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The Inland Seas, A Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.

Great Lakes Boat, The Rising Sun, Just Before She Went Down in the Manitou Passage


This poem is my response to Ann Carr's challenge. She based her challenge on a hub by Patricia Scott. Ann challenged us to write a poem or prose on one of four topics introduced by Patricia Scott. The four choices were as follows:

  • "Around the Corners"
  • "Over the Hills"
  • "Go Beneath the Waves"
  • "Through the Wind"

My poem focuses on , "Go Beneath the Waves". The poem is about a part of Lake Michigan that is seven miles from my home. The photos feature the wreck of the Great Lakes Boat called, The Rising Sun. I have snorkeled around this wreck and it was a sureal experience. I want to share a link for a hub I wrote about this particular Great Lakes shipwreck, https://owlcation.com/humanities/Rising-Sun-Story-of-a-Great-Lakes-Shipwreck.

The Inland Seas

Halfway between the equator’s band

And the pole at the northern extreme

In the hemisphere west

Fresh waters thrash

Against the shores of two great countries.

Glaciers crept across the northern steppes

Then retreated to whence they came.

Ice carved, then melted

And filled the basins

Which man learned to navigate.

At parallel forty-five lay two isles

offshore of the sand dune main.

Waves struck their crafts

and sent them alas

To the depths and dark cold graves.

Natives called the dunes, Sleeping Bear.

The islands were her lost cubs.

Between mother and babes

Was called by shipmates,

The infamous Manitou Passage.

The Rising Sun Immediately After Going Down


Ships that skirted the passage lost days

But the shortcut was riddled with shoals,

Boulders delivered

From the north by glaciers,

Lay in wait for passing boats' hulls.

Many have navigated the passage,

Others failed and made it their last.

Sixty-eight lie at rest

In Manitou,

Their stories lost to the past.

The Rising Sun Today (Video Used By Permission)

© 2020 Chris Mills


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 31, 2020:

Thank you, Miss Dora. In 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake superior. All 29 crew members died. You are right these are sad stories

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 31, 2020:

Sad ending, but the story is beautiful in form and phraseology. Good work!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 30, 2020:

Verlie Burroughs, Thank you. Your comment/compliment means a lot to me. One of my goals as a writer is to give new life to history.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 30, 2020:

Venkatachari M, Stories of excitement, heroism, and tragedy can be found all around the world. As writers, we have the opportunity to keep these stories alive.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 30, 2020:

Brenda, Thank you for spending so much time understanding this poem and the article. This is exciting, tragic history.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 30, 2020:

Shauna, As I snorkeled around the wreck, I wanted to know more about these people. I wanted to know what led to this end. That is what motivated me to write one comprehensive article and one poem about this and other shipwrecks in the Manitou Passage.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 30, 2020:

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee, Thank you for reading and for your kind words.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 30, 2020:

Thank you, MG Singh

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on May 29, 2020:

Brilliant write Chris, your verse and rhyme remind me of Coleridge's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner', a favorite poem of mine. You are a gifted writer to be able to create compelling work in so many different genres.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on May 29, 2020:

A very interesting poem in response to the challenge. You have portrayed the scenery very well with some thrilling, heart-throbbing stories that are not known to me.

Thanks, Chris, for bringing forth these unknown facts of our geography.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 28, 2020:


You did a wonderful job on penning this challenge.

After reading your article then coming back and reading your poem again I can see it all clearly.

Interesting that you have snorkeled around it.

Thanks for sharing.

Take care.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 28, 2020:

Nice job, Chris. Your poem brought forth something of which I was not aware. So sad for the ship and crew. I can only imagine what it must have felt like as the ship was going down.

What went through your mind as you snorkeled around the wreckage? I think I'd be a bit freaked out.

I want to know more, so I'll be checking out the hub you pointed us to.

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee from MILWAUKEE on May 28, 2020:

'The Inland Seas' is an excellent poem.

I enjoyed it.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on May 27, 2020:

This is a very nice poem.Thank you

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 27, 2020:

Thank you, Pamela. This is a topic of great interest to me.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 27, 2020:

Ann, I will know about Scott's adventure in a couple of days. Any work regarding endangered species is valuable. Especially when man is the cause of an eminent extinction.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 27, 2020:

Liz, mine was a snorkel dive, which can be quite an experience. I was able to run my fingers along the planking and look into the boiler holes. It is amazing to be able to touch a moment of history.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 27, 2020:

You certainly met Ann's challenge with this wonderful poem. I think this is an excellent poem that I enjoyed very much.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 27, 2020:

That must be a great experience for your son; alone with stunning nature for 4 days! I envy him!


Liz Westwood from UK on May 27, 2020:

Thos is a well-written, atmospheric poem. The dive must have been quite an experience.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 27, 2020:

Hello, Eric. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 27, 2020:

Ann, it isn't my best attempt at poetry, but the history it contains is rich. My son left this morning on a ferry for the island. Because of the virus, the National Lakeshore is closed. That means he will be the only person on the island for four days.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 27, 2020:

Thank you much Chris

Ann Carr from SW England on May 27, 2020:

This is great, Chris! It is educative and entertaining. I didn't know anything about the Manitou Passage. Thanks for rising to the challenge. I shall put your link on my hub.

Great that your son is volunteering to monitor the Piping Plovers - what a lovely name!


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 26, 2020:

John, It was in the past, but with modern navigating equipment, it is the water pathway of choice. Every boat, whether pleasurecraft, oreboat or other shipping craft uses the passage. But before modern navigation technology, it was a risky challenge every time. By the way, starting tomorrow, my son will be spending several days on the North Manitou Island monitoring the Piping Plovers. These are an endangered species of birds. He has done this for several years as a volunteer with the National Parks Service.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 26, 2020:

A good poetic response to Ann’s challenge Chris. Manitou must be one treacherous passage.

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