John Bliven Morin

Rookie (September 16th,1936 / New London, CT)

Ghost Bear, page 1 of 4 Poem by John Bliven Morin


Long ago, in a small village
Where the Great River meets the
Limitless Salt Sea, lived Muin Manitu,
An aging shaman.

Ghost Bear had two good wives
Who gave him four fine daughters
And many grand-children.
But now both wives were dead.

Ghost Bear was getting old,
So old that he made his death song
Mumbling it often under his breath
So he would not forget it.

One night, Raven came to Ghost Bear
In a dream, bringing an important message.
“You must leave wigwam and village,
before the sun rises again.”

“This must be my time, ” thought
Ghost Bear, “My time to die.
I am glad. It is a good time
to leave this world.”

And so, taking only his knife and
His Medicine Bag, Ghost Bear pushed
His canoe out into the river while
All the village slept.

“I will go west on the Great River, ”
Thought Ghost Bear to himself, “Then,
When it is my time to go, I will be
pointed in the right direction.”

All morning long, Ghost Bear paddled
Westward on the Great River, and when
Sun was directly above him, he saw
A raven flying high above.

“I am going true, ” he thought, “Raven
Has sent me an unmistakeable sign.”
And Ghost Bear kept paddling with
Neither food nor drink.

As day became night, Ghost Bear
Continued on, for the full moon was bright
And showed him the right path on the
Great River clearly, brightly.

Submitted: Thursday, June 16, 2011
Edited: Friday, June 17, 2011

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