Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

June 15, 2014

Lifelines: Returning to the Stone Circle

Stone Circle fires up for its 31st season next weekend, and runs every Saturday night through Labor Day weekend. It’s an outdoor, open forum for poets, musicians and storytellers and a place for audiences to watch and listen to them perform. The poems are spoken by heart.

Stone Circle is located 10 miles north of Elk Rapids off U.S. 31 on Stone Circle Drive. The gatherings begin at 9 p.m., on June 21, the Summer Solstice.

The two hardest and most rewarding accomplishments of my life have been making a living as a poet-bard for 30 years, and being a father. Truth is it was my wife who held everything together while I was on the road. I missed a lot.

But in the summer, the circle was our center. When our kids were little we kept a tent pitched next to Stone Circle. If they got tired they’d crawl inside their sleeping bags and fall asleep listening to music and poems out under the stars. Later we’d carry them to the car and take them up to the house to bed.

Now they’re grown up and still love the place. Our son Ezra has the phases of the moon tattooed on his right arm. Our daughter Blaise has an image of Stone Circle with a small fire tattooed on her upper back between her shoulder blades.

Stone Circle has always been about taking poetry back to its roots, to an earlier time when people gathered around campfires at night to share their stories and experiences. Listeners and families are welcome, and you don’t have to perform to attend.

I’m sharing a couple poetic insights into my life as a dad Father’s Day. The last poem is different. I love the Beats. I’ve read Kerouac’s “On the Road” twice, and Wendi and I read “The Dharma Bums” to each other on our honeymoon.

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