Leelanau County

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The fox , while Odin sleeps , stands watching on the northern hill that leads to Empire and where everywhere else leads to Cemetary Road . In the upper hemisphere , appearing as a vault , the falcon from Jacks future is seen soaring its freedom , the robin , it’s red breast symbolic of a dawning sun , still ages behind . The sky , a mystic realm , landscapes of afterwards poignant to these flying creatures of the blue . The return of earth is on its way .

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The room his ex-wife lived in still has a thin line of light from the cracked window where rain drips the color blood from the small painting still wet from the dampness on the sill . Jack stands drinking cups and more cups of coffee , a pool of thirst that no one knows how deep it goes . ” You can always come back home ” spoken twenty years ago .

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The return of new love is on its way this year of 2014 . Jack is a solitary man , practical , indepentent , lyrical with music in his body . Francis had suddenly come by with her just bought old Volkswagen Bus and he thought of her , out on her own , always off to a different place . Could he , could he really think of offering her a practical arrangement , like the one Sting sings about in that song he can’t seem to get out of his mind with dreams of her interrupting his secrets , thoughts swelling and forever coasting . Did he dare … no , she was already on her way … soon going all the way to Bulgaria on the last ship . But what if she said , yes , yes to an arrangement with time to his solitary life – ” a shoulder to lean on and one roof over their heads ” ? But she probably didn’t have any reason to consider that . A good horseman never needs to use a rope for a fleeing horse to follow or return . . . this he knew for certain . She was chasing her inner light , he honored that even though longing to put his bare hands on her face made his heart weak . They could better be friends , faraway friends and he would look for her if and when she returned . He would ask nothing other than to hear her funny laugh . He sensed her shy nervousness and didn’t want to frighten her away . . . a coupling of moon and sky , of loneliness and isolation , of Jack and the orange fox watching .

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The day Francis went to first grade in the big city , Jack was not quite two , sitting in his high chair in the farm kitchen on a ranch in the north country , a father placing his own cowboy hat on his little sons blond head , feeding him with a copper spoon . Once , years later as teenagers , they actually passed eachother down a dirt road each going in different directions , when Francis was at her families summer cottage at Glen Lake where Jack and his brothers liked to take cars and girls to Lookout Hill . At 19 she was a billowy silhouette wearing soft suede and florals , fringe , lace up boots , swirl print pants with a paisley pattern bag . The birds all chirped madly about their passing and many eggs were laid that day to hatch wonder and joy into the future when Jack was shown the white ring around the eye of one of these robins descendants . But at 16 , epic love was not on Jacks mind . He rode his horses bare back , went to the Cherryside Drive-in Movies , did daily chores for his sweet widowed mother and tried to tan a Bison hide with the brains of the mighty beast . He didn’t know yet how to plant flower seeds with his mind and didn’t know if it was really true that the island of Lake Dubonnet , near Interlochen , really floated wherever the wind blew it . He had yet to graduate High School and join the Navy , follow the rodeo circuit to Oklahoma and Colorado , play the mandolin , travel by truck cross-country , build his own house , go to Key West , sew bands of feathers for his western hat , bake a fruit pie and notice that the knots in the wood in his ceiling looked like the faces of baby seals . But someday this young man who he was and the older man he would become, passed eachother on Cemetary Road where Francis would join them , a symphony in their cells , and say , ” Are we going “?

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” Embracing forever ” , the second of those peregrine falcons flew from Jacks roof where underneath Jack and Francis had fallen out of their bed still tangled in the sheets and the Falcons words were heard by all the earthly creatures , ” because the self that you are was built for eternity by God . He held nothing back , not even himself . He made no mistakes “. . . . . .

Quote from dear Michael at Embracing Forever … expressions of an authentic Self … ” A Course in Miracles ” .

