful, this is sparkling and bending into a kaleidoscope with Isaiah steaming and proclaims He shall not be broken…

Darkness. I don’t know. I was sipping orange blossom tipped water and then I awoke in a bundle, water all over me, time what time? There was no marker beginning and ending.

I looked at my right leg, my leg, knee down and around my arch and ankle back up again in splotches of gorgeous purple and saffron bruises.

I stare. I cannot stand. My entire body was stretched and beaten, reformed and disassociated. It was a seizure. I was terrified. Five more in a few weeks. So I told my neurologist. I was afraid to speak. But I did. Thus began two years of barbaric tests and medicines. Time to time they still return, shadows pulling me to a cavern Of night. A cavern Of bright souls singing from Psalms and sometimes chants, songs of Milarepa as I swim through the Bardo and again awaken. My lip swollen, tongue bleeding, I know where I had give and reflection makes it a whirring set of waves of fear. Few things are stranger than never knowing when they will emerge. Seizures. Meds no meds many meds new meds murderous meds then meds work ok looks good let’s cut back What? Ok so I do and click Jello legs and hello floor. Scratches. Bruises. Gazing into the wooden floor and hoping here nothing was broken. Deal with it. Give warnings when Lyme’s takes new forms old forms beware stay back it strikes do not touch me the muscles more powerful than the steroids they were injecting. Life. Deal with it. I said Doctor, the only thing that really worked without burnt bay leaves and thyme in my mouth without side effects killing me or making me wish it would was medical marijuana. Thank you, Georgia. Lack of legislation for medical for Lyme’s and all the disorder leaves me tsk tsk tell me no drama so fuck off it hurts keep personal effects out of my definition. Through cancer through the many legged Lyme’s nerve damage disc disorder white blood cells contour and dominate into another gate of hell and idiots try to place blame on divorce and I cease speaking into that void. I lived. St Padre Pio St Raphael St Patrick and the 8 fold path. And so as Lyme’s rises as it does now stay on track understand that all this pain is not a choice.

So I laugh find a way Rise. This is Lyme’s. A strangers sneeze could kill me. So benefits are cut and SNAP goes down to $15 a month I ask do I starve or face the hydra headed threats of death in my veins and dna. It does not matter between Medicare and the state I wonder who will pay for my ashes. Look me in the eyes and say you understand That is all I want Just understand.

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Blood of Orpheus


A DEATH OF EROS, A WITNESS TO DISASTER

‘Seeing so much activity of the mind devour her natural beauty

is painful in that blame is always the culprit, to blame others,

to set sin in the heart and feed it anger and hatred, I feel her

and she hates that the shared experience takes place.

A field of rolled hay, the Georgia green fields that when absent

I yearn for as a long in the past love, this land, this air,

Life is always balancing and sometimes it does fall, it is in the Fall

We understand our own methods of what seems to me as

Ridicule of the heart and the mind, of a war that despises the spirit

Rather seeks to understand the Holy Spirit.

I know.

I fought it all my life up until the moment Christ entered and spoke

As he does to many, he spoke those piercing words from his own wounds

Into those who are open to this event, this unraveling of discord: the awakened soul.

I pray she awaken.

The meanness and name-calling, the rumbling roar of hatred shoots across constellations,

I pace each room looking at what I can and cannot move, what and how

Shall I move into it’s place as a memory catcher and lightening rod to poetry

And music, as a direct course to writing again when I see so many boxes

Filled with notes, version after version, expansive poems it hurts to imagine

What awaits, but wait they do and so here I piddle, wondering how to help

Heal one cannot be healed. It hurts to see how she destroys the beauty of Spirit

And of God while thinking it is a direct line. It is not a direct line.

I fear madness has taken hold and she cannot cope sober and blames

Others for the ongoing disaster. To be witness to the disaster is painful.

I must. I smell the slow burning of the death or Eros.

Sad.

Not much can be said in the whirlwind of such hatred.

Sad captures and identifies a mind at war. The balance is leaning downward

Further every day and every day I try to offer conversation and light;

Every day I am a lone figure in a Hopper painting.

Failed. Smoking a non-filter Camel. Glass of Tulimore Dew in hand.

Lone. I must seek more deeply into my heart and soul.

I am witness to the disaster and I cannot “do” or “act”.

It is like being the camera in war.

