Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

The Justice Department is on Netroots Radio.com Sundays 8pm to 9pm Pacific and Mondays 9pm to Midnight Pacific. Powered by Unity Radio Net!

I'm Special Agent DJ Justice; Radio Host and Program Director for Netroots Radio.com; and I'm manning the dials, spinning the discs, warbling the woofers, putting a slip in your hip and a trip to your hop.

The playlist for Sunday 31 Aug 14 8pm to 9pm Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

 ~~ "Nearly Ruined With Good Employ"  ~~

1 - Phil Ochs -- "When I'm Gone"
2 - Pete Seeger -- "From Way Up Here"
3 - Crooked Still -- "Wind and Rain"
4 - Abigail Washburn -- "Backstep Cindy and Purple Bamboo"
5 - Old And In The Way -- "Hobo Song"
6 - Dan Bern -- "Black Tornado"
7 - Joni Mitchell -- "All I Want"
8 - Chris Whitley -- "To Joy"

Station Break

9 - Buena Vista Social Club -- "Dos Gardenias"
10 - Ibrahim Ferrer -- "Buenos Hermanos"
11 - Omara Portuondo -- "Canto lo Sentimental"
12 - Victor Jara -- "Plegaria a un Labrador"
13 - Paco Ibanez -- "Los Versos Mas Tristres"
14 - Bebel Gilberto -- "Simplesmente"
15 - La Caina -- "Bailando Va"
16 - Yatu -- "La Luna""

Who luvs ya, baby?


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


I’m thinking it’s time to go back
to the peach farm or rather
the peach farm seems to be wanting me back
even though the work of picking, sorting,
the sticky perils and sudden swarms are done.
Okay, full disclosure, I’ve never
been on a peach farm, just glimpsed
from a car squat trees I assumed
were peach and knew a couple in school
who went off one summer, so they said,
to work on a peach farm. She was pregnant,
he didn’t have much intention, canvases
of crushed lightbulbs and screws in paste.
He’d gotten fired from the lunch counter
for putting too much meat
on the sandwiches of his friends
then ended up in Macy’s in New York
selling caviar and she went home
I think to Scranton, two more versions
of never hearing from someone again.
I’d like to say the most important fruits
are within but that’s the very sort of bullshit
one goes to the peach farm to avoid,
not just flight from quadratic equations,
waiting for the plumber,
finding out your insurance won’t pay.
Everyone wants out of the spider’s stomach.
Everyone wants to be part of some harvest
and stop coughing to death and cursing
at nothing and waking up nowhere near
an orchard. Look at these baskets,
bashed about, nearly ruined with good employ.
Often, after you’ve spent a day on a ladder,
you dream of angels, the one with the trumpet
and free subscriptions to the New Yorker
or the archer, the oink angel, angel
of ten dollar bills found in the dryer
or the one who welcomes you in work gloves
and says if you’re caught eating a single peach,
even windfall, you’ll be executed.
Then laughs. It’s okay, kiddo,
long as you’re here, you’re one of us.

-- Dean Young
"Peach Farm"


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(Field of Tournesol Normandy, France / copyright Justice Putnam


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)


 photo ChateaudeValicourtatMontmorancyFrance.jpg

(Chateau de Valicourt Montmorancy, 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)


Okiciyap (we help) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation should be tax deductible. Okiciyap, located on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, is working to provide a food pantry, youth center, K-12 educational support, GED & Lakota as a 2nd language class support for youth and adults. The word Okiciyap is Lakota for "we help."

The Daily Kos Fundraising for Okiciyap group was formed to support the pantry. More information is available at the Okiciyap diaries published here at Daily Kos.


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)


I took another small sip of water as the next questioner rose, this time by the stacks of French novels. She was cute; red hair, tall, maybe 5'9" or 5'10", well proportioned. Had to be another doctoral student in Comparative Literature at Cal; so even at 24 or 25, was too young for my wandering eye.

"You stated," she stated determinedly, "and I quote; 'Comedy, Poetry and Fiction are only effective and only become Art if there is a Truth behind the humor, the verse and the lie.'"

"Yes," I uttered to fill the small silence.

"In your writing; in your humor, verse and lies, are you telling a Truth about yourself?" she asked, "or are you telling a Truth about the Culture and Society as a whole?"

"Yes," I answered.

