Raymond Luczak – Two Poems


Why Giants Don’t Exist In The Upper Peninsula

A long time ago all this was very true.

Giants never rested here in the Porcupine Mountains,
mere inclines lined with trees existing only
for their idle amusement, toughened
as they chased each other, trampling pines
into mere shrubbery. They pealed laughs
louder than church bells clanging
throughout the land. Every single animal
fled in fear of their deathly footprints.
Then came the mating season of fee-fa-foo-fums,
the raw twills meant to deafen as the grounds
quaked violently from their consummations.
There was not a tree standing upright left.
Out of boredom, they up and left for the north,
plodding through the puddle of Lake Superior.
These giants had been so long used to being the tallest
of all they’d ever seen, they’d never realized
the depths of death they could sink to
until it was too late. The chill froze their blood,
icing their last thoughts of that magical summer,
wild and crazy up in those tree-carpeted hills.
From the deep they’re still gasping for help,
grabbing at anything that floats above them.

That much is still true.



In 1912 an iceberg floated south enough
to cork the mouth of the Ontonagon River.
Seven men posed on top of it for a photograph.
The brilliance refracted them into cardboard cutouts.


On April 14, 1912, the ocean was calm.
The temperature dropped to near freezing.
In the dark of night an iceberg of no name
brushed against the hull of Titanic.


In 2012, clips of polar bears clinging to shrinking floes
proliferate online. We’re shamed into wanting icebergs
for them. There will be nothing left of us.
This ship of humanity is not unsinkable.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is far more than surfaces. We all know this to be a truth, and yet we persist in behaving otherwise. We still do not know how to react to something that’s inherently beautiful inside because we do not always believe ourselves to be just as beautiful. This is probably why we find ourselves more capable of responding to beauty when it is written in such a way that conjures sensations from within. Words are simultaneously a passageway to the soul within and an escape plan to things far bigger than any of us combined. Words have been known to spark revolutions of all kinds; doesn’t matter if a revolution in question is a mere ripple on the water. Each thunderous wave is comprised of a million and one ripples. This is among the many reasons why I write. Each poem I send out is a message in a bottle, and each step forward no matter how painful it may be is indeed beautiful.


Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. Titles include The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and online at raymondluczak.com or @deafwoof.