For Roscoe Holcomb, Vocals Banjo


Fifth poem for Mendocino Blues
This is about Roscoe Holcomb one of the most transcendental, high pitched, claw finger banjo and guitar players discovered by accident in the Kentucky hills. One of the most moving musicians found in those early years of the 60s when people were searching our mountains for singers and story tellers who connected us back to Scotland and Ireland to the folk songs older than folk.

Mendocino Blues


These are the first set of poems for a re-edited version with new poems, poems deleted and poems perfected. I hope you find something of the heart, the spirit in my poetry. It is alive.New recordings, edited and new poems out the life of Southern traveler, alone, searching out life in every avenue and spring, ocean side and old oak forests, redwood and ferns, lazy mountains, love on fire, the soul, life itself and what it is when the spirit rises

2 Catholic Poems of Faith and Discovery: Dialogue In Fever, In Scripture, My Lord Speaks; and Fire in the Soul, Ongoing


Dialogue in Fever, in Scripture, My Lord Speaks
“Have you told the sun to rise?
Have you commanded rivers to flow?
Do the trees call your name when
The many winds blow?
Would you be so bold? How were you born?
I am now and after when there was Nothing.
I will Be when the last waves collapse
and the final fires sing.”

-How am I no more a servant?
But in finding You I see my heart
Open wide outside my chest, for me it stops,
for You, My Lord, I feel it start.
Sense my blood rush in artery and vein,
Yet still I suffer, I wear this chain
And feel my flesh decay; only the Crucifix
And white bones remain.-

“Did your breath move across the waters?
Build Adam’s lungs and give him voice?
Was it you or Is it Me who looks upon
Eve and grants her choice?
My prodigal, my son, go my wandering child,
All there is of this beautiful land is yours to build,
And know also it is yours to destroy, to bury,
Remember to cherish what is mine and wild.”

-Awake! all is Yours I came to say at dawn
Today while we talked, and I listened, underneath
Your glory, your patience, as Autumn was drawn
Across this South, and I was glad.-

-When you kneeled and pressed your palms together,
Turned your face skyward, then to the ground, and up,
You Said,- “This is the way we pray from here forever.
Say our Father, who art in Heaven…
The words of Job, of David, of Isaiah and Jeremiah
Must be your power, inspiration and your drive.
Of Me you ought to comprehend that of My idea,
My Sophia, all that is, is within me.”

-What more wisdom, more Gospel, must be felt?
How of Luke, Matthew and Ezekiel? May I live when
The lost is found and what is solid must never melt?
Peace, you command, and speak: we Live.-
“Your prayers, intentions and actions are all alive,
I will never leave you alone again, keep close these words
Of Love, Hope and Faith, know what you make and derive
Of Me is cherished, as Paul wrote: here is your Glory.”

Fire In The Soul, Ongoing….

Found my way in by a cracked and solemn weeping willow stump,
Straight into the woods of Oglethorpe County, straight into a cluster
Of wildlife singing, briars tearing into my arms, bleeding,
Bleeding through thin skin, these blue veins growl,
Andi t reaches in, this “IT”, it tears my soul from my body,
Hangs it in leaves among the water oak trees along the banks
Of this tiny river in the woods, where I knew right then…
What it was like to have spiritual crisis blues.
Standing on a foundation, white clay and red maple mulch,
Spongy earth bouncing. Strangely colored crickets start to gather,
Jump and disappear, but not too far cause I hear their legs strumming
A gipsy chorus for lost loves in the forest.
Me,in this walk alone into the wood. A stroll into my own unknown.
A full sun burns blue down, down into this haunted stream,
Turning muddy waters clear and clean. Crisp they say, it’s OK.
I have the Blues no one wants to hear, and not a friend is near,
Forget family, forget Church, they just back away and say: “it’s yours”,
But I don’t want it, not again, not this splitting soul from bone,
So I dig my hands deep into the blue sands and mud,
Bathe in this clinging soil, and then color this body
With lavender and thistle, blue of my hill people dozens of centuries ago
Fighting Rome and then fighting the King; and finally fighting
The One… alone, trying to draw near, reaching to pull
The trees lower, and lower so I can grab a bit of the spirit
I lost a few days ago, a few days ago this Crucified was just a memory.
Gone. A haint, jumps up, chasing me through groves of dogwood and pecan,
Naw, it would not let go, it would not let me go, this banshee
Screaming my spiritual blues, a blues clutching like Death to my breath
Like there was no letting go, I tried, I ran, I doused my hair with lemon,
Stuffed pepper up my nose and salt in my shoes, begged Lord come back, please.
Expecting something different, something different at least this time…
But the spiritual blues came, wrapped around my body, and I was alone.
I asked the priest, I asked the friend, I asked the family and then no one,
It didn’t matter, they figured these shadows were mine to claim,
They knew this time the spiritual blues won, but what they knew was wrong,
I just wanted to sing, I wanted to purge doubt, doubt like black sulfur water.
Bring down the cypress and water oak trees, find the clean springs
So I can live again, so these screaming doubts between love of the flesh
And love of the mind and love of the soul I thought was mine
Would stop, and turn and go away. Would find itself flowing…from these springs.
These spiritual blues are never easy, and one day someone will listen
And understand, understand, that my soul is at stake and I am tired,
And I am a man: Alive with God. I am this man. I am this man.
The bark and hunting howl of His hounds on my trail,
And I know I quit running and hiding in the hills, it is between the Lord and I,
A man trying, a person, trying to make peace with Trinity and self,
with all that is here and even more…Peace…Can we make peace?

