Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Footsteps", a poem


Footsteps


If stones could speak what would they say?
Would the names etched upon the rock
be honored and revered, ill-remembered, or worse?
Weather-worn and entirely forgotten?  

One fine day in the summer of 2008 
Greenwood's air vibrated with the past.
William Curtis and spunky Fanny Pailthorp appeared
upon the hill overlooking Little Traverse Bay.


Other old friends joined them, smiling and waving,
Glad once again to enjoy rolling hills and gentle breezes.
Proceeded to greet and educate the crowd about life long ago.
How hard they had worked and how soon some had died.


As the million dollar sunset hovered above the lake and
softened the shadows of sadness and death, some people
lingered, honoring the souls who had helped carve a better life.
Pondered the road ahead and of footsteps hard to fill.


by Margaret Bednar


The above is my quick attempt to put into a poetic format an event we helped implement.  Greenwood Cemetery has hosted a few History Tours - the first year focusing on the early pioneers.  My daughter and husband were fortunate to be asked to participate and portray people who's names we only recognized from the street signs about the small resort town.  It was fun and we learned so much about the early days of Petoskey, MI.  Click HERE to see a blurb of that day and admire the beautiful setting where many people truly go to walk and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan - (short slideshow in upper right corner showing the beauty of the place).


Pondering the road ahead is usually clearer once we consider the past.  Let us hope we learn from the mistakes and the triumphs of those who have come before us.


The top photo is also my entry for "Partially Seen in January".  The poem was submitted to Poetry Potluck  theme: The Road Ahead.

23 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

What a lovely idea! Puts me in mind of OUR TOWN.

Margaret Bednar said...

Yes, I was thinking of Asheville, but any of the mountain towns would be fascinating, I'm sure. They sold a ton of tickets, and raised some very nice money. Check out the link. I would drive and stay in a hotel to see something like this done up in your area!

Margaret Bednar said...

Vickie, I realize now that you mean the play! Yes, I agree, I hadn't thought of that.

Ruth said...

I can picture it, what a setting it must have been! Nowhere more beautiful. I love the photo too!

I am enjoying your takes on the Rilke readings. I will respond soon, I want to let your thoughts percolate.

Rosie said...

What a beautiful photo - I like the angle very much! And such an interesting historic background!

justine said...

I absolutely love this shot, it says so much and tells a wonderful story and of course I love your poem.

Margaret Bednar said...

Ruth, Yes, Petoskey and the surrounding area certainly is blessed with soul-rejouvinating beauty. (and please be gentle with me regarding Rilke - I react often without appropriate reflection - but here I really DID try. Why is my reaction to his poetry so different from the others?. And I don't think I'm so much as critiquing him as trying to figure my own reaction to his words. I hope I don't offend anyone.

Rosie, I took several photos this day! I thank Justine for offering a format in which to show it. Many towns have such interesting pasts and this is a great way to teach any town of it's roots.

Justine, And again, thank you for offering a place for me to present my photo. If not, the poem would never have spilled out. It was one of the easiest I have ever written.

lisa said...

This is beautiful Margaret, and what a wonderful photograph! Love it!

journeythroughawriterslife said...

Beautiful poem, photo and comments. Sometimes we do have to look into the past in order to move forward. Well done.

~ Cheryl

Jingle said...

I love it,
your image is cute and funny,
your words are wondrous and witty...

well done!

A++

drmadangoyal said...

Recalling past, friends, past life and lessons shared for the coming generation, is real creation of wealth of knowledge.

Well written and a cute photo.

liv2write2day said...

Very creative idea. I have a thing for cemeteries..wandering through and reading tombstones. So much to learn. In Nevada we have so many ghost towns and you feel like you've stepped back to another world of hangings and shotouts...and ghosts. Nicely done.

fiveloaf said...

i wrote a poem of the same name awhile ago but of course the contents are dissimilar haha! anyway, here’s my new year potluck- http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/life/

Ginnie said...

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE how your family seems intertwined in everything around you. It amazes me.

TALON said...

I love the twining of past and present into the future...

Lovely!

signed...bkm said...

Wonderful job and the Photo just amazing...you blended both together to bring a joy to the past and an insite into the future....very nice..bkm

1meremortal said...

This is wonderful.

Margaret Bednar said...

Thank you, everyone, for enjoying "Footsteps" - All your kind comments made it so worth writing. Your enjoyment really warms my heart!

athursdayschild said...

Lovely post and poem and a great idea.

Jingle Poetry said...

Thanks for the lovely participation, Happy Tuesday!

Potluck Week 17 Treat/Awards 4 You, Enjoy!

Margaret Bednar said...

A Thursdays Child & Jingle - thank you! I adored the whole event.

emporesskelee said...

that image is so pretty! love your photography. and as for the poem, well you grabbed me from the very first line and pulled me through a wonderful narrative and amazing images! love this! Happy Potluck!

Kellie ELmore

fiveloaf said...

congrats on your perfect poet award wk 36.. here’s mine for this thursday.. http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/the-tears/