Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

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The playlist for Sunday 16 March 14 8pm to 9pm Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

 ~~ "Where The Sky Seemed Lower Than The Rocks" ~~

1 - Brian O Donnell -- "The Fields of Athenry"
2 - The Sound -- "Winning"
3 - Woods -- "Death Rattles"
4 - Era -- "Gregorian"
5 - Russian Red -- "Just Like a Wall"
6 - The Chieftains -- "Women Of Ireland"
7 - Nox Arcana -- "Veni Veni Emannuel"

Station Break

8 - Mothers of Invention -- "Trouble Every Day"
9 - Sinead O'Connor -- "Empire"
10 - Flatfoot 56 -- "The Rich The Strong and The Poor"
11 - Loreena McKennitt -- "All Souls Night"
12 - Michael Brook and Richard Burton -- "Darker Room by Dylan Thomas"
13 - The Pogues -- "Dirty Old Town"

Who luvs ya, baby?


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Go ahead, now you can listen while roaming the Big Orange and beyond!


(12-String Ovation Balladeer Astoria, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


I drove through the narrow Gods—
privet and cholesterol, or  
Irish creamery butter as the waiter

called it, as it shaved another day  
off my life. There was no salt  
and antimony, just lumpy roads

through Meath and Leitrim.  
The sky was a show of flashing  
mirrors as day broke on Rosses.

Tide out and weed like cow pies  
on the shore. The punt down and  
the EEC on the horizon,

as I read in the guidebook about pilgrims  
climbing St. Patrick’s barefoot  
every summer.

Out of the fog a man in Wranglers and  
spurred boots, clean-shaven, a cigarette  
in hand, waved me down.

“Scrum faced house at the end of the bay.”  
“Hop in,” I said. “You lookin’
for where John Wayne made The Quiet Man?”

“No.” “American?” “Yep.” “Don’t look it.  
You Jewish too?” “No.”  
“I-talian?” “No.”

The fog was lifting off the fern-scalded  
mountains across the bay, and the sheep  
marked red and blue looked like sweaters.

“Grace O’Malley hijacked British  
ships up here, and the Choctaws
sent $500 during the famine. Not a fuckin’ penny from the U.S.”

We passed the rusted hulls
of fishing boats and the scaffolding  
of floating mussel beds.

“The Downing Street Accord is lots of  
shit; Adams’ a frog on an oil slick.

When Lord Haw Haw broadcast for the Nazis  
from right here, do ya think he was  
a traitor or a patriot? … to us, I mean?”

I couldn’t bring myself to tell him
I was on sabbatical and looking for  
a place to write.

“They’ll turn the bog to Marks & Spencer anyway.”

“I’m looking for Knock-Na-Rae.”

“Maeve’s mountain? Two hours from  
here in the other direction.”

I dropped him at the scrum house  
half roofless and cracked,
where the sky seemed lower than the rocks

and the hills the color  
of red sheep.

-- Peter Balakian
"Killary Harbor"


Voices and Soul appears on Black Kos Tuesday's Chile; poetry chosen and critiqued by Black Kos Poetry Editor Justice Putnam.


(Cut Stones and Arch St Ceneri, France / copyright Justice Putnam)


Question: Who is your audience? What are you here for?

Answer: Tribal Alliances, Heart-felt Convictions, Passionate Reason, Random Abandon, Sustainable Civility and a kiss; to comfort the sad and the mad Ones; the Ones roaming the International section of the American Supermarket at night; or roaming the neglected streets looking for an angry malaprop to sink their teeth into; the Ones who seek without seeking and learn as much as they teach; the Ones who embrace and kiss and embrace again; the Ones who sing the song of the city and the ballads of the forest; the Ones who chant the rhythm of the sea and hum the melody of the desert; the Ones who sing the prayer of Her name and Her name is the World. Yes, those are the Ones.    -- JP


(Man, Girl and Broken Window Klamath Falls, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


(Can you help folks in need heat their homes and cook their food on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations. Navajo has an important diary posted with all the particulars. Even a small amount can work towards building the minimum.

Could you please help?)


So that explains it... !

Sunlight and Water Pitcher Muir Beach / copyright Justice Putnam


... Or does it?

(Holy Bible and 3 in 1 Oil Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)



(Rail Road Crossing, Sonoma California / copyright Justice Putnam)


 photo FarmRoadandRunningFence.jpg

(Farm Road and Running Fence, Olema, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


"Many heroes lived before Agamemnon, but they are all unmourned, and consigned to oblivion, because they had no bard to sing their praises."

 -- Horace

"Still the race of hero spirits pass the lamp from hand to hand."

-- Charles Kingsley

I could
The days

When innocence
Was blowing

Like across

A Van Gogh

Caressing the
Hillsides and woods
With a


Above the
In which the
Of nearly every
Is spent.

But I had become
Bound by guilt

And dubious
Of the truth.

I came to believe
That in a sense


Was the same
As failing

Holding onto
Meant becoming

And stranded
In the park


I came to believe
That the measure
Of love

Was the amount
Of emotional
I could survive.

Not quite
Like a crushed
Picked apart
By a colony of ants

But I had often
Cut my finger

From the beauty
Of a long-stemmed rose.

So I realized
In those final moments
What had actually

My life was
A series of patterns

A self created
Maze that offered
No escape

So overwhelming
In its

That I was
By its weight

I had no
Left to survive

I punctured
With my own
Pursuit of

And again
I had sought

And heart-pure

Between the legs
Of Beauty

Only to make
My own

Weakness of heart.

I would

Give up.

I would

Let sadness
String itself
Between my fingers

And memory

A fading

(Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California 1978)

(from: Part 3 "And Memory Became A Fading Melody")

© 2006 by Justice Putnam
and Mechanisches-Strophe Verlagswesen


Rest in Peace Aaron Swartz



(Morning Fog And Surf, Muir Beach, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


Originally posted to The Justice Department on Netroots Radio.com on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Netroots Radio and Protest Music.

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