common / Mackinac Poems

Is This Heaven?

Is This Heaven?

By George Piliouras

From the book, “Beneath the Lilac Canopy: Mackinac Island in Poetry,” published by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.


The July sun made my eyes squint.

A brisk wind washes my face

         as the water swirls in gentle circles below.

The first majestic boat from the mainland

         nestles perfectly into the dock at Mackinac Island.

Ducks land like sea planes

         hitting the crisp water with the sound of hissing steam.

The blast of the horn sent the seagulls flying.

The early morning sun pierces the dense, thick fog.

It illuminates the water like sparkling diamonds, dancing.

The dull roar of people and boats builds momentum as another

Mackinac day gloriously unfolds.


My work gently evaporates from my memory.

The friendly clip-clop of hroses blends

         with the rumbling of bikes whizzing by.

Smiling people gently stroll by

         the gentle curved rows of shops on Main Street.

Strangers wave hello.

Children run up to smell the fresh fudge with eyes as wide as saucers.

The loud boom from the Fort’s cannon cracks the air

         and proudly announces the time.

My bike churns steady up the long hill past the Grand Hotel.

I disappear into vastness of towering trees

         and embrace the peaceful serenity of the West bluffs.


I breathe in the magnificent view with my eyes.

Boats course through the thick water towards the Mackinac Bridge.

Is this heaven?

No, it’s Mackinac Island.

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