Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poetry Jam "At the Mouth of the Bear River"




At the Mouth of the Bear River
Symbolic crosses proudly stand
listenening prayer-like 
as gentle waves beat 
an age old rhythm of worship 
to the designer of all mankind. 
Overlooking the shores 
of Little Traverse Bay,
do antique windowpanes reflect 
lingering shadow spirits 
being denied heritage, language?
Were many a raven head 
bent in prayer
before the snowshoe priest?

Were souls uplifted reading holy words
from the white man’s book, 
and like the Petoskey stone
washed clean and smooth?
Or, when the bell tower majestically rang,
did spirits rejoice;
Petosega’s tribe
revived and refreshed 
due to the rays
of the morning dawn?
At the mouth of the Bear River,
embraces its history and today
some pray for grace 
to forever warm this land of renewal,
while others still place heart and hope
in the circle of the rising sun.
by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, revised March 31, 2012
* * * * *
The above mission, St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission Church, 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. 

This is linked to "Poetry Jam"  theme: Another Point of View: Strange Gods

9 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

An extraordinary place which you have captured for us in words and image. I love that someone has tied flowers to the crosses.

Anns Art said...

What a gorgeous little church and such an appropriate poem. Love it.

Mary said...

Beautiful photograph, Margaret. I love places like this with such a sense of history. Your poem has a meditative quality which matches so well the photo. It makes me think of all those who lived before and who are now buried beneath the white crosses.

Fireblossom said...

"Oh come come come come

Come to the church in the wild wood,

Come to the church in the vale;

No place is as dear to my childhood,

As the little brown church in the vale."

I've been to this place, and love your photograph of it, Margaret. It reminded me of the above song.

lisa said...

What a wonderful poem Margaret, and this photograph is magnificent! What a stunning composition!
Happy Sunday to you!

missing moments said...

Love those last lines!

Hannah said...

Your closing two lines are so poignant. I love the opening reflection, also, with...

"listenening prayer-like
as gentle waves beat,"

Such a beautiful poem, Margaret!

Ginnie said...

One day I want to visit these places in Michigan, Margaret, with Astrid. I never traveled around my own state like I now travel around the Netherlands. Turn about is fair play! I do hope we get the chance. Thank you for all your tantalizing appetizers.

Margaret said...

This is just one of those "tiny" places most people miss. I just know about it as it is along the bike path and the church was always asking for "collections" :) It is very important to the Ottawa Indians (Native Americans...) in that area to preserve this, I believe. A statue of Chief Petosega also overlooks the Bay, but not in this spot... it was newly placed near the downtown area just a few years ago...