Camp Lonesome Pine Family Portrait

Found between tree lines and an open
An old photograph half
Relinquished to nature,
Stubborn in part-a portion refuses
To yield
Barely visible
Plucked with fingertips painted
A specific shade of dirt and wanderlust hiding
Amongst bluestem lean-tos,
Thought to crouch, to
Get down on two knees
Catch a better view
Make lakes for small animals,
Crawl under the poorly thatched roof
Maybe fall asleep for a little while,
Strip bare absorb newfound bliss
Use old focused light as a blanket
Finding comfort in an unfamiliar image-

Is life not simply just
Discovering pieces of ourselves
In foreign situations?

It was a tarnished analog log cabin
Hew marks like calligraphic
Brush strokes visible on the wall,
Window rotted mostly
Slightly off-center
Small glimmer hinted
At a sill brimming
With coffee cans and tin mugs,
There was a mixed group of maple faced
Pioneers standing middlemost,
Smiles falling off the photograph,
Flipped over ever so faint
Was the date “1994”,
Two years before I was born but
Yet it seemed,
As rays of sun in brilliant
Reflection of cedar gold and wildflower periwinkle
Merge and dissolve and bare foot trails
Rise into wilderness,
That we were smiling together


By Coach Light

Cliff faces bled into Superior, cozy Scandinavian architecture clung to tree roots and mountain hollows, main street undulates between nature’s skyline and an inherent need to find home. The sun conceded to blue colossus becoming barely visible old bookshops and pottery dens dissipated the remaining light-a softened glow settled about the city like a comforting fog. A kaleidoscope fell in carefree pattern dancing seemingly to the beat of Michigan folding into Autumn, of the work week folding into Saturday evening.
We wandered as aimless as the leaves prolapsing to concrete, exchanging water vapor for purpose in search of continued adventure or fresh brew. Balsam firs slipped from heavenly precipice between our hands like pens or pipes held to mouth in a moment of meditation. Gradually isolation retreated becoming again, encompassed by a feeling of collective presence. Shuttling down narrow streets, sloped avenues everything was fervent, the city was enveloped, now by newborn constellations fluttering excitedly. Music could be heard faintly, not violins or brass horns but jangly guitars and gritty bass lines just as magnificent and soaring as Jean’s Symphony in E Flat. Entirely entranced we followed the beautiful soundscape, to dead ends, dive bars, our feet wrote in cursive as we navigated and traced it to the source- double doors brimming of color and youth in the vein of Dr. Seuss, covered in the hand-prints of children laughing with skinned knees. The doors opened like a theater curtain, revealing a whimsical world of Paleozoic flora clashing seamlessly with exaggerated organs- small parts becoming massive structures sprawling across the ceiling.

Crossing a train bridge, a voice screamed desperately giving a dying exclamation for change. The room was narrow with an ambulance bursting part way through the wall, a cluster of young adults began to dissipate with the growing chant of “Smoke break?”-they were like the seagulls of Nemo, the floor was checkered black and white, we stood on a chessboard or anxiously in a kitchen. In the absence of an audience a trumpet broke out mournfully singing scotch jazz, a walking cello faded in and everything began to erupt once more. Stationary dump trucks came alive, engines roaring with the buzzing lips of college students, painted turtles bathing under fluorescent lamps were named and included in games of hide-and-seek and tag, the bones of dinosaurs were re-imagined as breathing creatures chasing fashionable cavemen. All was frantic yet increasingly harmonious, alive with reverie hidden conspicuously in a two-story building on Baraga Avenue. A knee shaking guitar solo came forth drawing on the prismatic colors enveloping a glistening community. Brass breathed fire yet again and the words were spoken so casually in contrast: “I drink whiskey cuz my baby left me” and we all were there intoxicated on everything happening.

Goat Herder

Over prepared youth
Missed intentions
Longing for skyscraper shorelines
Searching for pebble-peppered bare feet

Caffeine consumed in clay moments
Malleable timing
Fresh flavors savored sweetly
Soaking wet seeping from small cracks
Dripping from cup to floor,
Too hot for ice,
So a smile is given and received

Dove into the car with fervor
Present tense nostalgia
Reunited after a pause,
A blank period of growth
Shit’s changed
Spring has happened,
Distance between smiles
Expanding yet again,
A roar to whisper
Buddhist radio listened to

Temptation filed in lines
Sacrificed meditating
Objectified and taken for granted,
Forever under cedar walls
On whitewater,
Constant shifting,
Stir fry late nights,
Stained mugs serving as communal wishing wells

Waves for fellow friend
Lake Superior sun shining
Bright and riveting
Hands grasping for one another,
Taking pictures with different filters
And Editing techniques,
Shane jumps
Fear of heights vanishing under
Emancipated chemical veils

Picking fossils from monuments
In a year we’ll fill the gaps picked out,
So take a picture of opportunity presenting itself
Inhaling heaven and resolution

At an earlier date maybe
This would have meant more
(It was more than enough)

Misplaced ring-
The wonder of being far away
Yet so close to heart
Leaped shirtless
Scars showing
Unbiased of appearance
Surface layer or diaphragm born,

Towels turned to capes
Pretending to be super heroes
So things like love and aging
Won’t hold so much weight,
It was a ten foot fall

Eyes opened underwater
Suspended in brevity,
Bodily functions delayed
For a second before
When everything was so
And beautiful

Contemplated drowning
And never returning to the surface