SUMMER POEMS: ‘SWEET CORN’ and ‘GOOD HARBOR MORNING’

Simple summer tasks trigger memories and poems.  Come with me to Michigan — near Detroit, where I grew up in Lathrup Village; Good Harbor on Lake Michigan in the Leelanau Peninsula.  (Otherwise known as the “little finger” of Michigan.)  Good Harbor was my sister’s and my favorite place in the world.  When I fell in love with Chatham on Cape Cod, as a grown up, it was because it reminded me of Good Harbor.  Experience with me the simple foods and traditions of lower Michigan, in our own backyard.

sweet corn close-up from Internet

Sweet Corn from Internet

SWEET CORN

 yellow corn for lunch

sweeps me back to childhood

–my two hands too tiny

to tug off tough green husks

 

not assiduous enough

to strip every silken strand

–in that time when all corn

was yellow

 

era of sunsuits, sundresses

handmade by our mother

so crisply ironed

donned to welcome relatives

from Tiffin. Ohio

 

I feel prickly “creeping bent”

–that odd named grass—

between unaccustomed shoeless feet

 

our Tiffin cousins brought rare foods:

–curled and spicy hot dogs

all in a knotted string

–darker, far, than any

our father could ever find

in dull Detroit

 

their children carried huge and crinkly bags

of Ballreich Potato Chips

–wrinkled, strong and ready

for mother’s softened cream cheese

sparked with bright chive snippets

from our paltry garden

 

the greatest of great aunts

arrived bearing her catsup

–almost the ‘burnt sienna’ hue

of my favorite crayon

 

Aunt Amanda’s garden tomatoes

were piqued with cloves and spices

unknown to any ketchup in our town

preserved in ‘soft drink’ bottles

–highlight of the meal

home made catsup from Internet

Home-made Catsup, from Internet

 

Daddy’s real charcoal

sputtered and smoked

 

the children’s corn husk ‘haystacks’

burgeoned and tipped

 

butter and salt

joined extra large

thick paper plates

upon colorful oilcloth

on the wooden picnic table

out on our screened-in porch

 

when hotdogs were nearly ready

the women cooked our sweet corn

so briefly,

knowing it was ready

by the scent

 

CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN

July 23, 2016

 

twin-lights-from-good-harbor-beach-sunrise-c2a9kim-smith-2015.jpg

Good Harbor Sunrise, by Kim Smith, from Internet

GOOD HARBOR MORNING

 

once, up north, we could not find a bed

 

so my father pulled the bulbous Pontiac

into forest-rimmed sand

at Good Harbor, Michigan

in the ancient region of Leelanau

SH20 Scavenger Hunt 101 "A beach"

Good Harbor Beach, Leelanau County Michigan

 

both parents, my little sister

my littler cousin, and I

–still in our ‘street clothes’

curled like millipedes

upon pale plush seats

expecting somehow to sleep

surrounded by evergreen sentinels

 

waking into Sunday

my father was not there

 

silently, I opened our car door

took off toward the lake

 

peeking through soft dunes

to the far horizon

I saw my father

wearing trousers

but no shirt

 

before a scavenged Maxwell House coffee can

filled with lakewater

he was carefully shaving by campfire

 

CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN

July 23, 2016

beachfire Good Harbor Beach Michigan jpg

Good Harbor Beach Fire from Internet

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Butterscotch Days — Goat Hill Hike as Autumn Exits

Recent hikes have catalyzed an unexpected childhood memory – that of butterscotch candies with sun shining through.

Autumn’s woodlands are drenched now in butterscotch and honey, maple syrup, and occasional runnels of cranberry.  A recent hike up Goat Hill (on the NJ side of the Delaware River) surrounded Fay Lachmann and me with feasts for the eye that triggered taste memory.

Gilded Grove, Goat Hill Trail

Gilded Grove, Goat Hill Trail

Another hue on every side was that of cinnamon sticks.  When I’m in art-mode, of course, I say it’s pure Cezanne.

Basalt and Last Leaves, Goat Hill Trail

Basalt and Last Leaves, Goat Hill Trail

In the Delaware River Valley, we are blessed with outcroppings of basalt, direct connections to the beginnings of earth, of time.

Goat Hill's Weathered Gateway

Goat Hill’s Weathered Gateway

This time-worn gateway beckons.  Come, hike with us.

"A Long, Long Trail a-Winding..."

“A Long, Long Trail a-Winding…”

It’s a broad trail, a leaf-cushioned trek, a soundless journey.

The Spirit of the Rock

The Spirit of the Rock

Indians insist that rocks are alive, hold spirit, offer gifts to us.  I could really feel the deity in this one.

But let me tell you where Goat Hill is.  Over above the Delaware, on preserved land that will soon hold many additional fascinating trails.  Off 29, onto Valley Road (look up Howell Living History Farm for directions — you’ll pass it on the way to the trails..)  Left on Goat Hill Road, a winding drive that holds its own remarkable beauty. Left on George Washington Road.  Park and walk.  There are two picnic tables at the crest — bring bread to break with others, as you feast upon that view!

George Washington is said to have surveyed the river and enemy movements from this pinnacle, as did Lord Cornwallis.

The Delaware seems to stretch forever, a shimmering silk scarf dropped by a diva.

Our Delaware River from Goat Hill crest

Our Delaware River from Goat Hill crest

Delaware looking North, across New Hope Bridge

Delaware looking North, across New Hope Bridge

Devekioer;s Dream -- Conservationists' Nightmare -- ruination of Delaware banks

Developer’s Dream — Conservationists’ Nightmare — ruination of Delaware banks

Why D&R Greenway and all our other regional non-profits work night and day to save nature!

Solitude -- Goat Hill Crest

Solitude — Goat Hill Crest

This couple sat, rapt, upon this boulder, all the while we were exploring, the two of them high and silent above the river’s mellifluous rapids.

Other delicious sounds were that of crisp leaves underfoot, and whisper wind in leaves still on boughs overhead.  One of the greatest gifts of this journey, however, was absolute silence.

Twinings

Twinings

I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear these vines at their twining.

New Hope and Bucks County, looking west

New Hope and Bucks County, looking west

Sleeping Beauty - Goat Hill Crest

Sleeping Beauty – Goat Hill Crest

Trees Past Peak Reveal Vistas at New Outcroppings

Trees Past Peak Reveal Vistas at New Outcroppings

These are not ‘the trails less traveled by’.  Softly trodden trail tendrils lead in a number of directions from and at the crest.  Views reward every exploration.

Three Sentinels at the Gate

Three Sentinels at the Gate

Three sentinels bid farewell.

This remarkable November trek is a fruit of preservation.  Do everything you can to expand the reach of your own non-profits, so that wild nature can persist.