MEDICAL MARIJUANA … While local towns are stumbling all over themselves to place moratoriums on dispensaries, Durango has opened a medical marijuana venue at the Durango Healing Center at 473 E. College Dr. (next to Homeslice Pizza), where patients receive a number of holistic healing services, including herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture and nutritional counseling. Two Telluriders have teamed up to run the place – James S. Kahn (criminal defense attorney, former San Miguel County Deputy District Attorney, and member of the Colorado NORML board of directors) along with Mark Busnardo (former Telluride Ski Patroller and small business owner, Sun Dog Painting) … Along with its many medical services, DHC is offering about ten varieties of medical marijuana, including high quality, locally grown herbs. In addition, they have hash, cannabis tinctures, and delicious medicinal edibles (including cookies, brownies, gourmet chocolates, and cheesecakes). Seeds and clones will also be available as well as locally blown glass from four Durango artists and vaporizers, like Volcanoes, Silver Surfers, and Iolite portables … DHC offers a 10 percent discount to seniors and veterans … For more info, call 970/247-2190.
PHIL WOODS … One of my best poet buddies from the Front Range, where he works as a high school teacher, is really one of the state’s premier scholars of poetry and social justice. His work is deeply rooted in the labor, anti-war and civil rights struggles of the last few decades. He performs as part of an all-male poetry trio – the Free Radical Railroad, along with Michael Adams and James Taylor III … What follows is one of his recent poems, set in prose column style for our newspaper readers.
MY PEOPLE (by Phil Woods) … What was it about the 60s that made it so intense? People changed. Made personal decisions that had real consequences. A war goes from advisors to 600,000 plus. A Cree woman adopted & studying Oriental philosophy composes a song “Universal Soldier.” Fifty years later it’s still relevant … I never knew if this guy was a cop or what he said he was. He’d been in SNCC, but it got too heavy. Klan following their car, Mississippi back roads, high-speed chase. The Klan car misses the turn, rolls over, two red necks injured & falling out. Two black men enraged & sick of it walk over & stomp them to death while the white boy from Grand Junction watches & plans his get away … But the war drags on. So, little by little he’s attending our half-assed SDS meetings before Weathermen took over the National Office. Next thing I hear he’s a security guard at the nuke plant in Platteville that never works right & has to be shut down. Then, he disappears … But Joan Baez is still around. She & her ex, David Harris, smiling & joking on the TV. Their son in her band. Dylan. Saying how he loved her “Diamonds & Rust.” The new wars go on. We are trapped in old paradigms. But there’s Joanne taking the cellist’s chair on a street in Sarajevo & singing “Amazing Grace” because she can & she does … And the 60s still say to us: People can change. Songs can be sung, wars stopped, wounds bandaged & people healed, if we open our hearts & care enough to do it.
KETSANA … We didn’t hear much about it in this country. Laos is so far away. But just before I arrived in Vientiane, tropical storm Ketsana caused a national disaster in the southern Laotian provinces that racked up over a trillion kip in damages (equivalent to $119 million dollars) … 482 villages in five provinces suffered severe loss of houses, livestock and infrastructure. According to the Vientiane Times, about 178,000 people were affected and 27,800 households. Of those affected, 9,600 lost their homes, 17 were killed, and 91 people were injured. Some 58 schools, 10 hospitals, 68 irrigation systems and 47 roads were either destroyed or badly damaged … Relief supplies from United Nations sources and other aid organizations have ameliorated the worst effects of the storm, but the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao is struggling to meet the needs of its citizens … A country in need but almost forgotten in the sweep of daily international news.
LEMBONGAN LIMP … Alas, I tried to do the splits on some concrete stairs in front of a lovely shoreline warung (café) in the town of Jungubatu on Nusa Lembongan – an island off the coast of Bali -- where I spent a few idyllic days. Not on purpose, of course. We all blamed it on some cheap knock-off flip-flops I was wearing. But disastrously, nonetheless … Managed to scrape the back of my right foot and, more worrisomely, bruise the inside of my left knee. A rather odd conjunction of injury … At any rate, the leg’s still not up to speed, so if you see me limping about town, you’ll understand that even paradise exacts its revenge.
THE TALKING GOURD
As the most recent issue of the Planet Drum Foundation’s Pulse reported, “After a teenage auto accident, poet Cardelia Brown began having epileptic seizures. She took medicine to conttrol them, but she thought the meds clouded her writing and thinking. From 2007 to 2009, she stopped taking the drugs, to be clear enough to complete this slender volume of poems. In May of this year, she died in her sleep: a seizure overtaking her at age 29 …This small book of poems remains a testament to a woman who lived life without the usual compromises.”
like a knife
& plunge into the sky…
(Outskirts Press, Denver 2009)