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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

Archive for the ‘activism’ Category

Black History Month Poems – #21

Saturday, February 21st, 2015


Our own hand rumbling o’er own hand
for rededication of the temple, living for the love light
candle by candle like the Maccabees but and also
slo mo ballet toeing tiger dragon aerial
dancing the guaguanco chicken squawking chimango
caracara mambo Mulatu Astatke rumba
community carnival conscientious of all
like the girl scout law

~ Lady



Black History Month Poems – 15

Sunday, February 15th, 2015


In the picture
an African-American in gaiters drives
an Indian motorcycle with a Winter-Weise
platform sidecar carrying a gigantic Macon
Pure Milk Company bottle, the legend
of the motorcycle as hailed as the
chrome of a Coca Cola label
packed in spangled spurs

Critical musings like Leonce Gaiter’s
spill my stomach and heart like airless
horror, my testimony of which’s like
showing off having touched a sore,
see if it still hurts

Privilege leaps around my mind
caffeinated dolphins bobbing and
wading through a swirl of rose petals,
not knowing how to be both totally correct
and compassionate at the same time,
a whimsying finger dallying over
a plate of appetizers
the candy of
gigantic mashup

I wonder–do Native Americans
identify as “Indians,” and if one must
deliberate and be educated, where does
that leave the ignorant and those mired
in the labyrinth of the narrative, those
who haven’t yet pulled up
their boots

And why use “white trash”
and “hillbillies” yet deride Indians
for castes

~ Lady




Friday, February 6th, 2015


Like merchants muttered 10 xu = 1 hao, 10 hao =
1 dong, Thich Nhat Hanh walks a mile in his own shoes
counting breaths and steps, always arriving
appreciating attainment

The Big Dream, great glob, what-is-ness,
moderated suffering like a dash of spice for
happiness, good recipes for que sera,
gathas for que esta

Being with his steps, his constant reunions,
praying for everyone to have breath,
to have that arriving breath,
to have the human right
of happiness

~ Lady



Black History Month Poems – 1

Sunday, February 1st, 2015


Starting a series of poems in honor of Black History month and civil and human rights. I promise I’ll get more uplifting but sometimes one has to talk about some of the sad stuff to process it and move forward.

February’s starting
like a washrag
with grief

Call the sacristan,
dainty it, give it

Cloud from salt,
prepare a minister
for vestments

~ Lady



film noir

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Film Noir

Time slips.
I slide wide, hide.
Events happen here, there.
People respond various ways.
Shit happens.

– Smith, 1.19.2015

Lady woke me at 3:40 saying we had to take coffee down to three protesters outside the Justice Center waiting for three of their friends (one a husband) to be released. Don’t know what they did, something with the MLK protests against police brutality (isn’t ‘police brutality’ a redundant expression?).

These were our old Occupy Cleveland comrades, so we found an all-night restaurant (My Friends, excellent place) and got big coffees and breakfast sandwiches for them . . . it was good because Lady and I had fed 4 Cleveland Occupiers every morning for 9 months until FBI entrapment shut our protest down — all five allegedly would-be Cleveland bridge bombers were amongst those fed.

Here I am 6 weeks away from 69 and shit still happens on a fairly regular basis. Of course being married to Lady K of the Generous Heart helps insure such ensues.


America the dutiful

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

rich man land

Unnatural Anthem

America the dutiful
Her sheep unroaming range.
Buying guns and killing sons
While rooting out the strange.
No unwhite skin shall live within
And women’s bodies are all sin,
Where greed grabs got
And holds the lot
Armed armful by armedful.
With two different songs
To hide their wrongs
They make us sing along.
Republicans kiss rich men’s buns
And Democrats aren’t much better.
Where voters found
We’re just cloned clowns
Whose check is mailed never.
With no incense in or outcense bin
We burn nonsense today,
A product which the world is rich,
With infinite supply.
So hey I say forget fair pay
All money goes to them.
They hug their bills for further ills
And wish we’d go away.
America the dutiful
You’ve so forgotten your way.
And this curse will get much worse
Unless we work our say.

– Smith, 9.17.2014



sticky wicket mercy

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Sopping wet from sweat from bicycling 61 blocks on an errand of mercy, then back again.

Months ago Lady with her ever kind and giving Ladyheart gave a lift to someone less fortunate. Later that night she and I took over some food to him at his apartment and gave him and his urine soaked trousers a ride to the free church dinner.

Lady called Meals On Wheels to see if they could feed him and they said have him call so we went back and loaned him her fone but the gentleman in need got feisty with all the questions and when they asked if he had trouble getting around, he snapped “I get around fine. I use a cane but it’s a fashion statement.” Since Meals On Wheels is for those having trouble ambulating, they turned him down. The man definitely has trouble getting around and basically cut off his nose to spite their authoritarian face.

Friday I recorded a tune with Peter and forgot to turn my fone back on afterward. Friday night I get a voice message saying he’d like to talk to us. Go over Saturday but he’s not there so Lady leaves her jar of fresh canned blueberry jam and a bag of food in his door.

Lady gets a couple more voice mails asking if she’d taxi him someplace.

This morning I find another voice message from last night, call him back and get “Sorry, voice mail box is full, go away.” Get another voice mail from him from another number and call back and get a third party who is not exactly nice, doesn’t seem to understand what I say, and hangs up.

Get curious why I’m not hearing my fone ring and discover my fone’s still off, so since Lady’s at work with the car and I know what it’s like to be in trouble and need a hand, I bicycle 61 blocks in the hot sun.

We talk. He doesn’t remember me because I’m not with Lady. Ask him why he called and he said he’s out of money and he thinks if he can get hold of Steve & Kathy, they’ll lend him some. I say “I’m the Steve of Steve and Kathy.” He hadn’t recognized me because I’m not with Lady.

