In the spirit of Independence Day, in this nation of immigrants, here's one immigrant's story

Obviously, immigration is all over the news these days. As we celebrate Independence Day, it’s good to remember that all of us, either directly or through our ancestors, came from somewhere else. Even the Native Americans came from Siberia. Here’s one immigrant’s story. Violetta Muzychenko was born in 1950 in the Soviet Union. Specifically, she... Read more »

This spring (poem)

The birds are singing to me this spring. Their songs sing to me of the color blue, Of Thursday evenings. When I see their beaks open, And listen, I think of a child And her dreams, And feel myself floating High above the battlefield Where my dreams taste like music And the blue sky is... Read more »

Elton John new biopic "Rocketman" is a wild, fun ride

“Rocketman,” the new film about Elton John from Paramount Pictures, is a wild, fun ride. With Sir Elton himself as one of the executive producers, the movie is full of color, and, of course, great music. At times, it seems like a true biographical examination of the life of the rock and pop superstar who... Read more »
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Cancer patient says cannabis oil treatment has prolonged her life

The days when marijuana was used just to get people high are long gone. As has gone on throughout human history for thousands of years, people around the world are finding that the green, spike-leafed cannabis plant can have beneficial effects for people afflicted with various diseases. Violetta Muzychenko, of the Chicago suburb Grayslake, Ill.,... Read more »

"A Star is Born" shines brightly

Movies about show business are as old as the medium itself. From Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in the 1930’s telling their teenage friends, “Let’s put on a show, guys!,” to the Broadway dancers of “A Chorus Line” (1985), there’s something inherently entertaining about watching performers perform as performers. In its fourth Hollywood version over... Read more »

Chicago-made short film "Tranheist" will aim to show personal side of being transgender

“She told me what it was like being a trans woman.” Filmmaker Maureen Maundu, 32, was talking to me the other day about Lila Star, the lead actress in Maundu’s upcoming short film, “Tranheist.” “Lila’s great.” Maundu said. “She completely understood who Morgan was.” Morgan is the film’s lead character, a transexual woman desperate for reassignment... Read more »
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Chicago Autumn/Winter (poem)

Chicago slides away from the sun during the autumn and the winter months of the year   Chicagoans think about the work that they’ve done during the autumn and the winter months of the year   Chicagoans hold each other tighter during the autumn and the winter months of the year   Their childhoods look... Read more »

September Poem

You’re miles away but you are coming home   Today’s a grey day but you are coming home   You know my ways but still you’re coming home   I miss your ways but you are coming home   A quiet hooray because you are coming home   A quiet hooray because you are coming... Read more »

Notes (poem)

Sweet, high notes in a tree behind me as I jogged by on a Spring morning.   A quick note, then a longer one.   Later, in the shower, the sounds of a symphony sing to me from a laptop speaker.   Quick notes, followed by longer ones.   The world is filled with patterns... Read more »
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Tour (poem)

The bodies of my mother and father have broken down by now, I am sure. They are becoming part of the Earth, part of the world. My mother, with her high forehead, and her wide smile. My father, with his close eyes, and his big heart.   They’re sailing around the sun with us, and... Read more »