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Passing Names

[Deer Park, Luce County, MI. July 29, 2009]

Big Two Hearted bush country
Where Con Culhane hired his jacks
Only after testing them
With a few resounding whacks
The idea to gauge his sisu
In direct Finnish lingo
(This be Finn, Swede, Mick and frog
Country ere the since-whin).
Names hereabouts fascinate
Shamrock Bridge and Gutpile Ridge
Personally I’m most fond
Of diminutive Brockie’s Pond.
Howard’s L-b-R Camp makes my
Head spin, labor, lumber, or
Neither of them? Not that clear
And from what I hear, folks
For whom such facts are clear
Are in the process of leaving here,
For Heaven, Hell or other parts.
By drips and drabs they all embark
As old fogeys wave toodle-oo
They take with them their memories too
Things left behind that just might
Have meant the difference
Between dark and light
Enhanced everyday life
And glorious works of art.
There’s Bird’s Nest to test
Curiosity for most
And Pine Stump Junction that’s
Seen it all over centuries
Frightening conflagrations
Men of all ilks, pious, mean
Dandies garbed in imported silk
Saints-in-the-making, criminals too
Lawmen who chase them
Game wardens in rubber boots
Loggers felling white pines
Indians with trip-tongue names
Crooked politicians
Fiery preachers, and bawd-house dames;
All long gone to meet their fates,
Leaving only simple names
For us to contemplate and
Question: unanswered,
Time keeps flowing on and on
Eventually we too will join the gone.


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