Community Outreach -The Public is the Number One Enemy

DafCU

“Beauty and the Beast” – Wilkinsburg, PA

The following poem was written about one year ago… It was written during an event that occurred on my street in Wilkinsburg… This event was the ultimate reason my wife and I decided to move out of Wilkinsburg… CBS WTAE – The following poem is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Kelly Jr. – I do not believe he deserved to die… I think it is sad that 24 highly trained police officers could not subdue a drunk man with a knife…

I am scared… Scared of the community I live in…

Not for the crime… The thugs drugs or gangs…
Not for the fact that a black bandana hangs…
Off the face of a young man… Inner city common unity…
The colors of my neighborhood… A forgotten community…

I dream of death and destruction… I dream of violent scenes…
Gun shots and crack rocks are the subject of ghetto dreams…
Abandoned homes like leaning gravestones… Waiting to be sold…
Outnumbering the homeless who are sleeping in the cold…

I am scared of a thin blue line… Thugs with authority…
Thugs that hate the general public and are willing to kill a minority…
Urban blight is a product of officially shunning gumption……
The goal is to board up enough to dilute the real corruption…

We are all enemies of the state… We are on the wrong side of the line…
We all share in the fact that our lives are worth less than a k9…
The first amendment is a joke… We only have rights in silence…
To open your mouth is nothing more than an invite to violence…

Police station threshold is where the daily war begins…
Inside the temple the soldiers discuss their win… The war against us…
The war against the general public… Public enemy number one…
Your money paid for the bullet that killed you… It even paid for the gun…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

 

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“Green Fields” – The Barn at Soergel Hollow – Evans City, PA – This photograph was taken the week my wife and I were watching our friends farm… It was also the week we decided to get married… Also the place where we got married…

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Not Meant to Last – Blink and You’ll Miss It

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White variation of a Red Trillium – Trillium erectum var. Alba – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

City silence is relative… Sound is a product of heat…
When the streets get hot people take to their feet…
Thunderstorm rumble can’t cover up the past…
A neighborhood is temporary… It’s not meant to last…

Endless parade of status… Gawking single file…
White and well dressed… Dollar sign smile…
Marching against the poor to finally repent..
Divided class rising… Dead presidents represent…

We all stand up and march against the violence…
Yet the problem is the cause… The cause is silence…
The poor are nothing more than the con of the rich…
Living on minimum wage… Being a corporate bitch…

Breezy evening dreaming… Life is always in the air…
Feet on the sidewalk and clean without a care…
Classifieds because of the church… Meeting of commons…
The rich get a bill… The poor get a summons…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Spring Beauty and Abandoned Blight

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Red branches reaching… The sky is sleeping… Gray skies and thunder rolling… The clouds are weeping… Saturday evening darkness leads to sunny Sunday mornings… Float away to greener lands away from city warnings… The trees reach out to me… Waving tiny branches… Always be alert to step away from shady glances… Understand empathy… Practice individuality… […]

Memories in Orange – Yellow and Blue

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“Yellow Skeletons on Distant Blue” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Standing on the side of a mountain… Photograph of the trees…

Excuse me while I slip out the door…

Memories… Memories of another time…
Memories of my darkest hours… Days… Weeks… Years…

I have been to the end before… A land of perpetual night…
Even in the darkness we must strive to see the light…
Self inflicted pain hangs from an orange extension cord…
Surrounded by needles… Surrounded by rotting boards…

Fate is an excuse we blame when life has got us down…
Heaven is alternative to our souls rotting in the ground…
Experience is relative… Darkness is a state of mind…
Walk across the dirty water and you are who you’ll find…

Blood in the water… Muddy sewers mainline to nowhere…
Mind like a pantry… Shelves empty and the fridge is bare…
Alone in this nightmare because no one knows the lie…
If a junky dies in the city… Does anyone care if he cries…

Orange street light reminder of the places I have been…
When you fight a dragon choose a sword over a pen…
Frost falls on the minds of those who lay out in the cold…
Every one of us dreams about the rainbows promised gold…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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13 1/2 – Another Star Falls

"Sunshine and the Solstice" - Frick Park - Pittsburgh, PA - The first glimmer of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day... Winter Solstice... It wont be long now before Spring awakens...

