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Poems by Valerie Fuchs

To you seafaring storytellers and you prairie-riding poets, an ode:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

   
 
                                                       

The year flies by with colors. Yellow barks at the eye, as the Fall pokes it's finger at Summer's healthy days. That's when I arrive, in August. To find a nest within a land full of trees that is encompassed by a big ol' lake. The summers are grand and people sit and enjoy life in the serenity of seasons. The subtle and decadent balance to winter's bane. As Fall comes around the trees bleed and turn red and if ready to burst into flames. It is truly a sight to see the Upper Peninsula during the fall. Every moment that is cramped up in a building or wedged into a box only waits for the chance to see the reds, oranges and yellows of dying leaves. The trees are gearing for Armageddon. The event that happens for, well, most of the year. Hikes, bike ridings and camping depicts the mood of fall. The time to enjoy a colorful array of decay. Oh, did I mention! The big ol' lake is Lake Superior. I really get a kick out of this one. Ten percent of the world's fresh water. My friends of Michigan Tech's graduate students create and stir up frenzy every where we go. Whether it be the blue grass or the fiddle camp fire jamming, the gang of friends are rustling about. Fueled from the cabin nights or the Keweenaw Brewing Company, the talks of aspirations unfold.  Desires and plans of good will is spread about. Another year is added to the Master's International Crew, 2005. It's our year! No two of us are alike and the friends don't just stop there. Can't forget our Iraq buddies Sinan and Ziad. "Come on little fishy bit my line!" Well not a single fish all fall. But, Seth did manage to catch a pontoon boat and 'fire it up' for a spin. The cold blanket of snow fell in November right before Thanksgiving. Frozen water  dumped by the gallons. You can tell the locals in Houghton because of the hissing and scouring at the first falling of snow. They know it will last till May. But, the new comers regale in joy as whiteness takes over. Snowboarding, skiing, snow shoeing and what ever else imaginable can be done. With snow, three story monuments depicting children cartoons are built all over campus to win the prize for most creativity. Snow plows are chugging throughout the night as darkness compliments the white glow. This is it? This is what Houghton is all about.  School (brain cramped so much you can hardly move) and snow (mounds upon mounds of snow) The community breaths with Michigan Tech's lungs. Except there is one thing wrong. I spent nearly nine months in Houghton taking classes for a Master's and I find myself saying "Where did the time go?" Too consumed with the complexity of joy in being uncertain about absolutely everything to do with a Peace Corps placement? Where will I go? Does it sound weird to be infatuated with having the world at my fingertips? Has light ever been this bright? Before I know it, I am seeing the brown dirt. The dirty dusty earth again. The spring time with it's chilly days. The wind gusts rip right through sweatshirts or pants that have any thing to do with progress towards summer. I enjoyed all the dances and all the parties. The kicker of the year started was the G-Party. Have a theme for a party, like picking a letter and having everybody represent something from that letter. A song will work too! Community planning, surface water quality modeling, Huron creek, sustainability is blasting from a loudspeaker within my ears. Isn't is all grand! The Keweenaw Peninsula offers a good example of the rebound capacity in nature. The whole area has been mined for copper extensively since the 1800's. The first miners to arrive used candles to light the tunnels. Now the industry is gone and old mining buildings sag and melt into the lakes, forests and wetlands. Abandoned tunnels protrude to depths of 9000 ft below the ground, it's really a honeycomb down underground. Existing towns have old ruins right in the middle of them just waiting for time to consume them. It is easy to be not surprised when ruins are amongst the pines. The times of hard work seem worth it when the year is looked at in retrospective. A lot of learning in a humble place. Michigan Tech is a great place for grad-school. Thanks to all my professors and friends and of their support!

 

         

       
          This a video I created of my Friends In Houghton. (Right click and Save Target As) The video is 12 MB          
                               
     
   
         

Winter Carnival, 2006

           
                               
             
                               
                       
           
                   
                               
       
     
       
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