Spiritual Crisis Blues


Spiritual Crisis Blues

Found my way in by a cracked and solemn weeping willow stump,

Straight into the woods of Oglethorpe County, straight into a cluster

Of wildlife singing, briars tearing into my arms, bleeding,

Bleeding through thin skin, these blue veins growl,

And it reaches in, this “IT”, it tears my soul from my body,

Hangs it in leaves among the water oak trees along the banks

Of this tiny river in the woods, where I knew right then…

What it was like to have spiritual crisis blues.

Standing on a foundation, white clay and red maple mulch,

Spongy earth bouncing. Strangely colored crickets start to gather,

Jump and disappear, but not too far cause I hear their legs strumming

A gipsy chorus for lost loves in the forest.

Me, in this walk alone into the wood. A stroll into my own unknown.

A full sun burns blue down, down into this haunted stream,

Turning muddy waters clear and clean. Crisp they say, it’s OK.

I have the Blues no one wants to hear, and not a friend is near,

Forget family, forget Church, they just back away and say: “it’s yours”,

But I don’t want it, not again, not this splitting soul from bone,

So I dig my hands deep into the blue sands and mud,

Bathe in this clinging soil, and then color this body

With lavender and thistle, blue of my hill people dozens of centuries ago

Fighting Rome and then fighting the King; and finally fighting

The One Christ King. alone, trying to draw near, reaching to pull

The trees lower, and lower so I can grab a bit of the spirit

I lost a few days ago, a few days ago this Christ was just a memory,

A haint, chasing me through groves of dogwood and pecan,

Naw, it would not let go, it would not let me go, this banshee

Screaming my spiritual blues, a blues clutching like Death to my breath

Like there was no letting go, I tried, I ran, I doused my hair with lemon,

Stuffed pepper up my nose and salt in my shoes, begged Lord come back, please.

Expecting something different, something different at least this time…

But the spiritual blues came, wrapped around my body, and I was alone.

I asked the priest, I asked the friend, I asked the family and then no one,

It didn’t matter, they figured these shadows were mine to claim,

They knew this time the spiritual blues won, but what they knew was wrong,

I just wanted to sing, I wanted to purge doubt, doubt like black sulfur water.

Bring down the cypress and water oak trees, find the clean springs

So I can live again, so these screaming doubts between love of the flesh

And love of the mind and love of the soul I thought was mine

Would stop, and turn and go away. Would find itself flowing…from these springs.

These spiritual blues are never easy, and one day someone will listen

And understand, understand, that my soul is at stake and I am tired,

And I am a man: Alive with God. I am this man. I am this man.

A man trying, a person, trying to make peace with Trinity and self,

with all that is here and even more…Peace…Can we make peace?


Tomorrow Fades

Gone the waves

A need flies

On sunlight

Blue this time

Why blue

I was always writing

In orange and

Star lit meadows

The slow Georgia hills

Lay flat then curves

Forever into the far North

A peach tastes so sweet

So much like sunshine

Open above

And I raise a peace sign

Of hope to the clouds

Even though

Everything is changing

Much too fast

Fast fading fast alive

Loss To Grace and Rage to Life

How many different journeys made up my life and death?

