Solstice week and flowers finally slowing down.
T-shirt weather after weeks of warm spring rain.

In the Gulf nobody knows what to do
to stop the oil from coming to the surface.

The Huffington Post offers its Daily Brief.
General Stanley McChrystal's summoned to Washington

after dismissing his President.
But this is it, solstice in America and Afghanistan.

Ita, Jean, Maura and Dorothy,
are only four or five poems back—

behind you telling you to get on with your life,
put it in the light. Transparency is lace that can't wait.

You either is or you isn't.
This is news from the Mississippi Delta.

My third grand daughter's third birthday today,
the second day of solstice.

We live in the desert with water problems,
rivers coursing through us we cannot see.

The Atchafalaya River wants the Mississippi River.
Deep Water Horizon, kids.

Rachel Maddow from Barrataria Bay.
Jean Lafitte National Park. Get me oriented.

The Wetlands in June, 2010:
Waterways, wetlands, nurseries, estuary—

motherwords, words in my notebook writing backwards.
Ita, Jean, Dorothy and Maura—

correction on the four--four poems and 28 years back.
Living with martyrs is a form of negative capability.

It is that. Bring it.
These days in June.

Jim Bodeen
1 June 2010--25 June 2010

Getting ready for Indiana. Karen's heartland family, and the July reunion. Karen's working Ancestry.com every night. "My cousin Becky's going to be there, and I'm going to be ready for her this time, Karen says. Karen's story, peonies on her mother Dorothy's grave. Motherless at the age of one. The child's rocking chair saved for her by Aunt Marjorie, "...but she has to come back to Indiana to get it." The story I couldn't quite get straight when we were dating 45 years ago. The story with too much love and heartbreak not to fall in love with.

Watching Karen across the room, one ear tuned to what she's finding out tonight, one eye tuned to Deep Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf. One night during these nights, I ask her, "When we leave Indiana, what do you think about taking the mothership to Grand Isle, Louisiana, and taking a look? Maybe we could help clean up a corner of the beach." That night, before turning into bed, Karen hands me a map taking us down the Mississippi River to the delta.

Daily life in high summer.
My life with Sister Sadie Sadie.
Five years with the martyrs.
Ask them what they need.
Two months of nothing but El Salvador
in my living room.
Poems stacking up in the notebook.


belongs to the rails themselves.
Who, but the poor, would see this chance
to build on both sides of the tracks,
destroying the wrong side of everything.
A row of houses, a train of railroad cars,
couldn't match this community for intimacy.
No room here to couple or disengage.
The tin wall of one house
is the tin wall of the other.
The other is what this parable is about.
In this rail thin city of the thousand nameless,
everyone and everything rests
side by side for all to see.
So close to invisibility itself,
so close to home,
becomes immortal as it disappears.

Jim Bodeen
Notebook 3 November 2009—Revised 27 May 2010

So many things. Tantas cosas, as Medardo says. So many things. The rich life. Being here. Summertime. To see it and to live with the story.

Rachel Maddow leaves her New York City studio for the Louisiana Bayou. Her shows on June 2 and 3 come from Jean Lafitte National Park outside New Orleans. She interviews two men, David Muth, one of the Park Rangers, and Larry McKinney, a professor.

Some of what she learns and reports: 40% of our country's wetlands are here in Louisiana. Louisiana's losing 25-30 square miles of wetlands a year. Has been for a long time. The land disappears. That's right, it disappears. Mike Tidwell's book will tell me more. It's coming. It's next. Much of what we're losing—this is our country—is because of oil and gas extraction, erosion and subsidence. "The size of a football field while we speak." Friction slows the incoming storms. Water and waves affected by friction. Storm surges get slowed by frictiong—rasses in wetlands protect the cities. Buffers are gone when wetlands are destroyed. Storms that didn't threaten, threaten. Big ones terrify. 2.7 miles of wetland will stop a foot of storm surge. Get the oil before it gets into the wetlands.