“Sunshine and the Solstice” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – The first glimmer of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day… Winter Solstice… It wont be long now before Spring awakens…

This has been sitting in my notebook for a few weeks now… I revisit it every few days… I considered not publishing it due to language concerns… But the more I read it… Well… The more I like it…

Another star falls…
Falls from the flag and crashes into the earth…
Missouri burning… Misery ends with a peaceful ideas birth…

Before we can think we take off and run…
Just us… The cops… God and a gun…
Under a blood-red sky we bolt to the east…
Anyone who runs is considered a beast…

We are all thought of as the general public…
One god… One judge… Twelve jurors… Fuck it…
We are all considered public enemy number one…
Freedom is relative… Freedoms price is a gun…

Another man falls…
Falls from the throne and crashes into the streets…
Missouri’s heart is beating… Misery ends in mental defeat…

Riot in the city against the military machine…
Soon a tax-funded rain will scrub the streets clean…
Riots or looting… It doesn’t matter what you call it…
The only thing that matters is if you vote with your wallet…

Keep your nose clean… Keep your mind wide open…
Keep away from those who never stop coping…
13 1/2… That’s one judge… Twelve members of the jury…
And the half percent chance of walking free without a worry…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Tonight

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“Accident in Primary” – My Pocket – A simple cell phone photo I apparently shot in my pocket… I liked it enough to use it… Unedited…

Tonight… The winter fog slowly settles on my sleepy street…
The only thing louder than my heartbeat
The sound of silence… Stifling…
Distant felines screeching and crying…

With a steady pace I cut through the fog…
Rain drops falling so I start to jog…
Through the puddles I feel the cold…
Dreaming of you gives me a warming soul…

Tonight… The clouds must be especially sleepy…
Purposely making the landscape look creepy…
Looking at the cold midnight sights…
Orange ambience of the urban street lights…

Tonights slight breeze smells of the snow…
Cutting through the rain showers so slow…
Cutting through the cold air…
And cutting sharply through my mind…

Urban life is really something special…
Wildlife… Those living the wild life…
Houses packed like books on a shelf…
Side by side… Like volumes in a series…

Each one is similar… Yet completely different…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Complementary Gardening – Gardening Without Borders

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“Tulip Behind Borders” – The Garden Table – Wilkinsburg, PA – This garden is a vacant lot that happens to be located in a rather high traffic location… I am actually planning on installing a fence and gate this summer… Something I said I would never do…

It is a long-standing practice in gardening to use a border to define the edges of our gardens. My preferred border material is bricks, they are plentiful in my neighborhood, have historical value, and help me keep my personal gardens neat and orderly. Borders are basically a line used to define where the lawn maintenance ends, and where the meticulous garden maintenance begins. Without borders, the neighborhood children would not know where my garden started… They also wouldn’t know the point at which I start yelling… Though… The kids are very good about not stepping in my garden…

As a garden installer, I spend a great deal of time thinking about garden borders… But as an artist/environmentalist… I also spend a great deal of time thinking outside my garden borders… To start this article off, I want to answer a simple question… What is a garden? A garden is typically defined as a collection of plants… In most cultures… To dream of paradise… Equates to dreaming of a garden… Or a lush landscape at the very least… This collection is typically contained within the confines of ones own yard… It just makes sense… Plants cost money… Why would you put them someplace you don’t own?

As my journey through the gardening world has progressed… I have found myself constantly looking to nature for inspiration… Over the last few years, I have left the borders of my garden… And gone in search of other gardens… My search has taken me into the forest in search of spring ephemerals… Into the fields to look for Echinacea… And up into the mountains to look for ginseng…

I have spent a great deal of time seeking out, and observing plants in their natural settings. Over time, my hobby has blossomed into an obsession. Now that I have been doing this for a few years, I have developed a bond with many of the plant patches I find… I have actually developed an emotional attachment to them… Oddly… I recently realized that I feel the same way about the woodland wildflowers I regularly seek out, as I feel about the plants in my garden…

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“300 Acre Garden” – Keystone State Park – Westmoreland County, PA – Can an entire state park be considered a garden… I believe it can be… A sunset photo of my newest garden…

Walking through trillium along the side of a mountain… I stopped to pick up some litter… It was at this exact moment that I realized my garden no longer had a border… Standing on the side of this mountain… I realized I was the only person who would ever pick up these plastic bottles… The Trillium certainly couldn’t do it… Not the jack-in-the-pulpit’s… Not the tasty Morels… Without me stopping to pick up those bottles… They would have been there for a really long time…

In order to garden, an individual must have an affection for plants… In my own experience, this rarely dies, in most cases it blossoms into an addiction and before you know it… You have more plants than you know what to do with… Some see this as a bad thing… But I personally see it as a good thing… It is at this point most people start looking outside of their own garden to scratch the gardening itch… When a gardeners mind finally steps outside of their own property… Only then does nature truly see a benefit… This is when the journey really begins…

Our gardens are a direct connection between ourselves, and the environment that surrounds us. Bees for example, collect pollen from the flowers blooming in your garden, although this pollen is then transferred among the other plants in your own garden, it is also spread to the plants surrounding your garden. This everyday transfer of genetic material is just one way plants communicate… The plants you plant in your own garden, affect the next generation of plants that will grow in your surroundings…

