Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Place Called Cornucopia

There's a little village along the south shore of Lake Superior called Cornucopia. It's a place of blue sky and blue water, beside a blue highway. When I was quite young I looked at a map (something I've always loved to do) and thought it sounded like a place I'd like to know. Through the years, I ended up driving by there several times ... always on my way to somewhere else.

When I first returned to Minnesota from Santa Fe, I was searching for a place to settle down and this area was on my list of options. I drove over one day to take a look around. One of the things I discovered was an organic grocery store on a side street above the lake, nestled inside an older building that must have housed a more traditional store once upon a time. I kept it on my list a little longer.

Eventually, I decided to return to the area where I grew up and spent a good portion of my earlier life. It felt right. This morning, a poem from The Writer's Almanac took my thought back to the lake:

"Sailing on Lake Superior"

Before us now the edge of the earth,
below us the nearly endless cold.
Around us nothing but shimmering
the miles of empty and sparkling blue.

For a few hours, the sail fills on
toward infinity. Shadows of
our delicate bodies ebb and flow
across the deck of our delicate boat.

What if the beautiful days, the good
and pacific temperate moments,
weren't just lovely, but everything?
What if I could let it fall away
in the wake, that ache to extract
meaning from vastness?

Let this suffice; the ease of thinking
it all goes on, whether we're here
to see it or not. The splashing waves,
the suntipped gulls arcing across
the radiant world.

~ Kirsten Dierking, American poet (1962 - )

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Homeland Insecurity

The boys and girls at the Department of Homeland Security paid me another visit late last night. I cannot imagine what they would find subversive about my blog. This time they took a look at a post I wrote regarding a visit my sister and I took to Guerrero Viejo, Mexico, back in 1996. They downloaded one of my photos, so maybe that's all they were after, or maybe someone was just bored. I sure wish they would find another way to spend our tax dollars, like creating jobs for the millions of folks who are unemployed. Hiring them to rebuild this country's teetering infrastructure would be a good place to start, that is if we had any money left after spending it on killing people in other countries whose resources we want.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Place Called Vermilion

With the last rays of evening light and far below, at the base of a distant peak, elk began to bugle ... and soothed by the soft siren sounds of cool winds tumbling through the hemlocks … spellbound for hours by stars so bright and dense that a needle-wand of light could not fit between them, sleep came slowly to a soft bed of fir needles, on a high ridge, in a place called Vermilion. 

Then morning came, gentle and easy, through a saddle to the east, and within the hour, wolves sang.

Prose poem and Photos:

Thank you, Montucky, for allowing me to reproduce your beautiful post here at my site.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Just Before the Road Ends


Left off the highway and
down the hill. At the
bottom, hang another left.
Keep bearing left. The road
will make a Y. Left again.
There's a creek on the left.
Keep going. Just before
the road ends, there'll be
another road. Take it
and no other. Otherwise,
your life will be ruined
forever. There's a log house
with a shake roof, on the left.
It's not that house. It's
the next house, just over
a rise. The house
where trees are laden with
fruit. Where phlox, forsythia,
and marigold grow. It's
the house where the woman
stands in the doorway
wearing the sun in her hair. The one
who's been waiting
all this time.
The woman who loves you.
The one who can say,
"What's kept you?"

~ Raymond Carver

Painting by Dan Gerhartz