Jack and Francis

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What kind of wind is that ? Tangled up in the sheets with Francis , Jack heard six peregrine falcons walking on his roof like chapters to the same novel waiting to come forth after that day of unexpected love when he took Francis for that ride with the little Hawaiian girl on the dashboard and a blowing snow smoked , creating landscapes of Kafka who never finished a novel . Blasts of arctic air , a cross-polar flow , has frozen over Grand Traverse Bay and left these Great Lakes 82% frozen , the region in the grips of an extreme anomalous weather pattern .

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A whirling wind , strong , laid itself inside her young body , spinning to keep the fetus from becoming stagnant in the pool of her living womb . The mothers silk slip abandoned on the bare floor as her pain was too much to remember what was needed to dress herself . It was a bizarre spring , the year of 1951 when RKO released the Sci-Fi film , ” The Thing From Another World ” about a crashed flying saucer and a body frozen in the ice , and Francis Camille DeKorne was born , born in the amniotic sac still intact . Her struggle begins like a Seneca legend in not wanting to be born again so soon after ascending into the other universe where ” love is all there is ” and where she was nearly obsessed with reading the encyclopedia of obsolete things . Fright frowned and was not letting her float . Her mother had a sickness inside , dripping blood while she slept , blood dripping , dripping out her nose , her ears , her gums leaving a stain on the white cotton pillow-case and on her upper lip , with blotches like a rash of scratched stickiness in her beautiful hair . Things were “out of order ” , over the edge , and the child would be poisoned by her mother’s confusion . The platelets of planet Earth , platelet counts falling so low that wounds seeped out , not only from the bottom of the oceans causing tsunamis and floodings but also into the fragrances intoxication from the flowers release and causing the earths creatures to become glutinous and fat from lapping up the large amounts of sap from the trees . The fungus that covers 38 acres in a forest in upper Michigan ; one of the largest forms of life known to exist and at least 1500 years old , began feeding on this new feast that the low platelets couldn’t stop , a feast of elements and dead roots with interweaving tentacles spawning an uncommonly huge amount of mushroom sprouts to rise and shoot to the surface above . And the Northwest Passage began an undistinguishable and curious conversation between its rivers and the freeways . Blood , milk , semen , wine , saliva … a benediction of tears and yes , things were out of order . And at this strange ” veiled birth ” of Francis , the babies cry like a canticle , ” O Lord , let me remember of where I came , of the dance of love . I don’t need eyes to understand or see , or eyes to keep your inner knowledge , let me not forget the key to the gate in the east . And please don’t let me write in the shadow of my own hand but in the clear light of yours . Tell them not to cry at my grave anymore , for I am not there .” The babies cry releasing a sacred mist of vapor , bending light rays that reached the north and south Manatou Islands where Native American spirits dwell creating odd and ever changing perceptions of castles , ruins , walls , tombs and towers …the islands themselves suddenly even vanishing from sight .

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No one saw the father , he had not returned from Detroit and the birth was early , the phone ringing lonely in the night , unanswered , while this salesman turns up the volume on his car radio and hears the ending line from that movie when the reporter files his “story of a lifetime ” , broadcasting a warning , ” Tell the world , tell this to everybody wherever they are . Watch the skies everywhere . Keep looking . Keep watching the skies ,” Everyone must be saved, the whole world , a world being made new , the bloody fire of a volcano spreading thru like lava , thru the tiny veins into the babies heart beating . Shades of warm purple in the atmosphere giving protection before anyone knew just what was happening . And one day , in the far future , a landscape painting would be recognized in the Van Goth Museum in Amsterdam as her great great great grandfathers , the babies heritage and memory imbedded in her unusual DNA from ages past before matters of race became Americas original sin . And one day too , Francis would still remember her perplexing birth – trying with all her strength not to be born , fighting , aching to remain in the warm fluid of her mother’s womb . A mother who would always love without ever understanding . And water , well , water would forever be her desire , the sound of it , it’s velvet , the taste of goodness as it touched her lips , the waves like worship her enthusiasm . A life flowing like a new paradise from Stings “Opera” as Jack holds her tighter, the scent of soda crackers warm from their naked entangled earthiness while the first falcon , its shadow grey , the same tone as the sky , soars in search of the super continent called Pangaea where the “Aurora Borealis” illuminates celestial travelers on their way to heaven , heaven , the well spring of the rarest things on earth … where Gods message is so brief that it goes on and on .

