Friday, March 31, 2006

Awesome Sky

Awesome Sky
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Photos - no matter how well they turn out - can never quite do justice to awesome sky shots. Or at least my photos...


I try to do haiku
But have never been good at counting
wonder why?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shippingport Bridge

Shippingport Bridge
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

I hesitate to bring this up...

a bit of blogetry in this almost springtime season...

At the confluence of the Beargrass and the Ohio

where a wild winter wind

blows the leaves back up the oak tree,

Where the mallard and his mate huddle

beneath a fallen sycamore,

Where eddies swirl and dark waves

kiss the shore goodbye,

There are no addresses.

No street numbers to be marked on a map

and kept in a file cabinet at city hall

with a corresponding Owner’s name

Because there are no Owners.

There are no claimants on the water

as it rolls from creek to river to ocean

and back again.

And it surprised me today

as I thought about it,

That no one had ever bought the Ohio outright.


Friday, March 24, 2006


Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Mark Twain, on Imperialism

Sorry, I've been away and busy. For your consideration on the nature of the historical redundancies, I offer a bit of Mr. Mark Twain, speaking on the US involvement in the Phillipines:

I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.

I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.

We have also pledged the power of this country to maintain and protect the abominable system established in the Philippines by the Friars.

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

CSO: Caution!

CSO: Caution!
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

A Combined Sewer Outfall or, as potential Dirk Kempthorne calls it, a responsible environmental plan...

A Kempthorne in our Collective Side?

"The Mission of the Department of the Interior is to protect and provide access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honor our trust responsibilities to Indian Tribes and our commitments to island communities."

To best fulfill the Mission of the Department of the Interior to be responsible stewards of our common ground, President Bush has nominated Governor of Idaho Dirk Kempthorne to be the new Secretary of the Interior. Kempthorne has in the past suggested the sale of public lands to the highest bidder to privatize the parks, forests, monuments as the best way to protect these lands. (The reason being, is that once Yellowstone is paved and covered with condos, the homeowners can keep a close eye on Old Faithful in their backyard...)

Other nominations to be forthcoming from Bush include Vlad Dracula as Director of the Center for Disease Control, General George Custer as the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Mrs. O'Leary's cow as the federal Fire Marshall.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sycamore on the Ohio

Sycamore on the Ohio
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Broken Lives...

A portion of a powerful sermon from my church last Sunday:

This month marks the 26th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated by US-trained Salvadoran soldiers after preaching against the repression of the US-backed Salvadoran government against the poor.

Father Romero began his career as a politically cautious priest who staunchly defended the status quo, which is why the ruling families and military of El Salvador were so jubilant when the Vatican, at their bidding, appointed him as the Archbishop of El Salvador. “As far as right-wing forces were concerned, Romero was, from every point of view, the ideal candidate.” He had close friends among the oligarchy, that is, those few families who owned all of the nation’s wealth, a clearly conservative outlook, and a penchant for conciliation--he loved to keep the peace, and they knew it.

But he was converted, radicalized, you might say, when his dear friend and fellow priest, Jesuit Fr. Rutilio Grande, and two of his companions, a boy and an old man, were killed on their way to celebrate mass. Romero hurried to the town of Aguilares to receive their bodies. It was the first time of many that he would receive the bodies of the martyrs in the faith. “It was my lot to go on claiming dead bodies,” he said later. “These days I have to walk the roads gathering up dead friends, listening to widows and orphans, and trying to spread hope.”

Over the next, and last, three years of his life, he became a staunch advocate for the poor, and lashed out “with unequalled ferocity” against the oppression and repression of the poor and powerless (from Voice of the Voiceless).

Dr. Jorge Lara-Braud, in an article in Sojourners magazine, tells about his last conversation with him:

There was a full moon. A little breeze gave some relief to the heat of the day’s work. We were coming back exhausted from a day full of visits to the communities. We were headed back to San Salvador. Barraza was driving, and I was sitting in back with Monseñor Romero. I was leaving the country the next day. This was the last time I would see him, and perhaps that’s why I dared to ask him:

"Monseñor, I’ve heard many people asking you to take care of yourself. Have the threats increased...?"

"Yes, they have. Every day there are more, and I take them very seriously...."

He was quiet for a few moments. I felt a kind of air of nostalgia come over him. He leaned his head back, half-closed his eyes and said to me:

"I’ll tell you the truth, Doctor, I don’t want to die. At least not now. I’ve never had so much love for life! And honestly, I don’t think I was meant to be a martyr. I don’t feel that calling. Of course, if that’s what God asks of me, then there’s nothing I can do. I only ask that the circumstances of my death not leave any doubt as to what my true vocation is: to serve God and to serve the people. But I don’t want to die now. I want a little more time...."

