Superior Moments

While the city slept
we gave it the slip
stealthily escaping
on awesome road trip

Joy Ride
by Melvin McGee

Noses to the sky
Primed for the drive
Scenery and scents
invigorating ride


Heading up North
for Superior shores
artists’ colony and
hiking trails galore.


Our first dining stop
a roadhouse cafe
was tucked cozily
along Beaver Bay.


A double-decker advert lured us in.
The name didn’t seem very prescient then.

Like a Pinkerton detective
who sniffed but rarely spoke
along came a snooper
alert to city-folk.

Assured we weren’t marauders
just hungry traveling strays
he tottered back beneath the bus
and curled up for the day.

A hefty lunch plate
was delivered to the table
sumptuously arrayed
and full of local flavors.

flaky, tasty salmon
minimally salted and
seriously slammin’.

 Dotted wild rice cheese
served with crusty bread
paired so tastefully
with lingonberry spread.

While H sampled my salmon
her eyes grew big and moist
her tastebuds regretting her
salmon-less lunch choice.

Not that her meal was bad
her dish was quite delicious
but sometimes she be greedy,
and sorta avaricious.

Hey, that’s kinda harsh,
she laughs at my description
but words I do not parse
when food is that delicious.
I’m just joshin’ I explain
a libelous tradition.

Blame those Northern chefs
infusing food with flare
exploring cookery’s depths
so you might forget to share…



From all the world over
hungry visitors abound.
On wall maps they pegged
the site of their hometowns.

Local Minneapolitans’
possibly drunken fandom
bored through their homespot
with gleeful abandon.

An alien flower outside the Rock Shop
bloomed on the edge of a parking lot.

What the he## is that, H sputtered on sight.
I have no idea, I answered in fright.
Agreeing they appeared other-worldly and weird
yet freakishly enchanting, let me be clear.

Occasionally we peeked in at artist retreats
nestled within Shoreline’s woodsy reach.

In Grand Marais, the sun was near setting
pastel lighting colored lakeside jetty.

Dusk drew swirling lavender hues
harboring purples, pinks and blues.

Overlooking the harbor
perched just starboard
the Bear Tree sculpture
illustrates the culture
of Ursus Americanus’
modus operandus.

If Black Bear Mama
senses danger or trauma
she shoos cubs up a tree
amid aerial shrubbery
heightening pups’ safety.

For hours and/or days
cubs may stay plastered
till Mama has deferred
any possible disaster.

The night before the Festival
consuming things digestible
at Sivertson’s who hosted
the artists to be toasted.

With rustic music smokin’
and catered fare, no jokin’
t’was a flowing artsy jamboree
of wine-song-nosh and liberty.

*   *   *

Into evening’s spooky darkness
we departed drunk and artless
sated and indeed inspired
wine-fueled senses duly fired.

As lights winked across the bay
all seemed calm in Grand Marais

The following morning
at festival’s dawning
we crawled past booths
collectively yawning

Hearing snippets of chat
we patched together,
the scuttlebutt generally
followed this tether:

“Say did you catch last
night’s celestial glow?”

“Do you mean that
awesome phenomenal
Northern Lights’ show?”

Our heads snapped to,
Could they be serious?

Looking sober as church mice
no one seemed delirious.

At the RV park the night before
some guy said, “No, it’s just too warm.
The lights will only appear, you see, if it’s
butt-freezin’ cold in the atmosphere.”

Alas we knew so little of the skies
to know just how wrong was Pleistocene guy.

Crushed we’d slept
through the blazing display
we cussed like sailors
the rest o’ the day.

So we turned our attention
to the range of art
and all of the challenges
good citizens impart.

Aiming an SLR lens
at peoples’ proboscis
can sometimes bring on
a self-conscious focus.

Using reverse psychology
as you balance
on your haunches
do instruct your subject
to be sure and
act self-conscious.

Works every time
just like a charm

Perhaps a little foul
but no real harm.

Other mystical creatures
with celebrated features
while presenting very precious
and being naturally infectious
need far less of such directions.

When H snuffled out
a sweet installation
hopes were dashed
as harsh realization
meant this delectable
scrumptious creation
was a members-only
hands-off station.

Adjacent to bustling Art Fest beat
harbor’s peaceful rocky retreat.

Sue Rowes’ sayings
bear-centric usually
sometimes veer to
bare profundity.

Her bears are tarty
and terribly droll
metaphoric stand-ins
for folks’ foibles.

Hailing from the land of tea and tarts
this sentiment doth tug at one’s heart.

As this saying clearly demonstrates,
as politicos, bears be independents.

Furry onlookers survey the fair
minimally hampered by hirsute stare.

Eager to flex their acting skills
a pair of thespians posed for a still.

Brimming with zany, tireless zest
determined to make a splash at the Fest

This lady I’m obsessed with
Her name is Betsy Bowen
I often sneak a pic or two
of her printmaking showing

Or maybe it’s three or four
I’ve really stopped counting
either way, it’s kinda hard
to find her not daunting

Magnificent are her woodcut pieces
not above messing with geese and meeses

Using flotsam and jetsam
and random hardware bling
this artist creates the most
phenomenal figurines

In fact all of her creations
are finagled with great patience
involving the rusty or ethereal
like fencing and tv interiors

A hike to mysterious Devil’s Kettle Falls
before we return to city’s ruthless maws

This artful metal worker’s shop
broke the mold for patio crop

Colors and patterns
rippling curtains
ions and atoms
colliding in circles.

Cognizant spectators
using early indicators
anticipate auroras
before they go all glorious.

News of solar activity
sun’s radiant proclivities
means shooting clouds of gas
emitting forcible impact
hurtling towards earth
and magnetic field mass.

The collision that occurs
disturbing atmospheric turf
ensures magic-cosmic birth.

If I may offer a picture
I can tell you now Mister
that it’s a light trail show
of a comet tail aglow.

The higher the color
the rubier the red,
but just below sixty miles
blue violets are bred.

Whereas middling heights
ignite neon green lights.




Speaking of colors,
oh The Blue Moose shop
another wonderful stop
where green thumbers
heavily invest in its stock
well known for its flora
and garden fauna
compelling some to buy
much more than one oughta

cough – H – cough

Photo by Brian Peterson
The Star Tribune/AP Photo

Oh Aurora Borealis
how your nature doth confound us
and how soundly
and how roundly
did we miss your blazing boundness.

In the headlines the next day
celestial photos were displayed.
Bewitching colors did amaze
kaleidescopic skies’ parade.

Accidentally slept through lightshow too…

* * *

Thanks for visiting !


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