March 9th and 10th were Ukrainian Poet, Taras Shevchenko’s birthday and passing respectively. In honor of these events I found two older tunes from the late 80’s and early 90’s – both were poems of his that I put to music.

I quickly remastered them and posted them to YouTube. They were both recorded on an old 4-track.

The song “Dumka” was recorded as a Demo for the band “Half-Na-Piv”, (“Na Piv” means “and half” in Ukrainian). The band members at the time of the recording were myself, John Plishka my bro, and Ihor Chornij. I believe that Walter Pohribnyj may be on the track as well playing a backing guitar.

The other song, “Vse Ide, Vse Mynaje” was recorded prior to Dumka and it was recorded in my old basement studio in Northbrook. That’s the same studio where my CD, “Spit, Sputter, Blow…” was recorded.

The words are in Ukrainian, but I hope the music helps convey the meaning, even if you don’t understand Ukrainian.



As you know, I’ve been utilizing Posterous as a way to post to this blog with multiple pics, music and videos-things WordPress doesn’t support fully. Posterous is shutting it’s doors. As a result, many of my older posts may contain broken links to images and or music. I will do my best to make sure they are all reconnected to the new location but double checking every link from many years back is simply not possible.

On the other hand, Posterous has been fickle the last 3-4 months and many posts that I thought were published here, weren’t. The good news is that my posts will not fall into cyber-ether anymore.

With that, I send off Posterous with a stark haiku:

Convenient posting
Inconvenient shutting down
Goodbye, Posterous

Light kisses water

Refraction of reflection

Whose glory dances?

Misty touches Earth

Ruffled sky kisses water

Pastel Symphony

Berry falls on bark
Nothing is by accident

I stumble on art


A video showing the herding prowess, and a pic of the winner when he/she (not sure what it was) came by and plopped down at my feet with a victory water bottle

duckherding.mp4 Watch on Posterous


I, biking same trail

You, exploring world anew

Together, we became friends

One but divided

Future and Past embracing?

An unresolved phrase


Flickering cloudbursts

An Electric Symphony

Listen to the Light

I saw a bright glow through the picture window. It was bright enough to be an airplane but it wasn’t moving.


It was time! And it was 3:30am.


I grabbed my camera and a tripod and headed outside. The horizon showed slight hints of sun, and glow from distant street lights. The air was filled with the sounds of a squawking heron and some raccoons fighting in the distance to my right.


I walked out onto the pier, set up my camera and started taking pictures of the bright planets gracing the horizon. In the picture below, the brightest star, closest to the horizon, isn’t a star. It’s the planet Venus. To her right is a Red Giant called Aldebaran. Above Venus, the planet Jupiter. And above, by roughly the same amount it is above Venus, the constellation, The Pleiades – The Seven Sisters.

I’ve included a detail of the threesome:


The bushes rattled behind and to my left.  I was concerned about skunks. I grabbed my camera and tripod and waited to see what emerged from the brush.  Not six feet away, slowly loping, and oblivious to my presence, was a mother raccoon.

“Hello,” I said, with relief that she wasn’t a wobbling black critter with white stripes on her back.

She was startled by my greeting and stopped…and started growling.  Yes, raccoons growl.  I recognized she was now in protection mode and  backed away from her.  She stared me down as I pondered the fact that I had no place else to go except into the lake.  I thought about what neighbors would say seeing me stranded on the pier, or worse, in the water, cornered by a family of raccoons, as the sun rose…

She turned and headed into the brush and I realized I needed evidence of this encounter.  I snapped this:


The mother continued with some interesting noises – probably a combination of “Hey kids, come here” and “You, human, stay away!!”  One by one, her kits came crossed the path to join their mother.  There were at least three.  They were fascinated by this biped standing on the pier with a long three legged stick in one hand and a flashing box in the other.

I count three in this picture but there may be more:


Morning approaches,

Unexpected friends arrive

All await the Sun…