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RDJ-- Skeen Burgers, 09-01-12  RDJ
 Sep 02, 2012 20:20 PDT 

Volume 15      Number 161
US Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-3292

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Skeen Burgers

1 1/4 cups crushed reduced-fat round buttery crackers (about 20
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds ground round
1 (1-ounce) package onion soup mix
Cooking spray
10 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns
5 tablespoons ketchup
10 (1/8-inch-thick) slices red onion

Prepare grill.

Combine first 6 ingredients. Divide mixture into 10 equal portions,
shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes
on each side or until done. Place buns, cut sides down, on grill rack;
grill 1 minute or until toasted. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup on each
bun top. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each serving with
1 onion slice and top half of bun. Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
    Calories: 335
    Calories from fat: 34%
    Fat: 12.5g
    Saturated fat: 4.3g
    Monounsaturated fat: 5.3g
    Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
    Protein: 22g
    Carbohydrate: 32.7g
    Fiber: 1.8g
    Cholesterol: 62mg
    Iron: 3.3mg
    Sodium: 691mg
    Calcium: 63mg

By Walter Mills

Poets in the World

On the last weekend day of the warm autumn I was alone in the house,
tired of sitting in front of the computer screen, working on a project
for which I was already late. I wandered into the living room and
picked up a book of poems my wife had brought home on a whim from the

I took the book outside and sat on a lawn chair in a square of light and
read the thin book straight through. I can’t remember the last time I’ve
done that – it’s been years, at least. Poetry was once a big part of my
life, back in the days I was in school and then for a dozen years after
while I wandered from place to place. I kept the poems of Yeats and
Dylan Thomas with me, and my old school books with the 19th century
Romantic poets.   

I loved the look of poetry on the page, and the sound of it on my inner
ear. I memorized lines and verses, and I would repeat them in my head
when I was nervous and uncertain. It was like the great poets of the
past were there beside me, murmuring in my ear. When I was tired and
unhappy, I would recall the opening lines from Delmore Schwartz’s “Tired
and unhappy, you think of houses/ Soft carpeted and warm in the December
evening/ While snows white pieces fall past the window,” and be
comforted, lifted out of myself.

And each autumn when the leaves began to turn, to this day I still
repeat the lines of Gerard Manley Hopkins that I learned in high school:
“Margaret are you grieving over Goldengrove unleaving?/ Leaves like the
things of man, you with your fresh thoughts care for, can you?” And an
old familiar melancholy mood comes over me and I see the bright colors
of autumn in that rich saturated light that is unlike any other.

That is one of the gifts of the great poets: that they see clearly, as
if for the first time, with fresh thoughts that they clothe in fresh
language. It is always a danger when words and phrases get overused and
worn out. It signals worn out ideas and a lack of thought, a lack of
looking directly at reality. Most of the words we will hear from
politicians this election season will have that hollow, dull ring of
worn out ideas.

I think I turned my back on poetry because it takes some silence and
careful listening to absorb the poets compressed and heightened
language. It can hardly be lost on any of us that we are living in a
nearly frenzied state of being. Peace and time to reflect are rare as
lunar eclipses. We have learned to do many things at the same time; we
are always connected to something, or going someplace, living on
caffeine and too little sleep. Poetry takes too much concentration.

And, too, there is bad poetry, dishonest poetry, academic poets who
honed their emotions in a writing class with other bad poets. Poets who
are obscure for the sake of obscurity, not because their thoughts are so
profound they cannot be conveyed to ordinary minds. There are entire
schools of poetry that make a virtue, in fact a requirement, of
difficulty. I turned my back on those poets as well.             

Poetry is hard in other ways besides its language. It requires the
willingness to feel some emotions that we may not want to feel in our
condition, which is that of fragile beings in a world of uncertainty. It
rarely talks about trivial things - why bother to put such effort into
the unimportant?

Like these lines from “Strong is Your Hold,” the book of poems by Galway
Kinnell that I read there in the sunlight of the late autumn Sunday:

Promissory Note

If I die before you
which is all but certain
then in the moment
before you will see me
become someone dead
in a transformation
as quick as a shooting star’s
I will cross over into you
and ask you to carry
not only your own memories
but mine too until you
too lie down and erase us
both together into oblivion      

Read more of Walt's writing at his blog:

(The above column originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times and is
copyright © 2012 by Walter Mills. All rights reserved worldwide. To
contact Walt, address your emails to    awmi-@verizon.net ).

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