Maddow's in a boat with McKinney and Much. Cleanup is more destructive than the oil, Muth says. Aquatic vegetation below the surface, where young fish are...suffocation...When systems break down, it begins to eat itself. Vegetation will come back, and immediately there's a great food source in the short run, but when it breaks down, it releases huge amounts of nutrients, things that look great, look recovered but aren't. In a few years, it will be over, no roots, and nothing but open water.

40% of U.S. drains into Louisiana creating these wetlands. 40% of crude oil comes from Gulf. Delta is toilet and treatment plant for the United States. A huge resource for the nation. Tough, rich system. How many times can it be hit? How many times can it get back up?

These are the questions Muth and McKinney give Maddow.

Rachel says, "Frighten me and enlighten me."


By accident on the internet, Mike Tidwell, and total immersion. He's hitchiking by boat through the bayou. He writes the way all of us might live our lives on one corner block if we get into it, our lives. He records it in his breathing. He chooses a limited portrayal of Cajun language, "...faithfully omitting the th sound and including some of the altered grammar without laying things on too thick. This approach serves to consistently remind...that Cajuns do, in fact, sound different..."

Bayou is Choctaw Indian word meaning sluggish, slow-moving stream. "I realize I've tumbled into the committed traveler's ultimate dream: complete cultural immersion." What the Cajuns show and tell Bidwell about disappearing land is not in dispute. They saw this coming.

Papoose talks to him, "'I love dis life on de water. It's my sanity out here. But dis life is dying. My ancestors, dey were all shrimpers. But I'm not sure I'll finish my career doing dis, much less see my sons carry on de tradition.'" Why? "'De land is sinking, Oui, oui, All dis land around us, as far as you can see, is droppin' straight down into de water, turnin' to ocean. Someday, Baton Rouge, one hundred miles nort' of here, is gonna be beach front property."

You want more don't you.

"'De Mississippi doesn't flood anymore, dat's why we're sinking. Dat river, she built up dis area wit' flooding. Now de Army Corps of Engineers has got it all penned in wit' levees like a snake in a cage. And wit' out all dat new sediment brought in every few years by flooding, we're going down...We're sinking. Sinking. And not just a little. Dey say every twenty minutes or so, a football field of land turns to water in Louisiana."

Add oil.

Mike Tidwell turns into a kind of grown up Huck telling a story that he can't tell to his environmentalist friends. The hurricane has to hit first, and it will. He tells his story, you can see it coming, our story, an American story, in the voices of the Cajun people who have it right. Bookshelves by scientists won't dispute what Cajun interviewees tell Bidwell. As a reader, you won't know how you got onto this raft. Who is this man with you who says his name is Jim. You don't know the difference between the Mississippi River and the Atchafalaya.

Your mouth will water and you'll eat well on the boat.

"'We're de last of de Mohicans,'" the boatman tells Bidwell, and Bidwell is off the boat, a prophet—Huck with a mic—still on the same page with the Cajun Mohican.

"This is the Bangladesh of America..."

Pulling Bachelor Buttons, clearing a way through the desert garden, my neighbor runs by with her daughter. Obituary of her husband in yesterday's paper. Gentle man. Trivia expert, etiology student. "He loved the gentle debate, taking the facts he had at hand and applying them to the bigger picture, always trying to find the balanced perspective that left us feeling that he respected our point of view, too." He saw his son and daughter graduate from college.

I interrupt their run, the mother and daughter. I say her name, and she stops. We share details from the obituary, the thirty years of knowing and not knowing.

Across the street, too, more of this. Our oldest neighbor.

38 years in this house, this summer, walking this beat.

Three corners. In charge of music, wood smoke, slowing traffic.

Neighbors I've not known doing what I do and don't do.

Michael Doucet's fiddle in teh solstice summer light background during all of this. Leader of the Cajun ensemble BeauSoleil, link to past and future, from the earliest days of settlement in the 1760s.

"Cajuns are Doucets and Menards, but they're also Hoffpauers, Reeds, Johnsons, Conners, McGees, Ortegas, and Manuels, as well as Creoles such as Fontenot and Vidrine. The word Cajun itself, an Anglo corruption of the term Acadian, derives from the Micmac Indian phrase La Cadie, 'Land of Plenty,' which the original settlers in Nova Scotia adopted." Masters of the folk violin, Michael Doucet's 'From Now On, Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky,' and 'Le Two-Step de Basile,'" empties into the neighborhood with the pulled Bachelor Buttons.

