Wednesday, August 24, 2005


The Big Two-hearted River was wonderful, even got a few hours of sunshine which broke through the trees with a welcome display after rain. I love Michigan's north country. Spent time roaming the shoreline of Lake Superior. The big lake foamed from near gale force winds, the blowing sand stinging my bare legs. I went out to Whitefish Point, what a sight. This November will be the 30th anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking 20 miles northwest of there. I started reading Uncle Tom's Cabin (a first for me).

On the way back home, stayed in Sault Ste. Marie for showers and food, and got to watch one of the 1000 foot freighters make it through the locks. It's always amazing to me to see who they can get a boat that's a 1000 feet long and 105 feet wide through a lock that is only 110 feet wide (the lock is nearly 1400 feet long). Such size leaves only about 2.5 feet on each side of the ship--that's tighter than trying to back my truck into my garage.

This is a second draft of the poem I had in the previous post (it's a little tighter but still not where I want it).

Ode to Lovers Lost and Unknown

I never danced upstairs at the Luminia
The ballroom exposed to the evening breeze from offshore
Cooling guest Jitterbugging and dancing the Charleston
under the bright lights that guided ship captains
who sailed the coastline until ‘42,
when darkness prevailed due to the threat of German U-boats.

And I never laid in the sand on the beach
watching silent movies projected on a screen
beyond the breakers, a constant rhythm,
for the antics of Mr. Fields and company
until a nor’easter flatted the screen,
by then obsolete with the new talking shows.

And I never rode the electric trolley
ten miles from the beach to Wilmington
late at night under live oaks haunted with Spanish moss,
passing the new bungalows on Wrightsville Avenue,
the summer air scented with honeysuckle
and the sky filled with lightning bugs and Perseids meteors

I did get to shoot pool, a quarter a game
in the shell of a building once called the Luminia
and I showered shower underneath the rotting building
rinsing by body in brackish water,
unaware of the splendor long past
or the soon to be wrecking crew clearing for condos.

Time passed me by
and I’ll never have a chance to dance with you at the Luminia,
to watch the light reflect in your eyes
and the wind to blow your dress and toss your hair.
But if I had the chance, I’d pull you tight,
my arm around your waist, my head chin tucked on your shoulder
savoring the moment.


  1. Someone from another country tod me she couldn't understand some of the lines. I'll try to explain.

    The Luminia (or Lumina) was a building that faced the surf on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. It was built by the power company (hence, the name implying light--electric lights, of course). Upstairs was a dance hall that with open windows that looked out on the sea and the marsh to the west. Before World War II, big bands played there and people danced (Charleston and Jitterbug are two dances of that era). The power company also had a trolley that ran from Wilmington to the beach. This was discountinued when cars became popular. The summer of 1942, with German submarines active offshore, the beaches along the coast were "blacked out." The Luminia showed silent movies on a screen out in the water (Mr. Fields refers to W. C. Fields, an actor of that era). A nor'easter is a winter storm along the coast. Bungalows are a type of house popular in the 1920s and 30s. They were have been "new" during the hayday of the Luminia. Live Oaks is a tree that never lose its leaves and are often covered with Spanish moss--creating an eerie view. The Perseids is a meteor shower that comes in mid-August.

    The Luminia was torn down in the early 1970s. I was probably 13 or 14 years old. In its last years, the building housed a pool hall and a place for showers and rentals of chairs and stuff for use on the beach. In its place now stands some tacky looking condominiums (condos).

    Of course, the lover lost is the Luminia and the lovers unknown would be my dancing partners. I hope this helps

  2. Sounds like a good time you had in Michigan! Good luck on your finetuning of your poem. My hat is definately off to you for that!

    Michele sent me.

  3. Sage,

    Welcome home and out and about once again. Some just have traveling in their veins.

    Its been my experience that leaving a poem for a bit then coming back is a good thing although my buddy Ramblin' Ed just writes em as they come and then hes off onto the next one. Sadly my muse is not a productive as his so I want to get each one right.

    I truely like the sentiment in this and could picture it all very clearly. It makes one wonder what our lives would have been like back then. Thanks!

  4. Hi Sage - thanks for visiting my blog earlier and leaving a suggestion. I've only read one Coehlo book, Veronika Decides to Die, which I thought was wonderful. I'll look at the ones you mentioned and see about suggesting them. I'm enjoying your site. I'll take a peak around.