This is just a tale of where, when and how.

Of the loves that were woven into the green iris of my eyes,

How magicians were challenged until there was no magic at all;

How when one day while shredding the hedges that lined the waterside

Of this small pond, a place in the woods, a home of cinder blocks,

These waters where I floated in a dark grey metal boat,

A two seater, no motor, just paddles, a quiet slide from one end to the other,

This little boat, born of this small pond, this dark rainbow body,

Gliding over where catfish languished in summer heat,

As though written in by a young Cormac McCarthy,

As if only he could find the words to make believe this was a place

That was never at all. This was a landscape of one among the many,

So alike and yet so isolated, so much the same but then again not.

But it was, sprinkled with angry bream that sparkled back at the sun,

Who shone with fearsome blue, black and silver flashes, broad side,

Pushing the water upwards, blinding their prey, rising to strike

Slow stone fly nymphs, maybe even grab a taste of occasional tad pole,

A feast at dawn where life came to live, a funeral at dusk where it came to die.

On this long day while shredding the hedges that marched

Off into the woods, I raised a fist to the heavens, and cursed

God on every sweaty breath, on each diphthong and cluster of vowels

That I could muster, that I could holler, filled with hatred for a lost childhood,

Broken by phrases locked in brackets, wanting even then to be freed

Of memories dark as darker than miles from any home,

When all I wished was to find was a way to live and to describe…

That only woman “who was to be my love”, and in return that I was hers.

It never came. It never happened. Each curse came upon me.

Each was driven by poisoned water, of soured wines

And rust skinned potatoes, brown and wilted lettuces. No real food.

We would pour three fingers of wormy mescal, then drive away

Up the winding asphalt that moved along among the short leaf pines,

Cruising with an ease most described by the winds,

Most alive in the breezes of a Georgia summertime.

What was it that I wanted, what was I proving in these scorching days

And even hotter nights when I stood alone by the pond,

Screaming at God, begging, then demanding to show me something real.

But we all know how these things go. They go nowhere.

Just a tied fly floating downstream into the rapids.

Down there where no catfish hang around, where silver carp

Pass by and hunt further and further for dead and rotting things,

Things that litter the bottom of every stream and body of water.

Was I really there standing and shouting? Hell yes.

Cussing out God for leaving me to figure how this was “I am”,

A life of struggle, of loss, of slander and success, of always being

Almost then gone. But He was patient. Letting me run the wild

Out of my soul, laughing at this arrogance that lived to destroy,

Standing back when it was certain the next cliff would take me

Coming near when my hands fell off the wheels, turning

Just enough to live another hour. This was how it started.

This was how all this spirit hunting came into being.

These were the moments when a great love of all things woman

Sublimated every text, every conversation that was to follow.

A life’s tease. A significance lost on ordinary dissertations

Of subject predicate, subject object, thesis stated antithesis sworn in,

Brought back home and lost again when critical theory,

A post Freudian exercise, a means of thought built for the analyzed,

It hatched more anger than love at all, and why, why did it go back to the night

When I stood unsteady by a spring in the forest, a place so wonderful

Ruined by my childish raging, a place suddenly dangerous

When hurricane winds marched over from each distant coast,

They met and blasted together in the woods of West Georgia.

The thin pines bowed and snapped, threatened back at me,

As though remembering the night I hated God

And swore not ever would I be among the faithful.

Years later, here I am, just as tormented, just as isolated

As I ever was, but everything is different, everything is by the erratic,

Welcome and worthy Grace of God. I count by the dozens

Those who ran when I changed, when I said God is Love, is patient,

And is all things dark and light, Crayola colored,

Hand painted and chisel formed, swaying back and forth

One moment on the winds, then floating along the brownish waters

Of a hot September pond in the woods, the last before anticipated Autumn,

When pleasure returns to cool this porous South, that the lakes do not dry up,

Nor the springs stop giving life, the pleasure is real, Real Presence.

What can I say? No longer alone cursing at length, now I pray.

Now I wonder if I am a better man, if there will ever be that She

With whom I can walk by the dawn bright rye grass, to speak sunrises

And mental exercises, that maybe one day, I will be forgiven,

Maybe one day I can see it is I who must forgive myself,

Not by God, not by Mary, not by Lord Jesus Christ,

Not by meditations on right action and right faith where Compassion rules,

Once by the tears when I walked into the Hall of 500,

Deep in Guang Zhu someplace China,

500 incarnations of the teaching soul of Buddha,

Later, for me, it was 500 saints,

and above them all they were led by Saint Raphael, sweet Raphael,

Beloved archangel, led onto the bridge from life before Christ, to the one after,

The one opened up by John the Baptist, then Lord Jesus Christ salvation,

The one where it all started to happen. By mortal death came life after death.

