Temagami, 2002

~ a portfolio ~



After a storm-clogged sky
all day
the sky opens
a musk rose
and the lake quiets
mist enfolds
in bays
loons call and echo
and four whitethroats whistle
converse and reply
in the dusk
some beavers chirp
among the trees on the hillside and
Nick Brignola's baritone sax
croons a quiet counterpoint
below beneath behind.
Does the music
set them all a-singing?

   (The song of the Whitethroat Sparrow is well known to sound like "O Canada, O Canada...!")

I slowly, almost reluctantly
    slide off the city-slippers
        and slip into deer-skin
I am a stone skipping in a pond
    ripples spread
        widen, widen
            merge and blend
Wind and rain, mortar, stone and wood
    speak with one voice, dancing
Return to earth, return to earth
    feet must tread the forest-floor lightly
        bare all, bear all, stretch like roots
            and lose not the bearing
Sunrise and sunset are the same
    only the direction is different
         The center will hold



under lily pads
it millimeters ahead
stealthy stalking Pike

Sailing through Schools
                                for the class of '52
we were little green sickle pears
plums, or walnut-shell sloops
hard, tight-skinned
tart, even astringent
like persimmons before a frost.
Then shapely pears
taste swimmingly on the tongue
juice dribbling down our chins--
we taut as line to the stays
or guys to the cross
Summer's halcyon-sweet berries
firm and purple, blue, or chartreuse
ferment to autumn wines
high times
clarity, depth, bouquet
avoiding shoals
jolly rodgers unfurl.
Not yet, not yet
do sails go slack
like prunes, raisins
or fallen apples under the tree
among the leaves
covered with yellow jackets
gone to seed
flapping in the breeze.


End of Season
It has been a long summer, full
with birdsong, bunchberry blossoms
and windsighs in the pines
rustling poplars
and golden sunsets
but now the bracken begins to turn
and the early harbinger bush shows
tinges of yellow
that a few birch leaves echo.
The wind has dropped
the lake flattens
dark autumnal clouds
purple the west.
A chill seeps in.
Wintergreen blooms
bunchberry and blue bead lily
shine red and blue-black
in the deeper shades.
The sap that rose flows back.
Loons gather and flock
a fish jumps
the rings spread, spread
spread and dissolve
but most of all the air is still
and no birds sing.
Tomorrow to fresh fields
and pastures new.

Though I have left good friends
perhaps my shadow will remain

This page is an ongoing project, and I may be adding to it from time to time.
Jim Flosdorf
Links to:
Poems from Temagami
Panoramic Photos from Temagami