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Jack laid her down , he touched her skin . Behold the falcon and the dove . The baby in Francis’ dream that night wouldn’t awaken until Jack , appearing as a mirage , tells her to bring the little girl infant outside and let the raindrops fall , fall upon her tender body .

note : photo of wolf on bed by Sorolta Ban photography

Something Happened : An Allegory

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A mink ran into a hole underneath a hemlock tree in the snowy northern woods near Glen Arbor and at the same exact time in a bistro in nearby Traverse City , a simple touch given caused something to happen , something as immense as the discovery of what was found down that hole – a stone tablet etched with mysterious hieroglyphics from faraway Cyprus where it was known that millions of years ago copper was first mined out of the earth , and some here believed Michigans copper was used to build the Great Pyramid  too . Leaning towards Francis sitting there next to him , Jack reached over as if some hidden knowledge were about to be revealed and while the others talked about the menu , he picked up her small long fingers , folding his hand over them , he whispered , ” you have the most beautiful hands “. A gesture so simple that she only blinked once knowing she would always remember that moment even on her deathbed . Aphrodite could even be felt smiling from planet Venus . The mink ,  needing seclusion to find nourishment and willing to go to deep places was drawn to the lustrous beauty of the copper in that nocturnal realm . ” Now we see as in a mirror , in an allegory , but then face to face , but then I shall know as I am known “. ( Aramaic Bible ) It was a strange winter , the winter of 2015 , the winter Jack and Francis noticed eachother as they watched the ice slowly melt , seeming like decades since it had been clear … gazing and gazing . Two nights went by , counting and counting , nights that impregnated his heart with an almost pain when he recieved a poem from her and upon reading it , words failed him with ” I go to pieces ” running over the usual calm of his mind where now the memory of her hand turned on a light , a light of beauty and truth he was unaccustomed too . He messaged her back , ” can we meet this afternoon , I can be there by 4:30 “.

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The car Jack drove is lost on the back roads on purpose . He just wants to be near her . Lighting a fire , Pele thunders from the distant volcano 10000 miles across the sea , a thunder reaching the interior of the 1996 Dodge where Francis , in the passenger seat , listens and listens to Jacks voice , a voice so open with honesty , as the wheels slide through the soft snow of these unplowed roads for miles and miles . Here too lays the slow motion of the little Hawaiin girl figurine shaking on the console dashboard , the radio static never interrupting her rhythmic dance while the woods of tall pines out the windows make her an unaccustomed backdrop of winter . Tumbling over the hills , thru sightings of the shoreline , past small frozen lakes and streams , the pale blue moon yawns at the earths powerful moving force , an astonishing force moving continental glaciers of ice , wind and water over geological time that once carved out the deep basins of the Great Lakes . The car passes Gravity Hill , a vortex crossing over the 45th parallel  . What was Francis to do now – the ruins of Jack beginning to enter her soul as he brings  them forth , and a living female ghost sitting in the back seat . Jack is sentimental and never throws anything away however broken it might be . The mystery of heartbreak , the clue , waiting for the temperature to go below freezing like the maple tree when the pressure developes , causing the honeyed sap to flow out through a wound .

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It was a certain Friday evening in January when I saw them in my review mirror , reflections in the ice of the car windows as if they existed thru tinted glass , their car coming to a stop behind me at the red light , the window slightly ajar as Jack smoked , both of them looking like ice skaters under a floating disco ball , the small mirrors casting colored spots of light around a dance floor world of snow . An illusion you think , an exaggeration ? I know what you’re saying , ” that crazy narrator again ” well , that’s enough now , after all the Lady of Shalot possessed a curious mirror that enabled her to look out on the people of Camelot , why not me ? Cyan ( 21 Shades of Blue ) often writes about this .