….And not by Faith alone, but by Faith with Action…Believe!

But wait, maybe it is by faith alone….Yes. By these ways, by this life lived.

Finding, climbing, rising, doing all I can to find a way back home to God,

The place that is, just is, is always home, that place of Life.

…Please don’t leave me… Faraway is too drear and cold.

Let me be here in this always becoming life of conversion, always moving

Towards God and never from, lead me on my Love, forgiving and patient

Faithful and alive, for some it takes a lifetime to awaken.

Conversion and Salvation are dynamic, sublimating everything.

And me,  I am surely one of them. Thank you my beloved, hope and desire.

(Once again, back home to God, thankfully born into this life.)

But I Cannot Say Her Name

               (I miss)

A voice.

This piano.

Once maybe twice

But more than thousands,

So many songs

And meditations,

Nocturnes formed

On miles of sky

Lain out on grasses

Disappearing.

Disappeared.

Hope.

Each time

We were together

These things sustained.

How I wish they were now.

You were all.

This was desire.

And it is here

Passion is alive


Tomorrow Fades

Gone the waves

A need flies

On sunlight

Blue this time

Why blue

I was always writing

In orange and

Star lit meadows

The slow Georgia hills

Lay flat then curves

Forever into the far North

A peach tastes so

Much like sunshine

And I raise a peace sign

Of hope to the clouds

Even though

Everything is changing

Much too fast

Fast fading fast alive

Green Waters Here Eleven AM Today Forever (a poem)


Green Waters Here Eleven AM Today Forever

Midmorning in the woods where the sunrise first spoke,
Riding together in a green aluminum 3 seat boat, sweetly
Sliding across the mirror slick surface of a Georgia pond,
Radar paced ringlets whisper, gesture, circle back into the rising paddle,
Into my hands as we move through the waters, one shore to the next,
Schools of crappie idle about in fallen pines, in lake grass, in dark waters,
And I tie in the rubbery spine of a tiny Yamamoto worm, cast about,
Cast about, 9 foot leader sailing, drift and float, sinking slightly shoreward,
Cold pulling it down, fluttering by a sunlit shallow, brushing the nose
Of a dozing spot bass…Twitch awake! and sped straight into a dazzling fight,
A Southern bass hungry in chill waters, power, crazy 3 pounds of muscle
Whipping the fly rod tip down bend flex and over back again, loose
Then running towards deep green shadows of a rotting locust trunk,
And I lowered the line down below the water just enough to wear pond scum
On my face from pulling up so fast, setting the hook, guaranteeing
That tonight we eat, we share life back and forth with our corner of the lake.
That’s right, we give and we take, and try to keep it that way,
Like, why destroy what we love or poison what gives us life?
It’s so much easier, and better overall, just to float along from time to time,
Catch what we can eat and pass over all the rest.

Post Roast and Yeast Rolls Rambling in October


AUTUMN OVENS AND A STYLE OF ROLLS
Rains in the early morning have a kind of gastronomic compass quick at work. It’s like a persuasion of sorts, this rain. I can practically see the colors change across the hardwood tree canopy in this last bastion of woods in Clarke County. Turning over and looking at a lone rose in my backyard, a rabidly budding rose hips bush gives it’s wild best to keep me in citrus-y tea all winter.
But that’s just the start of a great morning. The flavors of a classic Sunday beef pot roast and yeast rolls shakes me out of bed. You and I both know it builds a pretty strong case to get in the kitchen early.
The cut of beef is the rump roast which is above the round on the haunches of beef cattle. It is a tough cut of meat that tenderizes in the Dutch oven as it roasts with the vegetables, stock, seasonings and vinegar or wine. You can use an iron Dutch oven or clay. I like both but am using the cast iron version as it is closest to what my Mother used to make hers, and I am personally more comfortable with iron. Giving the secret to her recipe was part of my brother’s requirement for my sister in law when he married. He loves it that much, we all do, actually. Fresh pearl onions are key. This is not her exact recipe.
The yeast rolls were intoxicating. They would sit in front of heater vents with cheese cloth laid over the top like a blanket of mist. The timing for the rise perfectly matched our return from Church. Come home, change cloths, wait for Mamaw and any other guests to arrive, then it was time for pot roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, English peas, yeast rolls and sweet tea. This was Sunday in Autumn. This is a purely American meal with nods to the West African and French culinary sources that permeated the South during her formative years.

