Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, October 11, 2020

OctPoWriMo 11: Musings at Manito Park

Where do we find poetry?
That singular mix of rhyme 
or free verse that has little structure, 
the laying of words in a line
to be read silently or aloud?
Some writers call on a muse
to inspire that string of words;
others wait until a poem takes form 
somewhere between the conscious and memory.
I'm drawn to image and experience,
dreaming my way to meaning.

We've walked so often in Manito Park, 
explored the Japanese garden there.
It doesn't seem to matter which way
I point the camera or sketch: peace reposes here
in the leaves colored with orange and sun,
in the flicker of koi just below the water.
I sit on a bench a little out of the way
to watch the ducks perched on a tiny island 
in the middle of the reflective pool. 
Here truly, the muse must live,
ever appreciative of each day's light
that fades to star-filled night.
Yes, peace reposes here.

Note: Today's poem came a little late, partly inspired by Morgan Dragonwillow's prompt for OctPoWriMo, to write about the muse, and partly by those many visits to Manito Park here in Spokane. I finally looked up what 'Manito' means to discover it stands for a spirit in Native American tradition, somehow appropriate for thinking about a muse and poetry.

It's dark outside now and rainy, cold with the first brush of coming winter. But this picture of changing leaves of a little tree in the small Japanese Garden at Manito Park reminds me of beauty everywhere and in every season.


  1. People who write poetry are a mystery to me, Beth. I am so not a poet and am in awe of people who can write poetry. Manito Park looks like a soothing spot. I am familiar with Gitchi Manitou, the great creator god of the Anishinaabe. My favorite Christmas carol is the Huron Carol that dates back to about 1642. It's Canada's oldest Christmas carol: Take care!

    1. Thank you, Fundy. I'm never really sure what I write is truly poetry, only that the words come in a certain rhythm and arrangement, a calming process. Thank you for clarifying the meaning of Manito -- and I'll watch that youtube!

  2. Your poem sings with contentment and joy...I like to read about your lovely life.