wild grapes by alan levine Wild grapes photo by Alan Levine, public domain


Bird Woman, brave woman,
sixteen years old and
explorer of unknown frontiers.
Baby on your back.
mother-wit finding
food, medicine, plants, berries,
paths through mountains to the big water.


Helen Ann, dreaming of adventures,
rides a fat pony
around the yard and into the woods.
Branches grab her braids, and
brother hears her cries,
rescues, laughs,
names her Sacagawea because
she loves the woods and wilds.


90 degrees in the shade,
Aunty takes us wading,
digging river clams,
picking gooseberries in the bushes,
chokecherries from scrubby trees.
Showing us the way—college, career, even
Blazing new trails as surely as
Bird Woman did.


Together, we forage fall fencelines,
tramp the forty,
pick wild grapes,
bake Christmas cookies.
Who knew this would be the last time?


Sacagawea silver dollar in my wallet
to remember you both forever.

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mock orange blossoms

Twenty-nine years ago
friends overflowed the yard, front and back,
as deep purple clematis climbed the wall and
bountiful blossoms covered the mock orange bush.

Over the years we
said goodbye to that clematis,
and to my dad, his dad, aunts and uncles.

Over the years we
put down roots, and
planted peonies, ferns, tulips, trees,
and children.

A few friends remain.
The mock orange blooms again today,
though showing its age,
as we are.

Twenty-nine years together
watching the world change
outside our doors
inside our hearts.

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Sneaky stuff in omnibus bills

News Day

mct state capitol

Thanks to two whistle-blowing state senators, we know about two sneaky provisions hiding in plain sight in the final three weeks of the Minnesota legislative session: repeal of campaign finance reforms and a sell-out of Minnesota privacy rules.

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Sanctuary city attacks and resistance and other immigration articles – April 25, 2017

Immigration news

Sanctuary CityFrom News Day post: On April 21, the Department of Justice sent letters to nine jurisdictions “having laws that potentially violate 8 U.S.C. §1373:” — Sacramento, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, and Chicago. A press release accompanying the letters charged that “many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.”

The press release charged that, “New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance.” That’s a flat-out lie, according to New York’s mayor and police chief:

“[NYC Mayor Bill] De Blasio said such remarks were “absolutely outrageous”. James O’Neill, head of New York’s police department, similarly rejected the justice department’s claims, saying they showed “a willful disregard for the facts”.

“O’Neill noted that 2016 saw the fewest shootings in New York City…

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Celebrate Jeanette Vizguerra and other immigration stories – April 21, 2017

Immigration news

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 5.08.20 PMJeanette Vizguerra (Time, 4/20/17) An undocumented immigrant activist living in sanctuary is on the 2017 Time 100 list of “the most influential people in the world: the artists, icons, leaders, pioneers and titans who are shaping the future.”

“Jeanette moved to the U.S. to be a janitor, working as an outspoken union organizer and building her own company before becoming an advocate for immigration reform—a bold and risky thing for an undocumented immigrant. After fighting off deportation for eight years, she decided to go public with her story and sought refuge in the basement of a Denver church….

“She came to this country not to rape, murder or sell drugs, but to create a better life for her family. She shed blood, sweat and tears to become a business owner, striving to give her children more opportunities than she had. This is not a crime. This is the American Dream.”

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Links and stories – April 10, 2017

Immigration news

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tried to force Twitter to give up the identity of the Twitter user @alt_USCIS. That’s an anonymous user who criticizes U.S. immigration policy and agencies. DHS wanted the name, login information, phone number, mailing address and IP address of @alt_USCIS. They also wanted Twitter to keep quiet about the government demand.

The DHS demand came on March 14. Twitter refused to comply. On Thursday, April 6, Twitter sued DHS to get a federal court to declare the demand “unlawful and unenforceable.” And on April 7, DHS withdrew their demand for information, and Twitter dropped the lawsuit. The Washington Post reported:

“The lawsuit threatened to become a major battle between Silicon Valley and Washington over free speech. But it was over almost before it began. The social networking site filed a lawsuit Thursday to protest the order, saying that…

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Passion. Integrity. Truth.

I cannot adequately express my feelings after meeting with Princess & Darryl from Appetite for Change yesterday at the Breaking Bread Cafe in Minneapolis. I am moved by their passion, integrity, and truth of the work they are doing and humbled by their kindness, sincerity, and generosity. Please, PLEASE visit and like their Facebook page and website. Then make plans to experience the food at Breaking Bread Cafe at 1210 West Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis. They are the change we all need to be in this world. The real deal. Hooganaga

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