"Shorts on Isle Royale" by Jeffrey Lockwood

‘TIS A GIFT TO BE SIMPLE
A loamy path through dewy firs and spider silk to the outhouse, retraced to morning’s coffee.

CONJUGATING MOOSE
We find moose droppings along trails, moose tracks in mud, moose-crushed sedges. Moose: a past-tense noun.

OF LEKS AND LUCK
I saw one hundred dragonflies darting and soaring over Mount Franklin—the prayer-flags of Isle Royale.

ISLAND ROMANCE
I like our hikes and simple meals. Mostly I like being here all alone, with you.

PLEISTOCENE DREAMS
A night so still, I can almost feel the island rebounding from the retreating ice sheet.

SOUNDINGS
Isle Royale Wyoming Prairie
Crashing waves
Soulful loon
Clacking grasshoppers
Scolding squirrels
Trilling meadowlark
Wind-rustled grass

BLESSINGS OF A STORMY DAY
Fully appreciating light, warmth, and dryness, requires dark, cold, and wet. Life is better with storms.

FALLING IN LOVE
Yellowstone is a National Park centerfold. Isle Royale is my wife in a plaid flannel nightgown.

LEGACIES
A fifth-generation summer cabin older than the oldest moose antler on the island. Which belongs here?

WILDERNESS WONDERINGS
Can a government decree make a mined, fished, lumbered, farmed, hoteled, golf-coursed island into a wilderness?

THIMBLE BERRY CONNISEUR
Too early, tart;
Too late, mushy;
Just right: ruby red, sensuously plump, jam-sweet, shaded to coldness.

MUSSELS AND MEANINGS
I found freshwater mussels which few visitors even know exist. I feel superior to moose stalkers.

HERMIT NOTES
Hermits aren’t inherently wise, enlightened or mysterious. We’re intrigued by their isolation—much like Isle Royale.

ZOOLOGY GONE BAD
Some creatures that would flourish on Isle Royale: zebra mussels, black bears, feral cats, condominium owners.

THINGS WORTH DOING AT ISLE ROYALE
Hoping to see the northern lights.
Looking for a moose/wolf.
Realizing that grandeur is overrated.

WRONG BOTTOM LINE
Isle Royale is expensive to operate. As are school lunch programs and public health clinics. So?

 

Last updated: April 27, 2020

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