Tag Archives: Lake Michigan

Looking Out at Lake Michigan at Cave Point

a photograph by Will Bingen, our grandson

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Emerging Into Freedom

by Thomas Davis

Waves rolled with curving lines into the shore.
Lake Michigan horizoned into sky.
They watched a dark brown, white crowned osprey soar
Above the waves and heard its hunting cry.

Inside pinched spirits chained by slavery
And endless hours of suffocating fear,
Bonds loosened as the dream and fantasy
Of freedom suddenly seemed real, so near
To where they stood above the giant lake
They were not sure they had not reached a future
Aware of who they were, the earth awake
To spirits that had passed through deadly danger.

Inside the distant swamp they’d been but slaves.
They stood upon a hill and listened to the waves.
Note: I have been working on a novel about a black fisherman community founded on Washington Island prior to the Civil War in the wilderness of Wisconsin. This is the eleventh sonnet published here that heads chapters in the novel. I have made slow progress, but the novel keeps expanding, so we’ll see if I have the energy and capability of finishing it. I am less than half way through at this point.

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Viking Tall Ship

photographs by Ethel Mortenson and Thomas Davis

The tall ships came to Sturgeon Bay from Algoma on the way to Green Bay on August 3rd. One of the ships was the Draken Harald Hårfagre, the world’s largest Viking tall ship. The tall ships are going on to Duluth from Green Bay, but the Draken will not be with them because of charges by the U.S. government for sailing on the Great Lakes. Not enough funding was available to keep the Draken on the Great Lakes tour. This is a shame. There should be a solution. We’ll post more photos of the ships tomorrow. The ships came through the canal between Lake Michigan and the bay of Sturgeon Bay and then docked in Sturgeon Bay. The first photos were taken as the Draken came through the canal. The later ones are the Draken at dock.

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Lighthouse Beneath a Fiery Sky

a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter

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July 3, 2016 · 10:33 am

Lake Michigan Before Night at Cave Point

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a photograph by Sonja Bingen

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In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams

The Preacher sat upon a rocky hill
Above a cave where waters from the lake
Crashed angrily above the soaring shrill
Of gulls excited by a splashing wake
Of fish caught by the afternoon’s harsh light
Flashed back into the early Fall’s blue sky.

He sat upon the hill, his second sight
Unmoored and wild, and listened as the lie
He’d told himself when struggling to find
The island where his people could be free
Wrapped round reality, the awful bind
Of white men, dark men in the company
Of humankind, their kind, the hunger spun
From dreams once dreamed beneath a noonday sun.

Note: The title paraphrases a line from Pablo Neruda. This is the fourth sonnet in the series I am writing about the black community that existed for a short while on Washington Island off the tip of Door County. It was developed during a workshop led by Ralph Murre.

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Lake Michigan Ice and Shore

photographs by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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