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“Trout Lily” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Frick Park is a place I have been spending a lot of time in… I consider it an urban garden… And I will care for it as such…

Although we will go to great lengths to keep animals and birds out of our gardens, nature always wins. Many seeds have evolved to survive digestion, after consumption, these seeds are then spread through “natural processes”. I have followed plant-covered deer trails through the woods, these trails can be hotspots for finding early spring wildflowers… I have followed trillium trails for miles… Likewise… The old ginseng hunters used to follow deer trails when foraging for medicine…

Humans have been pushing nature away for hundreds of years… We cap the earth in cement… Trap and kill anything we consider “wild”… We eliminate ecosystems… Then replace them ad-hoc in the places we deem suitable… We create gardens full of food in the middle of exotic monocultures of chemically dependent monocots… Organic vegetables growing among a sea of garbage… Food labeled as organic… Hiding behind a ten-foot fence… Taunting the deer… Torturing the rabbits… But in desperation… Will not stop a single one of them…

Man and nature can live in harmony… In fact… Nature only requires a small amount of compensation… I laugh when I hear stories of people living in these new plans of McMansions… Entire ecosystems have been destroyed to put these plans in… Yet the inhabitants still cry foul when their cheap landscaping shrubs get devoured almost immediately… If you tore my hundred-year old house down… And built a fire-hazard on top of it… You better believe… I am going to do more than eat your shrubs…

Living in western Pennsylvania, I am asked more questions regarding deer… Than any other garden pest you can think of… Everybody wants a magic bullet… When I answer by saying feed them… Most people scoff… But I stand by my word… The goal to keeping nature from eating your share… Is to compensate… More simply put… You need to make other food sources easier to acquire than your own… Depending on your situation… This is often as easy as a simple fence around your vegetables… And a feeder and salt block somewhere else… This isn’t really a secret either… Any old-time farmer will tell you this…

I guess what I am trying to say is this… Gardening is a skill that requires us to learn how to work with nature… In order to do this properly… We must think outside the borders of our gardens… We must allow our minds to seek out answers beyond the confines of our own property… The insects and animals surrounding you have no respect for the borders in your gardens… They do not see property lines… They do not know where nature ends… And where the garden begins… And that is my point… Nature doesn’t see where the wild ends… Animals don’t know where the garden begins… And neither should we… The entire earth is a garden… A paradise… Every square inch of it deserves protection… As gardeners… Our gardens have no borders… And Nature… Well that Is in fact… What we do…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 7 – Grecian Windflower

GrecianWindflower

“Anemone blanda var. rosea ‘radar'” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Going minimalist on this extremely cold Friday… Anemone blanda… A plant that only seems to bloom for a day or two… I actually stumbled upon a patch behind an abandoned house a few years back… Small baby blue flowers rising above a carpet of English Ivy… After observing in awe for a few moments… I liberated a few specimens for my own gardens… Here is what I have learned so far…

Grecian Windflower is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a short rhizome… It has bronze-tinged leaves… Each plant produces a single flower that lasts for a few days… If left alone it will form a mat… Sunlight requirements are variable… It will survive in both full sun as well as full shade… Though when grown in the shade the full potential of the bloom will never be realized…

Any flower that blooms around the same time as the trees can be considered beneficial… Early season pollinating insects are absolutely necessary for fruit production… I can’t stress enough how important it is to never forget that the pollinating insects need food just like us… Don’t be a dead-beat employer… If you expect the bees to work in your garden… Pay them in flowers…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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Cold Weather Warms the Soul

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The winter fog settles on the sleepy street… The only thing louder than my heartbeat is the sound of silence… And the occasional cats meow… With a steady pace I cut through the fog… Rain drops fall so I start to jog… Through a puddle I feel the cold… Soggy bottoms but a warming soul… Soon my socks are making sounds… Hop along and skip around… December weather urban splendor… Midnight visions spiritually render…

Looking at these midnight sights… Orange glow from the street lights… Tonight the clouds must be especially sleepy… Purposely making the world look creepy… Stuck to the ground… Not making a sound… A slight breeze smells of the snow… Cutting through the rain shower I go… Cutting through the air… And cutting through my mind…

Urban life is really something special… Wildlife and those living the wild life… Friendly folks and mean… Even the occasional obscene… Houses packed like books on a shelf… Side by side… Like volumes in a series… Each one is similar… But completely different…

Many of us go for months… Without actually touching the Earth… We drive on roads… And we walk on sidewalks… But our feet never actually touch the ground… Like at some point it became taboo to do…

Put your feet on the Earth… Bury your seeds in the ground… Harvest your veggies… And pass them around…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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