dVerse — OLN #305 Live! and earthweal OLW #96 — Dispelled

resized memorial stone at old boy scout camp at dlsp 120221

Padding along cushioned unfamiliar
where fungi creeps unmolested along
fallen limbs from long-distant lake gusts

My blue gps dot with flashlight increments
the pixel-dashed trail scalloping the
inland lake to the marked ruin of tribes

and boys. Carved cold granite icon to
patriarchal rights of domains and souls.
Resting on the crumbling concrete base
of a dining hall that fed the damned

who sat quietly amongst the chattering
in dread of midnight vacuums of death.
I’d guessed – wrong – that a hunter’s
scope was on me. It was the ghosts.

Later, through googled clippings it
was learned that the old camp is
honored each year with a festival.
I wondered how many living dead attend?

I return and burn tobacco and sage; to honor,
to heal, and to dispell the black pall that falls
over this place.

Almost as an afterthought I snap her,
bright bauble, headed for rest beyond,
safe in welcoming freshwater ocean.

resized sunset from the car window on the way home at dlsp 120221

Last week I checked out a trail leading to some old Boy Scout camps that the State now owns that once was free roaming for Indigenous tribes in Michigan. It was only later I learned some of the history of the camps and that an annual festival is held at the ruins of the old dining hall for those who remembered the place fondly. As I walked out there, I got the distinct feeling of dread and being watched and guessed it was a hunter out there that was watching me in his scope. Now I believe it was the spirits of some of the boys who will never remember the place fondly.  Their voices deserve to be heard.

Bjorn is today’s host for dVerse’ Open Link Night Live! This will be our last live event in 2021.

I’m also linking this to earthweal’s open link weekend #96.

50 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    I’m a bit confused as to the origin of the negative connotation. Were Indians slaughtered there? Were boys molested there? Regardless you take us there with you, and we share your poetic dread.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn it’s my belief that any land the white man claimed as his and took away from the use of Indigenous tribes is a death of a part of their way of life. I don’t know of any slaughters in that particular location, but I know of at least 2 other locations nearby where there were slaughters. Also near there, where our “blockhouse” stands at the top of a dune, my dad found many arrowheads which would indicate the presence of Native hunters. The blockhouses were used to protect against those Native individuals who objected to their hunting and burial grounds being taken over. As to the boys molested, I daresay Boy Scouts in untold numbers have been molested in these types of remote camps since the Boy Scouts’ inception. This is all my own perception but I feel pretty solid about that perception. Thank you very much, Glenn for listening and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Gillena Cox says:

      “to heal, and to dispell the black pall that falls”

      You left the dread to our imgination. A fragment poem?

      Much💜love

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        I would have to say yes, Gillena. Thank you for reading and your feedback. ❤

        Like

  2. Ain S says:

    Your words after the poem add to that dread and mystery…the mysterious ‘hunter,’ in particular…even if he may not have existed. Hard hitting, even in the sounds…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ain, thank you. I imagined a hunter for a couple of reasons. One is that I’d driven out to that park a few days prior. Way back in a deserted far reach of one of the parking lots a truck sat. Also, deer firearm season was still in effect and hunting is allowed in that park.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dorahak says:

    “I wondered how many living dead attend?” The healing ritual so well placed directly afterwards is sorely needed.
    Pax,
    Dora

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, thank you, I thought so also.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ali Grimshaw says:

    Your poem opens up a reflection for our relationship to the our past. What and how to we heal to move forward? It can feel like a hunter following us into a new dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ali, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. memadtwo says:

    I could feel those eyes watching me too. You really captured the haunted feeling of that land. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Kerfe. It seemed beautiful and quiet all long the water, until the path made a sharp left and the water started to fade from view. When I found the “monument” and looked around that’s when I started feeling like I was being watched. I’m sure my pace on the way back was twice as fast as on the way there!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sanaarizvi says:

    This is incredibly potent, Lisa! It was such a pleasure hearing you read this during our LIVE session 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Sanaa. Their voices wanted to be heard.

      Like

  7. I enjoyed your reading today, Lisa.
    This reminds us that, though we may think of it as our own, we may never know what significance, good or bad, a place has held for others. Theirs might not even be seen as a claim, so much as an investment of spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Ken. It expands my perspective even further.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sadje says:

    You have lent a poignancy to this site with your evocative poem Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ❤ Thank you very much. I hope you can hear them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        I could in your words. You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  9. rothpoetry says:

    An interesting and unsettling poem. History has a way of doing that to us. Well done Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for your comment, Dwight.