The chattering of words in the car stops as they look ahead to see the last  flocking of robins to fly south . But Jacks sad song sighs long at the end of his tune while the ghost sitting behind them remains with a slight smile on her beautiful young face . Francis could hear the crack of his heart as if a sharp piece of ice fell from high above severing his body , the blood making a stream of Marsala red on the whitest snow in the land . He possessed natural earthiness that Francis found seductive and grounding , reminding her of an oak tree . But , alas , there remains a hurricane in his chest pocket , a photograph . Twenty years ago , after his wife left he shut the door in his house to wait for the end of the world . ” I adored her but I didn’t take care of her enough . She went to Seattle with her new lover before I could finish building our house , months passed and then one day I just got in my truck , threw a sleeping bag in the back , drove cross-country , stopping once to sleep somewhere in Montana . I somehow found the restaurant where she worked and waited in the parking lot all morning until they opened and went in … and then I saw her , she was standing there , she was surprised , she served me coffee . We spent two days together , like we were tourists and I asked her to come back home with me but she wouldn’t . We got divorced , she married him and they moved back to Michigan a few years later . ” Francis was astonished that he had travelled all that way and asked him why ? ” The moment I laid eyes on her I fell in love … she’s the only one I’ve ever felt that way about . We once threw our shoes into the lake and laughed . She was just so beautiful !. ” The doldrums lingered in the frozen air as the car travelled on and on , Jacks memories appearing like rest stops along a highway . Where could he lay down his tired head ? Would he always be alone with such broken pieces cutting like glass ? His house had been finished long ago ( he was 60 now ) , an old velvet quilt left hanging behind his bed , notes and diaries yellowed and fragile like insect wings , his mandolin , since speechless ,  on the opposite wall , his saddle in the barn without a horse . Francis , slouching against the warmth of the seats leather tries humming to the interrupted radio songs as the little Hawaiin girl continues to strum her ukulele and the night around them creeps like glaciers creating those wide valleys aching for the coming of wild flowers , the lakes for humans to float upon .

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Francie , who he had met three years ago , once wrote to him from Bulgaria that she would be so happy to live in that barn loft he had shown her and watch the donkey in the mist of spring walk the empty pastures . Jack liked that . But she was a nomad and wouldn’t last in one place for very long , or so I thought . But then , they are both rather strange , curious like that sweet , creamy Annona fruit , each variety named after Hindu Gods . And they both , too , have unusual problems reminding me of that modern skyscraper I read about that when sunlight reflected off the tower , it melted parts of a Jaquar car parked nearby . Did you know that the mirrors of antiquity were made by grinding down volcanic rock and rubbing them with ashes ? Pools of dark still waters , crystalline images collected in the hearts of these two friends , sometimes not knowing what they exactly understood about life,  “what had been or what would be “, about to be part of a miracle ! And the universe , well , myths and mysteries wanting to bathe the bodies of these two humans , could be heard as tones of the earth at a 136.1 Hz frequency . . . ” With him will I speak mouth to mouth , even apparently , and not in dark speeches .” ( numbers 12:8 )

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Note : opening photo by Ken Scott photography
Girl floating by Vivian Maier
Hands : pinterest
Two reflection photos by meg
Skaters : taken from The Metropolitan publication in Detroit

Sonnet – Febuary Falling

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Voyage returning , sunset burning

he picks up her hand in melting motion

unexpected

light mirrors the evening star telecasted

her hand a wing , thud of his heart

taking galactic journey unprotested .

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Milk and blood naked white rose

heaven in its nudity

intoxicates

her half-slip abandoned , a vision impregnates

valley of lamb and dove , tattoo throbbing his heart

voluptuous Venus originates .

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Wine and blood the floodgates

too frightening to be ignored

stay up with me tonight .

Personal note : Dan , for you my love …

Note : Hand photographed by Man Ray ; Boat by Sarolta Ban Photography
Personal note : for Dan