My own family name, "Bodeen," Karen tells me from her research, is a soldier's name, given to Swedish peasants taken from the farm and conscripted into military service.

Andy Wallace's liner notes take me most of the rest of the morning to read when I come in from the garden. "As Michael Doucet once described it, 'Everybody in the band stood for a certain thing, and when you finally got all the ingredients together it was like a highly seasoned jumbo gumbo.'"

Preparing the mothership
The halflife of Tony Hayward, smart, geologist, one job, young hot shot, and now ceo of BP—with a budget greater than 90 nations in the world.
Trans-national companies—more powerful than nations themselves
Tidwell's books, Cajun music, Yakima, Mothership,
Solar panels
Immigration--walking with Luz
daily life, the blessings
bachelor buttons
stepping in dogshit
business cards
literature that means business.
the miniature broadside
marginal housing/el salvador
peace train/indiana poems
The bag Karen created for me
plastic bags in grocery stores
dog shit on new shoes
bag for peace pipe
bag for vacuum cleaner
family making
putting it all in the light/shadowless
stepping in shit
you said that
I stepped in it again
BP guilty of war crimes against turtles and marine life?
you can write about dog shit
if you make it funny


From a found blog: David Muth again. "David told us the marsh here, called 'flotant,' is made up of floating soil and vegetation so thich that it can support trees!"

"You could see oil in the city of New Orleans," said David Muth, chief of planning and resource sterardship for Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, home to the Barataria Preserve a dozen miles (20 km) south of the city.

"Three hundred species of plants, as well as thousands of birds, alligators, toads and squirrels populate these wild wetlands linked to the sea by the famed bayous.

"This fragile ecosystem forms a 'hurricane buffer' for communities like New Orleans, noted Muth.

"'In the worst-case scenario, the oil would kill the plands and kill the roots and then the soil would disappear as a result of erosion,' he added.

"'We don't allow it to nourish the marshes anymore,' lamented Muth.

"Muth hopes the oil leaking from a ruptured offshore oil well 50 miles (80 km at sea will lose more of its toxicity each day under the effects of the heat, the sunlight, salt and bacteria in the water.

"'But if a lot of oil covers the marshes, the plants will die,' he warned."

From Crooks and Liars, John Amato’s Online Magazine, June 25, 2010

And while delegates at the World National Oil Companies Congress in London this week argue that they must be allowed to continue deepwater drilling despite the risks because land and shallow-water oil supplies are running out, BP is further destroying what little public support they have left by obstructing private citizens with small boats from doing their best to rescue sea turtles. BP is using shrimp boats to corral the spill into enclosed areas with fire-resistant booms, then setting it on fire to burn off the oil, not only killing hundreds if not thousands of sea turtles by boiling them alive, but destroying incalculable numbers of crabs, slugs, and surface fish that live in the Gulf of Mexico's sargassum seas, crucial habitats for turtles, birds and larger fish.

"Yet rather than aid volunteers and scientists battling to save the sargassum wildlife, BP is aggressively hindering any resuce efforts. 'They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us back in there,' one of the rescue boat captains, Mike Ellis, told conservation biologist Catherine Craig.

"BP has good, if shocking, reason to want to kill these turtles. The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is on the Endangered Species Act list. Harming them is punishable by prison sentences and fines up to $25,000 per violation - per turtle. But rather than allow rescuers to collect injured turtles from the burn boxes before the containment fires are lit, BP is choosing to deliberately burn the animals alive, thus incinerating the damning evidence.

"Blair Witherington, a research scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who has been part of the sea turtle rescue mission observed the destruction going on in the sargassum waters. 'Ordinarily, the sargassum is a nice, golden colour,' he said. 'You shake it, and all kinds of life comes out: shrimp,crabs, worms, sea slugs. The place is really just burning with life. It's the base of the food chain.' But now those areas are dying or already dead. 'We'll see flying fish, and they'll land in this stuff and just get stuck.' The sea jellies and snails that drift in these currents that form the major food sources for turtles have been almost totally exterminated. 'These animals drift in to the oil lines and it's like flies on fly paper,' Witherington said. 'As far as I can tell, that whole fauna is just completely wiped out. Most of the Gulf of Mexico is a desert. Nothing out there to live on. It's all concentrated in these oases.'