Depending on the corn, peas or beans in season we would shuck them all week off and on while sitting on the front porch, waving at neighbors, my buddies on their 3 speed bikes with banana seats and butterfly handlebars, watching my sister’s boyfriends drive by and give a honk of any number of Mustang Fastback, Camero, Firebird, Cutlass 396, Shelby Cobra, Ford Torino Cobra, Mercury Montego MX, Buick GSX, Dodge Super Bee, ‘66 Corvette, Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, Pontiac GTO, or Dodge Challenger, muscle car set of wheels that would make any kid drool with excitement over these gas guzzling wonders of the back roads, Plymouth Road Runners spinning out doing doughnuts at the ball park, her eventual husband driving up in a Oldsmobile 442 ragtop, my brother running off to pitching practice, me just running off, our crazy beagle/fox terrier dog Bob chasing every single car that turned onto our street, Mother talking about her sisters and the history of our town. “Just what is the other side of the tracks?” Yeah, this was sitting on the front porch as it was meant to be, shelling peas for supper and watching the coolest cars in Tucker stream on by through the warm autumn afternoons. Slow Food? We lived it then and we can live it today. The easiest place to start is with local produce, the flavors will send most memories into family meals and occasions free of discord or time. That was our home during the twilight of sleepy neighborhoods, scenes that we alone have the power to continue and evolve.

SOUTHERN POT ROAST (because I just cannot call it Yankee)
Use a 3 pound round, chuck or rump roast for this dish. Cooking time is approximately 2 ½ hours start to finish. Cook in 300 degree oven, allowing 12 minutes per pound. Start on stove top. You can use either iron or clay Dutch Oven, this recipe is for cast iron. If you cannot find pearl onions then use cipollini onions which are flatter than round. They are perfect for roasting and I like them both equally but have used the cipollini more professionally than the pearl variety.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, high quality here
5 strips Bacon or guanciale (smoked/cured jowl)
3 to 4 pound Boneless round
12 Black peppercorns
24 Pearl onions, peeled, whole
2 Bell peppers, seeded, diced
1 1/2 cups Butternut squash, peeled, 1 inch dice
1 1/2 cups Pumpkin, peeled, 1 inch dice
2 cups Red potatoes, 1 inch dice
4 large Tomatoes, chopped
1 pint Beef stock
1 cup Burgundy or balsamic/red vinegar blend
1/3 cup Dale’s Marinade
1 tablespoon Rosemary, fresh
1 ½ teaspoon Thyme, dried
5 Bay leaves
6 cloves Garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons Leaf parsley, chopped, washed
3 tablespoons Cane or Date molasses
3 ounces European Butter

Everything takes place in the Dutch oven.
Heat the olive oil and bacon together over medium high heat. When the bacon is rendered remove it from the pan and add the beef. Brown it on all sides.
Add the potatoes, pumpkin and bell peppers, cook two minutes. Add squash, onion and tomatoes, cook three minutes and then add rest of ingredients except the butter. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. This will be roughly 20 minutes on the stove top. Baste the roast before putting in oven. Put bacon on top of roast. Cover and cook for 60 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove. Keep covered for 10 minutes. Check tenderness and temperature. This will not be rare or even medium rare, it is a pot roast which means it will be cooked completely in the juices and vegetables held in by the design of the Dutch oven.
Remove meat and vegetables. Skim fat. Add butter and stir into the liquids. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour to thicken into consistency of a gravy. Serve in gravy boat at the table during supper.
YEAST ROLLS
Yeast rolls are exactly what they sound like, rolls made with yeast as the ingredient to give it rise and body. Biscuits use baking soda and baking powder for this effect but is not as light or flaky as can be found in yeast rolls. Yeast rolls take time, a bit of work and an accurate oven. There are dozens of recipes and techniques. I am using a recipe that best approximates that of my youth.
A few words on yeast: we have dry active, fast active, compressed fresh yeast cakes, and brewers yeast. Yeast dies over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Brewers yeast is used for the nutritive benefits as ingredient, gravy and for brewing beer. Dry yeast keeps a long time in the pantry and requires about 20 minutes to foam and rise in warm water. Fast acting dry yeast has very small grains, can be added to flour when warm water is later added to mix or will rise within minutes when mixed into warm water. Yeast is a living thing. Salt inhibits yeast. High heat kills yeast after it has risen and holds the flours in tight or big bubbles for rolls, pizza and various bread doughs. When making basic yeast breads you need to have your yeast mixed into 80 to 100 degree Fahrenheit water for 15 minutes or until it has doubled, even tripled in size but not much more than that as it will become too loose and will not have enough binding molecules.
Yeast is a single cell organism. A pound of yeast has 32, 000,000,000 cells of fermented sugar cells known as yeast. Yeast requires bread so it is not gluten free. Recall that the glutens given to intolerance in some individuals are wheat, barley and malt. Some people are sensitive to oats as well but in general oats are safe for those who are gluten intolerant.
Makes 20+/- rolls. Use a 9 x 13 pan. 375 degree oven, cook 15 minutes.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar/baking stevia
2 eggs (large)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cup bread flour (finer and higher gluten content than all purpose style)
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
Warm the milk to between 90 and 110 degrees F.

