Serious


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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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

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

Barbie came into the world fifty years ago.
Like Athena, she was born from her maker’s idea,
full grown and fully armed, but with big tits and a wasp waist
and—unlike Athena—without any brains at all.
Athena is a lot older, but nobody prays to her these days
while the worship of Barbie has lasted fifty years so far
and like Athena, she never grows old and wrinkled.
There was a time when so many little girls
wanted to grow up to be teenagers just like Barbie
and stay that way forever.  Perhaps some still do.
But Athena had wisdom on her side and always will,
while when Barbie went to college in the late 1960s
she had a dorm room with a bed, a desk, a phone,
and a closet full of clothing and accessories
but not a single book to be seen anywhere.
Barbie, like Athena, already knew all she needed.

But there any resemblance comes to an abrupt end.
Barbie has had many careers in her fifty years:
fashion model, doctor, astronaut, athlete, ballerina,
teacher (in stiletto heels and a mini-skirt).
She’s on her hundred and twenty-sixth career now—
All of that in a mere fifty years of existence.
She even ran for president, but in an off-year—
if she had had a brain she would have known better.
Now fifty, she looks like a teenager—unlike real women—
and although her head is larger, there’s no more in it.
Athena has had one life and a single purpose:
to bring the light of wisdom to humankind.
Little girls don’t play with Athena dolls;
but Athena, the goddess, ageless, watches
as real women age, and some acquire wisdom,
and trade in their Barbies to become more like her.

©2009 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

Yours was the only face I saw
in that crowd on the concert stage
all clad in performance black and white.
Of all those splendid singers,
yours was the only voice I heard—
the voice I have loved for so long,
no matter what it was saying.
Surrounded by a golden aura
I saw the face of my firstborn,
my lovely daughter, now grown,
humble and proud, independent,
mainstay of her own family,
mother of her own shining daughter,
like her mother and her mother’s mother
and all the generations of mothers
who brought us into the world.

And now at last I fully understand
the pride in my own mother’s eyes
as she heard her teenage daughter
sing from the Carnegie Hall stage
more than half a century ago.

©2009 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

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