The ferryman carried me, (married, me), buried me there in the Underworld, he spied me and pried me, (belittled and mocked, me) beat down and rocked, I was round I was ground into hardwood floors, wanting no more; so as I lay dying, as I was lying in that boat’s greasy water, so sorry to … More Charon’s Younger Brother Brings Me Back Across the River Styx
Early evening sun/ Caught under the arches/ Words stuck in my throat
When I pull onto Sunset Beach Road in the purple twilight, a couple is already standing entwined in front of their truck, tail lights pointed at Lake Michigan, peering into the western sky; I am not the only one who thought to watch from the bay. Do you see anything? they ask, without preamble, as … More Waiting for Comet Neowise
A pied-billed grebe has already paddled madly halfway across this cove (its crested head sporting a half-hearted mohawk, its body a sputtering vector moving toward the northwest, Lake Superior swollen like a too-observant eye) before I realize that it has darted out from under this porch that hangs over the water where I stand holding … More Somewhere, Another (The Pied Billed Grebe)
On the last Saturday of my 40s, I drive alone to Fish Creek to take the Sunset Bike Trail at Peninsula State Park. It occurs to me as I review the map, then fold it into small rectangles and put it into my back pocket, that if I live to be 96, it’s a decade … More 9.6 Miles in September
One common tern hovers high above Lake Michigan, then dives under the waves and back again, its path a ragged stitch from sky purpling like a bruise into water smooth as a mirror, and then back to sky again, pulling together heaven and earth like the closing of a weary eye.
Five-thirty’s afternoon light fades from the Menominee where this water bug zig-zags northward over the glassy sturgeon-black surface of the river; a needle pulling threads of silver-speckled sunlight together, close as lovers, stitching a narrow pocket into which I slip secretly the ruins of another unmatched summer’s day.
All the birds rise up/ fragments of lake taking wing/ undone, becoming.
Tonight we sleep above the ice, (cocooned like mousies in sleeping bags) under an impossible number of January stars, (brilliant like only winter stars can be, Orion hunting alone) over the lake, and the fish in the lake, (swimming slowly in the iced water capped by sixteen inches of ice) in this bitter cold, (as … More Night on Shakey Lakes, -17°F
My big brother is not like a river, ever-changing, moody, bringing you along in his current – he is a river, the Menominee, and despite his full-time job keeping Wisconsin and Michigan in their places, he has also pulled and tangled my hair, has stolen my towels, sunglasses, one cell phone, several shirts, flip-flops, and … More Fighting with My Brother the River