Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Great Lakes

Great Lakes

I’ve worked the ships
since I was young
that twist and turn
at a slow
but steady pace
along the rivers
and canals of
a continent
the Great Lakes.

There are times
when I close my eyes
and dream
of when
the birch bark canoes
glided effortlessly
along these waters.

Poem by Tom Simard
Sketch by John Spiers

Although this was a sketch I liked very much, it was not at all clear how I was going to approach it never having  been on an industrial ship. However, I have seen them move on the water. As I began to think of my experiences of the Great Lakes I realized my first trip by ferry boat was to Mackinac Island on Lake Huron when I was about 8.

To find out more about John’s other creative work, please visit  1 Graphic 50 Words.

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4 thoughts on “Great Lakes

  1. I’m really glad for the extra information at the end. Not for the sake of the work itself, which works very nicely without the info, but because I like to know about places, and I don’t think I’d ever heard of the decidedly-dinky Mackinac. One Wikipedia entry and mapquest search (made unnecessarily long by the time i spent fruitlessly scanning Lake Superior, despite your clearly indicating that the island was in Huron ((which, let’s be honest, is really the Art Garfunkle or John Oates of the Great Lakes))) later and I know now a little more about it (3 Confederate sympathizers were imprisoned on the island during the Civil War).

    I’ve been enjoying your “collaborations” with John Speiers. This is by far my favorite of his illustrations so far.


    • “Huron ((which, let’s be honest, is really the Art Garfunkle or John Oates of the Great Lakes))”
      Nice one.
      You’ve got me curious about those Confederate sympathizers, so I’ll see what I can find out about that.
      It’s been fruitful. Hopefully, the inspiration will return to me at some point as it seems to have taken a sabbatical though in my defense I have managed to get a draft of my second novel done.


      • “I have managed to get a draft of my second novel done.”

        To which I say (and I hope this doesn’t sound prosaic or inane), that is way cool.


      • I’m pleased. It’s far from perfect (not that it ever will be, mind you) but it’s got its shape. There are a few things I think I need to do it with it still but I’ve put it on hold for a spell until I pick it up again in the fall. Hopefully, I’ll be able to complete it by year’s end. In the meantime, I’ve begun working again on a novel I’ve set in wartime New Guinea.


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