Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Humanukkahmass

Happy Humanukkahmass

      James McColley Eilers

We do not celebrate our feast
to deny a Great Darkness,
winter, pain, or tribulation,
but to triumph at our own behest.

We rest inside, beneath green branches,
and dine with candle suns and ribbon
rainbows; no fields of snow in here 
except on cakes that icing blanches.

Monday, December 26, 2011

In St. Mary's, Chinatown, San Francisco

Click on title to see some of the stained glass windows in old St. Mary's in Chinatown, San Francisco.  Famously, the shell of the church still exists, having survived the 1907 earthquake.


Autumn Abandoned Sofa

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Great Gas from the Past

From one of my old storage boxes, the 1968 poster (I cannot find anyone who would like it) for a gathering of poets who supported the San Francisco State Strike:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Bradley Manning's 24th Birthday

On 17 December 2011, Bradley Manning's 24th birthday, we marched and rallied for Bradley.  Where we paused for speeches, Scott Olson was recovered enough to be able to speak a few words, and I show two photos of him here.  Although I feel I am being intrusive, it seems I should share his look -- worn but surviving -- with the many people who feel concern for him...and for Bradley Manning, the first day of the military's hearings having been the day before, Friday, 16 December 2011.

Peter Martyniak passed along the news that the Welsh are presenting a play about Bradley Manning's years in Wales:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/bradley-manning-play-wales-wikileaks

I am sure I should not be surprised that there are still some people who don't know who Bradley Manning is, or that there are gay men who did not know he was gay until they read it on the placard I carried on my back:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


CLICK ON THE TITLE ABOVE for a continuation of photos of this great show -- as described in "Part ONE of MAKE DRAG NOT WAR" -- sponsored by Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War, and directed by Stephen Funk, the first man to refuse to serve in the U.S. Occupation of Iraq.   More of the program will appear later.  Also, after viewing the slide show, check out their website:  http://veteranartists.org/


Click on title above for slide show.


Click on title above for slide show.

Outside "Make Drag, Not War"

Click on title above for photos of some friends outside the production of "Make Drag, Not Love"

Occupy Tree, Occupy Raft

Click on title above to see a slide show about:
The man who has constructed a tree house as part of Occupy Oakland has had his tree house pulled down a second time.  But, in the meantime, there is an Occupy Raft now in Lake Merritt!  Will they sink it?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


CLICK ON THE TITLE ABOVE so that you won't miss the first part of this great show, sponsored by Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War, and directed by Stephen Funk, the first man to refuse to serve in the U.S. Occupation of Iraq.   More of the program will appear later.  Also, after viewing the slide show, check out their website:  http://veteranartists.org/

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Stacking Rocks

For a slide show, hit the title, "Stacking Rocks," above.  But here are seven of the photos (with black and white versions of two of them) of what an Oakland poet is creating in his yard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The New Doxology

Did you belong to a church where they sang the Common Doxology?  For Catholics, it always came at the end, a good-bye song after the Mass -- a tune that, to my ear, sounds like the turning of a key in a lock, a ritual tune for passing from "sacred space" into everyday life.  Do you remember the brief tune to the traditional words?  "Praise God from whom all blessings flow;/Praise God, all creatures here below;/Praise God for all that love has done;/Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One."  [In the Catholic church, the last line was "Father and Son and Holy Ghost."]  A final "Amen" won't hurt.  You might try singing the following words to that old tune (rewritten because I dream of the age when all churches or temples are temples to humanism and the health of the earth).  

As I wandered on warm summer nights in my old Indiana small town, I would hear, from its many, plain Christian churches, the old church tunes.  Singing them, with the rhythm of a lullaby, or hammock slowly rocking, surely must have brought a peaceful mood to their congregations. Some may want to rewrite the words of their favorite hymns.  Others have written variants of the traditional wording for the Doxology tune.  Curtis W. Reese’s version also avoids Deism, using an 18th century paraphrase by Isaac Watts of Psalm 117:
                  From all that dwell below the skies
                  Let songs of hope and faith arise;
                  Let peace, goodwill on earth be sung
                  Through every land, by every tongue.


Latest Marquee, Oakland's Grand Lake Theatre

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Phantom Knitters

Around Oakland Museum, and showing up at various other spots in Oakland and San Francisco, someone is knitting sleeves over pipes:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

High School Students Protest Education Cuts

Click on the title above to see slide show.