In spite of his love for life, indeed, because of his love for life, he continued to lash out against the oppressive military regime. In his sermon on Sunday, March 23, 1980, Father Romero called upon the troops and the national guardsmen to obey the law of God and to therefore not obey the orders of their officers who might instruct them to kill their brothers and sisters. In the name of God, then, and in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise daily more loudly to heaven, I plead with you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: put an end to this repression!

He was gunned down the very next day while saying mass.

Oscar Romero. Broken for the love of the Salvadoran people.

Read the full sermon at the
Jeff Street blog.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

My pastor's passionate and intelligent sermon yesterday on Broken-ness was complemented by the many broken artifacts the congregation had brought in.

Scattered amongst the broken statuettes, contracts, pencils and Christ in the photo above, are pictures of Rachel Corrie, Oscar Romero and Tom Fox (far right).


Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Old Family Photos: Gordon C. Trabue 1905-ish

Gordon C. Trabue 1905-ish
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

This is my Dad's grandfather, who spent a brief time in Northern California. Gordon is the fourth fella from the left sitting atop the log (the one with playing cards sticking out of his pockets).

I have three brothers who live in Northern California in or relatively near Humboldt County and they've reason to believe that this photo might be in Humboldt County.

Some of the other photos from this set include pictures of an explosion at the log camp (from what, we don't know) and there's a known story about an explosion there in Humboldt at about the same time. Interesting twist, if true.

Herbert Basham's Family 1908-ish

Herbert Basham's Family 1908-ish
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

This is my Mom's father when he was a boy. He's the second from the right with black pants and no shoes on. The photo was taken at their farm in Breckinridge County, KY, we believe.

Herbert told a story about how he and his wife-to-be, Georgie, first met.

He said that she lived so far out in the sticks that he had to take a train to the county, from there he had to take a donkey to her community, then walk a narrow path for a while 'til he reached her holler, and that then he had to swing down to her home on a grapevine. Once there, he told her, "Georgie, get your shoes on. We're going to town."

We doubt that story's veracity, but I've always thought that last line would make a nice chorus for a song.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Poetry and Music

Dan and Sarah
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Today, I'll offer a few photos of Trabues fiddling around as well as some poetry.

A Letter to Henry David...

I went to the city because I
wished to live deliberately, to
front only the essential facts of life,
only to find it considerably difficult.

No slight to you sir, but
I have found it much easier
(altho certainly not easy)
to live in community with the woods
than to live in community with people.

People in my community have tended to
stubbornly have other ideas
and make decisions apart from nature's
formidable wisdom
or mine.

That being said,
I remain in city and
in community with others
in hopes that I will see if I cannot learn
what it has to teach, and not,
when I come to die,
discover that I had not lived.

Our Stringed Family

Our Stringed Family
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Garden Dreams

I have dreams of having a garden
unfortunately I have a black thumb
And as I age, I try to grow greener
but never grow more than a crumb
or two of corn or a rather small helping of peas
I talk to my plants - I do! -
and I pray to God, "Please,
won't you bless my potatoes
or do something with them?" I say.
"Lord, Help this garden
to grow a gardener someday."

Guitar Dan

Guitar Dan
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

The last farmer's ghost

Haunting empty fieldsof overgrown weeds,
walking the rows where corn once grew
he moans and mourns
the lost season,
the hallow ground, now laying fallow ground.

He died and no one was there to bury him
and so he haunts and walks
as he always has
this earth only dear to him

Friday, March 3, 2006

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Death?

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Death?
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Wars on Poverty and Wars for Security

I know I risk a good lashing from Eleutheros for posting this, but I'll take that chance.

In a discussion over at Casting Pearls before Swine, it was stated:

Since the 60s, "the U.S Government has spent over 6 Trillion Dollars fighting Poverty, and Poverty still has not been eliminated."

To which I responded:

"Then Brookings in 1995 calculated that since the end of the Second World War in 1995 dollar terms the United States had spent $21 trillion on its military..." (not taking in to account the about 3-6 trillion spent since 1995).

All that spent and yet war hasn't been eliminated nor our homeland made secure. I'll agree to reconsider how we're fighting poverty if you'll agree to reconsider how we're fighting war.

So, how about it? Shall we reconsider our approaches?

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Breaking News...

This just in:

President Bush said in an interview the other day that he hopes his presidency, in retrospect, will be viewed as an "agent for peace."

This also just in:

Bush nominated for the Nobel Prize for Irony-in-Self-Estimation.