Mix all of the ingredients either with electric mixer dough hook or by hand.
If it is dry add a tablespoon of warm water or warm milk.

Knead until it is smooth and pliable, elastic and not sticking to your hands.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled metal bowl, cover with a damp towel and place in a warm area to rise for an hour or so.Butter the pan.
Split the dough in half, then into 4 equal parts. Divide again, then divide into 3 balls. Cut into 24 pieces. To form rolls, hold a small dough ball inside both hands, cup with opening between index finger and thumb, squeeze into a ball as it emerges from your hands. Sort of like playing but with great results. You are making little balls with just enough air introduced by the gentle squeeze so that they will rise into smooth rolls. Line them up in the greased casserole or baking pan so that they are barely touching, at best not at all. Cover with warm, damp towel. Dough will rise by half before they are ready to bake.
Remove cloth, bake 15 minutes. Very light tan. Brush with softened butter. Serve warm.
Morning rain on the gutters,
Poplars and elm, waterfall
Rattling attic fans and me.
Morning rain rumbles cloud-side down,
Each drop chasing the other,
Faster and faster into lawn and waterway,
Into deep aquifers and the starving Oconee,
A thunder clap snaps Polaroids
Of me awake into one dream in the 8 a.m.
World alive, there is more than this.
Red Mule grits swimming on the stove,
Pale white Vesuvius ready to blow.
The smell of turkey sausage
And French red hen eggs,
A touch of curry
And I’m ready to go….
Go where? Go here?
Already now the day is clearing,
Footfall in the pines so light and steady,
Rosehips, acorns, mushrooms
And sweet peas line the trail,
Trails down river where darters and perch
Fight for water time with catfish
And snapping turtles.
This is morning. My morning here.
A beautiful Georgia morning
In the land of the Creek and Cherokee.

Lynching In Oconee


Moore’s Ford Lynching, 7.26.1946 Version 2

There aren’t a lot of prayers rising

I ain’t sung before, at least sincere,

Hang me in a meadow for my soul

To dry, katydids and sparrows shout

Over the wheatgrass and river oats,

Pass me over to the laurel

And hemlock so I can watch

The Appalachee flow all green to brown,

Coneflowers and aster pave

The red dirt banks,

Scratch my nails on the rocks

Here so I can follow my way

Back home again,

A low sun breaths out

Last shadows left for me to see,

Nothing is as dark eyed

As this stupid lonely dusk,

Curtains draw out on the horizon

And the Southern stories

Of Cormac McCarthy line up

Like Walton County pines

Waiting for the ax to fall,

Smell of smoke,

Remington crack and wet rope,

All I saw before the light died out

Was this beautiful Southern land,

And then,

Four dead, and an unborn killed,

Dared argue with a neighbor,

Now just a road marker,

A pastoral song more alive

By Moore’s Ford Road, shot or hung,

Where trickle meets a stream

And at last I’ve run out,

Years before JFK and Johnson

Rose to clear the way,

There’s never a good lynching,

Tick, tick, tick…..

First it was race and now it’s wages,

The winds snap and fade.