I came upon this demonstration after it had been in progress for a while.  It was in front of the State of California building that it is across from the old Federal Building.  (After so many demonstrations during the 1960s on the wide flat space in front of the building, they turned the area into dunes of cement as if they were expect attacks by tanks:  Government is paranoid, and their police only follow orders -- the orders of paranoids.)
Perhaps teachers had spoken earlier in this demonstration objecting to cuts in education, etc., but at this point it was only high school students or beginning college students who spoke.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FACES: After latest Expulsion of Occupy Oakland, 14 November 2011

(Click on the title above to see other participants, besides the little boy to the right, in a slide show concentrating on FACES.)

As with the previous and very bloody expulsion of Occupy Oakland, those Occupiers who were not in jail, and their supporters, met outside the Oakland Main Library, and after a few speeches, all marched down 14th Street and back to Oscar Grant Plaza by City Hall.
In the stone amphitheater, they held that day's General Assembly as the helicoptors overhead sometimes swept a floodlight over the crowd.
Take a photo of the woman below, I could keep from blurting out, "You're gorgeous!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

At the Beginning of the Day of the Oakland General Strike, 11 November 2011

Click on title above if you want to see a slide show.

Angela Davis at Oakland General Strike, 11 November 2011

Click on the title above if you want to see a slide show of other photos of Angela Davis.  The last time I saw Angela Davis was when we picketed outside Fort Ord against the American War in Vietnam, me looking in at the soldiers looking out, where I had once been a soldier myself.  Then we drove into the dunes along the Monterey Bay where Angela gave one of her rousing speeches.  Right wing thugs had driven up in their pickups, but atop all the dunes were men who were guarding Angela.

A holiday card

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Too Close to Death

I am not sure I know how I feel yet about ending the day near where someone was being shot.  I wrote this account for the Oakland police, intending to take it over to one of the multitude of policemen who descended on the scene, but my printer doesn’t function just now so I emailed it to a police email address and called and told them there where they could find it.

10 November 2011

I dropped by Occupy Oakland to see how it was going, but did not get near it.  I noticed the City Hall clock was at 5 o’clock.  I was standing next to the BART elevator entrance where a Asian-American man was standing.  I could see along the line of shops opposite Occupy Oakland in that plaza, and very soon heard what sounded like several firecrackers but I feared they were gunshots.  The Asian-American man felt convinced that they were gunshots, and that was obvious as people were scattered away from a spot about 30 feet from me.  
I did not witness the shooting, but two men rushed right by me, and it seemed obvious that they were running from a crime.  They were African-American, wearing dark clothes, but there is very little light there so I would not be able to identify them, except that I think they were about 5’8” or 5’9”.  One or both of them seemed to shoving something into their pockets as if to conceal them.  The two seemed very pleased with whatever they had done, had an air of triumph.  They ran away from 14th Street in the direction of 13th Street, but I lost sight of them immediately with so many people in that intersection.  Soon a man rushed up whom I supposed was a merchant.  (The Asian-American man, for some reason, felt the shooter had something to do with a store along there.)  The merchant was pointing and shouting in the direction the men had run.  The Asian-American shouted that one of the men could be identified by some white garment – I think it was white trousers. 

Many people surrounded the gunshot victim,and it was obvious that he was receiving artifical respiration.   

Meanwhile masses of police cars and emergency vehicles were arriving, sirens blaring.  

The police arrived, and a policeman continued the artificial respiration.  The police asked the people there to disperse so I went home. 

The streets around there were being blocked off by police cars, evidently imagining it was some mass violent incident.

At home I heard on the news that they mentioned just one man, but there was that second man with him as he ran away, perhaps a friend, and both pleased by what they had done.

The shooting clearly had nothing to do with Occupy Oakland, an empty and unoccupied space existed between the shooting incident and Occupy Oakland.  That intersection was rough before Occupy Oakland arrived so that late at night I never get out at the 12th Street BART station as it often seems that some tough is chasing another tough.  

Later it was revealed on the news that it was a young African-American man who had been killed.  It is sad that I still don't know his name or why he was killed as it seemed, so casually.  Reminds me of yesterday when I was at the V.A. Hospital.  So many veterans have "turned hippy" in their dress, but I sat next to a man thoroughly identified by cap and jacket as a Vietnam War veteran.  I said, "Looks as if Israel and the U.S. are going to start a war with Iran."  He replied, "Might as well."  The casual habit of killing.