I explain we are on limited income and can’t be his patron. He says he gets $1,000 a month from disability (he’s 83) and his rent is only $230. I ask, “If you get that much, why are you in trouble every month?” “I donno, I do stupid things,” he replies. He doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so I don’t know what’s going on.

I tell him he cannot call us to ask for money or rides, and he says it’s good to know that. He’s quite a nice old man, I like him, but I can’t even afford to buy a little grass for myself so certainly can’t afford to raise him – besides, he’s 15 years older than I am.

I explain to him how he messed up on the Meals On Wheels because he insisted he had no trouble getting around. He says he meant he can get around the block he lives on, but not to the church serving free food. So we agreed that if Lady will call Meals On Wheels back and try to explain he was confused when he answered and ask if he can interview again, he’ll give less prideful answers. She says she’ll call them again, so we’ll see.

Then I gave him $7 and bicycled back in the heat.

Moral of story? Be careful to whom you give your fone#, and be aware that helping others sometimes is like trying to rescue flies willfully stuck to flypaper – you might get stuck yourself cuz it’s all one great sticky wicket.

Still, is better to try to help than harden one’s heart . . . otherwise you end up like Bland Paul or Mutt Romney or Ted Cruel, which is NOT a pretty picture.

(Took these two fotos on my bicycle way back home today . . . on the same car)


climate change, income inequality, racism, sexism

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Lady tried to get folk interested in setting up a scholarship for an African American student, and it made me uncomfortable because race is such a sticky wicket, so I’ve been thinking about it – where does race place in the world’s problems?

Going by numbers alone, our #1 problem is climate change because that affects 100% of humans on earth regardless of income, sex, age, race, or belief . . . it is also killing plants, air, animals, birds, fish, seas, and soil.

#2 is wealth inequality since it affects a minimum of 99% of folk on earth.

Race is #3 because it affects all non-caucasians, or around 82% of the world population, perhaps even more since there is much non-caucasian racism as well.

# 4 is sexism because it affects 51% of humans.

Frequently folk are hit with all of the above simultaneously, such as a poor non-white woman anywhere on earth.

This is a shallow analysis because there are so many more problems like lack of healthcare, education, shelter, water, etc, but many of these are sub-components of the four problems above.

~ ~ ~

2 Days from now down in the Flats
7 poet-music acts for a Sunday afternoon

2nd Annual poetrymusic Fest
Sunday July 20, 2014, 1pm – 4pm
a 21 and over show
Pat’s in the Flats
2233 W. 3rd St (bottom of Literary Hill)
Cleveland, Ohio
$5 cover charge


Latex Menagerie
(spoken word by Bree, Adam Brodsky & Russ Vidrick)

Shelley Chernin

Jesus Crisis Ban/ne/d
(guitarist Jj Haaz & poet John Burroughs)

Tom Adams w/ Goggles Pisano

The Deep Cleveland Trio Band
(dan smith, Morgan Ellington, Miles Budimir & Eric Anderson)

Terry Provost
(backing band, the Rickety Claque, featuring Dave Shaggy Snodgrass)

The Leftovers
(featuring Steven Smith & Shawn Mishak)


Water Wheel

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

planting bushes in the MetroPark

Water Wheel

Down by the river
riparian planting witch hazel,
nanny berries, hop tree, button bush,
black haw viburnum
with shovel and muscle and weight of work
in mud and dirt and root and rock
planning for future
paying for now
growing earth
going good
repairing medicine wheel

– Smith, 4.2.2014

We helped plant bushes in the MetroPark to stabilize the watershed. This is our third planting, the second by a river, and the most difficult . . . ground mostly rock and root. 40 volunteers got 150 bushes planted in an hour.

Riparian = relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater (merriam-webster)

planting bushes in the MetroPark


5-fer +

Monday, March 31st, 2014

good livelihood Lady

Once again, tomorrow’s poem today — you too can see the future.

5-fer +

Hearing her
whisking through doorways draped with plastic for heat
whack! whack! whack! disclosing
both speed and direction in direct quantum violation
I know she’s coming for me.

One more whack and “Hey honey,
I can get us in to Earth Fest for free
if we volunteer two hours.”

“Sure, go for it.”

She whacks out
as I sink back in hot horizontal liquid
my mind thumb up saying
yea, that’s an easy 2-fer, 3-fer, heck maybe a 5-fer plus
it keeps her happy and doctor says happy wife happy life,
we do good helping human animal planet,
find a few fair trade gifts,
get in free,
fresh foto feast,
harvest blog manna,
see fair from other side of table,
get this poem and new poem or two,
plus the no know unknowns and unknown knowns
and me getting to say ‘known noun own clown clone’
with a straight face safe
makes it a no-brainer no-painer 10 10-fer

(cept there’s always a pain or pay hidden somethere
cuz that’s the way and why of sumware).

– Smith, 4.1.2014

I do a lot of stuff with Lady I wouldn’t normally do anymore, or at all – political protests, socializing, eco-activism, farm petting zoos, viewing quilt competitions, county fairs, canning . . . I usually learn something and get some fotografs and text for the blog.

This morning we biked down to a traffic light so she could show stopped cars her hand drawn sign saying “Good Livelihoods and Clean Environment for Everyone! Worldwide” with its text and cheerful red and blue flowers, green dollar sign, and smiley yellow sun spread across a white cloud in a blue sky . . . a cheery protest sign so’s not to offend or upset. She’s like a gentle warrior, except she wouldn’t like the word war in warrior so she’s more a gentle peaceior.

good livelihood Lady & her sign


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