"The Gulf of Mexico is dead."  

P. S. from Jody, As We Were Saying 

Dear Jim,

Went down to the water tonight to watch the full moon rise. After I came back I read your post for today. Now I'm going to bed, see what dreams I get.

But first I wanted to pass something on to you. You probably know, and it hasn't found its way into your blog yet, that a lot of the gushing oil isn't even reaching the surface. It's moving through the Gulf as long underwater plumes. For PR reasons, BP deployed dispersants to prevent the oil from reaching the surface where it could be seen. They used very toxic substances, which are now part of the mass destruction, to congeal the oil into droplets that are suspended in the water instead of becoming a visible slick. These plumes are killing everything below the surface. And the bodies -- large and small and microscopic -- are going to the bottom.



Then there's this:

FROM : DK Matai, Chairman: mi2g, ATCA, The Philanthropia Chairman : mi2g, ATCA, The Philanthropia

Gulf Oil Gusher: Danger of Tsunamis from Methane?

A new and less well known asymmetric threat has surfaced in the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher. Methane or CH4 gas is being released in vast quantities in the Gulf waters. Seismic data shows huge pools of methane gas at the location immediately below and around the damaged "Macondo" oil well. Methane is a colourless, odourless and highly flammable substance which forms a major component in natural gas. This is the same gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. The "flow team" of the US Geological Survey estimates that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas, which primarily contains methane, is being released into the Gulf waters with every barrel of oil....

A Great Urgency --
To All World Religious and Spiritual leaders
from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Lakota
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

"Onipikte (that we shall live),

"My Relatives,

"Time has come to speak to the hearts of our nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

"We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the Plant Nations, eventually all will be affected from the oil disaster in the Gulf...."

For the entire prayer, go to: http://Wolakota.org

Email alert from Luz

"Last protestors released from King County Jail after arrest during immigration protest."

Over 24 hours after being arrested during a peaceful street fair for immigration reform yesterday, the remaining eight protesters were released from King County Jail late this afternoon. Those arrested included OneAmerica Executive Director Primila Jayapal, Washington State Labor Council's Jeff Johnson, UFCW Local 21's Steve Williamson and Diane Narasaki.

"We felt that this was the moment to tell everyone - people passing by our event, those caught up in traffic, and people watching TV at home - about the moral crisis in our country where millions of people are suffering due to a broken immigration system," said Jayapal. "People are interacting with immigrants everyday and benefitting from the fruites of their labor yet they are willing to turn a blind eye to the suffering of these families...."


We're a people on the move
and always interested in talking
about papers whether we have them or not.
My name is Moses and my mother put me in a picnic basket
and gave me to the river. Moíses. Mucho gusto.
Soy Jim, y vengo de Bowbells, North Dakota.
Tell me about the Postville raid.
Postville, Iowa? Orale. I take it you're not living
in the town where you were raised.
Es verdad. We weren't brought in,
y no somos braceros, tampoco.
Echele. We were thrown out.
Pull or push, homie. Extradited people
still have debts to the coyote
to deal with after they get off the bus.
Bienvenidos al rancho, cabrón. Oh, baby!
You can't go home again. No puedes.
Joseph and his followers travelled the trade routes.
Every encounter with God begins in fear
and it's always God telling us not to worry,
No te preocupas, vato.
Maybe your mother gave you to God
when she made you a sailor
in the riverboat. Such
is the privilege of literature.
She didn't pin a note to my blanket
so I'll never know. Mira, a los dos lados.
Not, if it's practical, but can you imagine.
The ice man cometh. Sí mon.
And he's wearing a blue coat.
Grita como un mexicano.
The Bluecoats are coming, the Bluecoats are coming!
¿Montado en caballos?
Helicopters from the sky.

Jim Bodeen
1 June 2010—25 June 2010

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