Thursday, January 6, 2011

At the Mouth of the Bear River, a poem, 99/365

St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission Church, established 1859
At the Mouth of the Bear River


Where the light shines through the clouds
Is a sacred burial site, now fully restored;
The final destination for a few of Chief Petosega’s native tribe.
Legacy now honored, historic interest attained.


Symbolic crosses gleaming white, proudly stand, listening 
Prayer-like as the gentle waves beat an age old rhythm
of worship to the designer of all mankind.  Heritage and 
Language at first denied, now a battle underway to preserve.


Oh Ottawa spirit, ringing out majestically,
Overlooking the shores of Little Traverse Bay,
Is it possible to see memories reflected through the windowpane?
Can a seeker gaze through and see shadow spirits lingering?


Were many a head bent in prayer, before the snowshoe priest?
Was your soul uplifted reading holy words from the white man’s book?
Or, when the bell tower majestically rang did your spirit rejoice,
Revived and refreshed, due to the rays of the morning dawn?


At the mouth of the Bear River, perhaps “The Little Church by the Lake"
Embraced both the heritage of the red man and the white man’s faith.
Like the Petoskey stone washed clean and smooth, your spirit too, but by 
Grace and the circle of the rising sun which still warms this land of renewal.


by Margaret Bednar


This is my submission for A Bowl of Random Words.  This weeks five words are: destination, windowpane, seeker, reading, circle.  I also entered this in One Shot Poetry Wednesday.


The above mission resides in the small Northern Michigan town of Petoskey.  It is
nestled along the Little Traverse Bay shore and a wonderful bike path.  I often
paused here and wondered about this place and was very happy when it was
renovated.  Limited tours during the summer are offered.  I am also posting this
as my 99th of my 365 Photographic Journey.  This was taken this past
summer... I'm cheating a bit, but I'm busy bringing my daughter home from the
hospital after her appendectomy.  

13 comments:

Fireblossom said...

This is a touching poem. I like the "snowshoe priest." My son lived for a while in Petosky, and I visited there as a child and took home a Petosky stone, of course!

Patty Ann said...

I like the last verse. I love the picture. What a beautiful spot to sit and reflect.

lisa said...

This is truly beautiful Margaret!

Hope said...

my goodness! the photo is awesome!
your words do the photo justice.
beautiful write!

Jingle said...

smart piece....
Thanks for the cheers

poets rally week 37 will be on January 13-19...

hope to see you at poetry potluck at JP this Sunday,
share 3 poems if you wish, our week 17 theme is:

the road ahead, yet any poems are welcome...

Margaret Bednar said...

Fireblossom, Yes, you know how lovely Petoskey is! It probably hasn't changed much, but definitely time for a return visit, maybe?

Patty Ann, Finding a place to sit and reflect in Petoskey is not hard.

Lisa, Thank you. I can only imagine the amazing photos you would take if you visited there!

Hope, I'm new at both - photography and poetry. So your compliments mean a lot.

Jingle, Thank you and I am prepared for Poetry Potluck. :)

Claudia said...

very touching write - i loved the gentle waves beat an age old rhythm - prayer-like...very nice

dustus said...

I was up in Traverse City this summer. Love it up there, especially Northport. Moving poem and excellent angle used to capture that shot! Cheers

Reflections said...

Lovely touching piece, crossing time and space, bringing both the red man and white man together in this space, this time.

Thank you for stopping by my place.

Margaret Bednar said...

Claudie - Thank you. And watching the sunset and listening to those waves on a summer evening - it is very relaxing and prayer-like then, too.

Dustus - TC was the first place we visited that made us think we might like to live in N MI. So many wonderful places along the shore. I miss the water, here in central NC. Thanks for the compliment on my photography!

Reflections - So much history with this subject...not all good. I tried to give it a wondering tone - with a sense of hope that we are now, finally, on the right track. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

signed...bkm said...

Beautiful and a lovely tribute to the souls who stood there before....both red and white...thank you...bkm

Steve Isaak said...

Nice history lesson wrapped up in verse. Solid.

Margaret Bednar said...

bkm and Steve - Thank you. It is probably one of my favorite poems I have written.