Poetry


The Gutenkauf family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support following the passing of our beloved Dottie in December.  Please join us in celebrating her life and legacy on Saturday, March 19th 2016.

DG Memorial invite

On March 19th, 2016, family, friends, cohorts and fans will come together in celebration of the life of Dorothy “Dottie” Miller Gutenkauf, who passed away in December. This event is open to anyone who was touched by Dottie’s remarkable spirit. There will be an abundance the things she loved most – amazing people, incredible music, insightful words and exceptional food.

Musical selections will include The Solidarity Singers, as well as segments of the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players and more.

For more information, please email dottiegmemorial@gmail.com

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I remember snowfalls in the city when I was young
and my friends and I would have snowball fights
dodging between parked cars and mountains of snow
piled up near the corners by the city’s plows
waiting for the temperature to rise and melt them,
or the trucks to load up the snow and take it away.

Snowball fights were fun, even if you got hit,
and everyone knew that packing a piece of ice
inside a snowball wasn’t fair, so it wasn’t allowed.
Our parents looked on from their windows
enjoying the warmth of their apartments’ heat.
Afterwards we went home and drank cocoa.

Later on in life I would play outside with our kids
when it snowed enough to have good snowball fights,
and I taught them how to tell if it was good packing snow
and how it wasn’t fair to use a piece of ice inside a snowball.
These days my kids play with their kids, teaching them the rules
and how to play fair and have fun.  As for me—I hibernate.

©2011 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

A different sort of caring:
when all my old defenses melt
and run off like an April snow,
I don’t remember what I know–
I haven’t very often felt
so deep a trust in sharing!

You could have been my brother.
Protecting me from consequence,
allaying my anxieties
in all their grim varieties,
you bring a dose of common sense
quite unlike any other.

I’m really somewhat shaken:
you have become so very dear.
This friendship two-dimensional
was not at all intentional,
and if it now should disappear,
I would be quite forsaken!

©1988 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

During a thunderstorm, we always wonder
(even if we don’t admit it)
if we have offended one of the ancient gods
whose business it is to control the weather,
and in one way or another
we take steps to placate him, her, it, or them
before the storm ends.

I sometimes suspect
That the reason such storms happen
Is that the gods know perfectly well
That without the occasional dramatic reminder
We’d never think of them at all.

©2010 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

Cats around the world are gloating
because archaeologists have discovered
the remains of a two thousand year old temple
dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.
Built during the time of Ptolomy
in the royal quarter of Alexandria,
the ruins contain many statues of Bastet
hidden away for twenty centuries
as the new city was built atop the old.

Our cats have always reminded us
that they were worshipped in ancient Egypt,
and insisted that these practices continue
as they honored us with their presence
in our homes.  They do us great favors
by allowing us to prepare their meals,
clean their litterboxes, and buy them toys.
They acknowledge our offerings of catnip
and let us pet them if we show the proper respect.

“I was a god in ancient Egypt,” says the cat,
“and don’t you forget it!”  He is not ours,
but deigns to share our dwelling place
in spite of his innate superiority to us.
We, mere humans, his servants and his staff,
must respect his godhead, and remember
that we are inferior beings who are tolerated
as long as we obey his commands, and observe
the proper protocol for dealing with a deity.

©2010 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

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