--Justice Putnam
"Conversations With The Audience"


Mowtown NN14 / copyright Justice Putnam photo MotownNN14_zps3a498ed1.jpg

(Motown NN14 Detroit, Michigan / copyright Justice Putnam)


Chair, Floor and Electric Cord Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam photo ChairFloorandElectricCord-copyrightJusticePutnam_zps6e4dae5e.jpg

(Chair, Floor and Electric Cord Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)

"The most unostentatious, the most inexpensive, the most ridiculous chair, if a chair can be ridiculous, which could be devised. Brassai chose precisely this insignificant chair and, snapping it where he found it, unearthed what there was in it of dignity and veracity. THIS IS A CHAIR."

-- Henry Miller
"The Eye of Paris"


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


Farm Road Olema, California - copyright Justice Putnam photo FarmRoad_zps99a508b7.jpg

(Farm Road 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


Lamp and Post Berkeley, California - copyright Justice Putnam photo LampandPostBerkeleyCalifornia-copyrightJusticePutnam_zps17e491e0.jpg

(Lamp and Post Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)

House Ruins of Poet St Pol Roux Brittany, France - copyright Justice Putnam photo HouseRuinsofPoetStPolRouxBrittanyFrance-copyrightJusticePutnam_zps2736d08b.jpg

(House Ruins of Poet St Pol Roux Brittany, France / copyright Justice Putnam)


The Off Ramp to Terra Azul


Justice Putnam

"If it were possible to know the outcome of every journey, few journeys would be undertaken," Farouk Hazim said into the cell phone. "But I know the outcome of this journey. There is nothing mysterious about it. So I just hit the turn signal and turn right at the end of the off ramp."

I could hear an angry buzz in reply from the cell as Farouk held it away from his ear. He looked at me and smiled. After several moments he let a small silence elapse and then put the cell to his ear, "Do not worry. I will off-load by 10 am, I have my top helper with me today."

Farouk closed his cell and put it in the holder. He shifted the big semi and changed lanes. He checked both side mirrors and continued our conversation.

"It's all a matter of what you first notice in life," he said, "at each benchmark, what do you notice?'

I didn't hear his statement as a question at first, but finally I realized his request,

"I wrote a poem about that issue," I proclaimed, unconsciously full of myself, "I wrote about an argument about which came first, Light or Sound. For me the first sound was a heartbeat."

"Aha!" Farouk Hazim exclaimed loudly, "That is very important. You are a Romantic, be careful my friend," he lowered his voice in seriousness, "as strong and intelligent as you are, Romantics have a high death rate."

He laughed in his singular, Farouk Hazim manner. If you didn't know that Farouk came from Lebanon, you'd think he was descended from Zorba the Greek.

"None of us escape what we're born into," Farouk continued, "we can move from place to place, we can rub elbows with people of different classes, one can do any number of things to escape. But we can never escape."

"I always felt the great equalizer," I interjected, "is education. Social mobility is attained with education."

Farouk laughed loud and long again. His eyes were gleaming when he responded,

"Yes! You are very correct. The thing about education, though, is that the more of it you have, the more you know that we can never escape that which we're born into!" Farouk laughed and laughed.

"But I don't understand," I said, truly confused. "I look to you as an example of what can be attained. I mean, look at you, ten years ago you were cleaning offices and now you own your own trucking firm. Your kids go to private schools, your wife is beautiful."

"It still doesn't matter," Farouk Hazim was shaking his head, " there is no escape. Not for you, not for me, not for my children or my beautiful wife."

Farouk checked his side mirror as he shifted gears. He was silent for a long moment and then continued,

"The first sounds I heard were bombs exploding in my village. The first pain I had was from shrapnel in my leg. The first thing I saw was a rifle firing. The first time I met other people was at a funeral. Aha!" Farouk suddenly said, "we have arrived!"

I looked up and saw the exit sign. Farouk turned right at the end of the off ramp. He slowly built compression in the big semi and shifted gears as we approached the city limit sign, welcoming us to Terra Azul. Everything looked familiar, as if I was born into it.

We passed the sign and I had a sinking feeling.

Written in small graffiti-like letters next to the Chamber of Commerce plaque was the invocation,

"Death to All Who Enter Here."

© 2006 by Justice Putnam
and Mechanisches-Strophe Verlagswesen


Rest in Peace Aaron Schwartz



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


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