      Like

  10. robtkistner says:

    This was moving when you read it today Lisa, and made more engaging in the reading — where we can embrace the words personally. Well written my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rob, thank you, my friend. I was feeling it as I read this one. It was for them.

      Like

  11. Ingrid says:

    Bravo, Lisa: you have given a voice to the voiceless who inhabit this haunted landscape!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ingrid, thank you very much ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ingrid says:

        Sorry I didn’t get to hear you read it!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Dale says:

    So well done, Lisa. I felt as if I was there. I love the return to give healing, as well..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Dale. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. hedgewitch says:

    This is beautifully written, language-wise, and very skillfully put together to give that sense of place that some locations have, as well as the chill of that other-ly presence that can come on us there, or even just in the unharboring woods themselves sometimes. I grew up around the great lakes, and have camped in many of the parks–in Kettle Moraine, I once packed my dog and gear and left at midnight because of this feeling, fear of what is out there, whether human or uncomfortable ghosts..I hope the poor boys find peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Joy, I got goosebumps reading your comment. You were brave to camp out like you did and wise to heed your feeling that night. I do also. Maybe their being heard and acknowledged will help them…

      Like

  14. Sunra Rainz says:

    Beautiful poem, Lisa, full of vivid atmosphere, especially the third and fourth stanza. I can only imagine what that must have felt like. Still, I wonder if they can sense that you are a respectful visitor and honouring their memory? I love that you left offerings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you. I’m guessing they can with my burning tobacco and sage. Am also hoping their pathways are loosened with acknowledgement. I will be returning to this place.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. calmkate says:

    hauntingly eerie, you gave them a strong voice thanks Lisa … we are so blessed to not have been one of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Kate.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sherry Marr says:

    This poem really resonates with me. I do believe you felt some restless spirits. There is a cave at the beach here that, when I entered once, I felt some very dark energy, some unhappy spirits. I mentioned it to someone and learned the cave had been the scene of a battle many years ago. A friend of mine visited Ninstints, up in Haida Gwaii. I asked her if she felt the energy there and she said not just the energy, but she heard the wailing of unhappy spirits. It is a place where many aboriginal people died of smallpox. Beautifully written.I love that you returned to burn tobacco and sage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sherry, thank you for sharing your stories of similar incidents and for your sensitive comment.

      Like

  17. I think my arm hairs would be on high alert walking that path as well. This says so much about you here: “I return and burn tobacco and sage; to honor, to heal, and to dispell the black pall that falls over this place.”
    I love that you cared to burn the tobacco and sage! 💓

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      ❤ I will be returning there to burn more.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Brendan says:

    Plenty ghosts here, and surely of the slaughtered of body and spirit. I went through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and never had an encounter with a handsy elder — camping trips were my only chance as a suburban kid to experience the wild, and the Native ghosts I encountered were not all damaged. But this healing walk is balm for a much damaged past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      My older son had a close call. I’m happy it was a positive experience for you. The healing walk — good name for it — is for the innumerable unfortunates. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Brendan.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. merrildsmith says:

    I really loved hearing you read this thoughtful, well-written poem, Lisa. It sounds like a place of beauty and misery. Whether it was a hunter (scary, too!), or spirits of those who once were there, I’m sure you sensed something, and I’m glad you returned to
    “burn tobacco and sage; to honor,
    to heal, and to dispell the black pall that falls
    over this place.”
    When we were looking at houses to buy before we bought the one we still live in, we walked into one that I couldn’t wait to leave. I just felt like there was something bad there. Of course, it was an ugly little house, too. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Merril. Glad you had your sensors alert as you house-hunted!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        Totally unconscious Lisa. Maybe I was extra alert because I was pregnant.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. A haunting walk you took us on… love that it still is there for all to see and walk in those footsteps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Same here, Bjorn.

      Like

  21. writingwhatnots says:

    I’m late reading poems from the last OLN. I think this would have been a good one to hear being read out loud. Your poem creates such a strong, palpable sense of something unsettling and dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Marion. It was that kind of experience also to walk out there. Still trying to get the nerve to go back out and will probably walk with a friend if I do.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.