Each month, write a new collection.
Ancestors part 1Molly Winston got as far west as Chicago --I heard she was from England but it’sUnclear how she got to Wellesley and thenTo the midwest. She wrote stories about cowboysSo what would she think of wet WashingtonIts pine trees and deer? They have deer in Great BritainSo maybe the moisture and fog would make her feelAt home and she would sit here and ask me about whyPoems were better than stories and why writing for theNewspaper wasn’t possible any more. We would sit hereAnd I’d offer her tea and we’d watch the deer and the newlyDropped fawns and the fog would burn off and she’d say how her daughter was nothing like her:a dancer, not a writer. And I’d say how my daughter was nothingLike me either. We’d both clean the smudges off our spectacles, andTalk as we looked out the window about how much we both really reallyLike boys.
That's a great thought about that ancestor. It's friendly. I always wonder how they'd react to me.
i've always felt very friendly towards her. My grandmother said "oh MY mother would totally understand your dissertation!" and Molly was very near-sighted and in the words of my mother "loved the fellas." so, yeah, we could have totally had THAT conversation.
I love that one. I have one about talking to my Puritan Ancestor (The father-in-law to the poem I am sharing today).
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Here is a link to the poem about Deacon Samuel Chapinhttp://black-listedmagazine.blogspot.com/2014/08/in-which-my-puritan-ancestor-visits-me.html?m=1
Mount TomRowland Thomasand Elizur Holyokeheaded north on theConnecticut Rivercalling acrossthe river Thomaspointing from thewest bank claimed thatmountain in his nameMount Thomas, laterchanged to Mount TomHolyoke from theeast bank claimedthat mountainin his nameMount Holyoke
reads like a boring history - just the facts ma'am.
You're getting closer to your personal mythology!
i've been to your mountain! love this.
It's THE Holyoke mountain? That's very cool!
That's so cool Stephanie. I want to visit that area some day.
Yea, I thought that it was pretty cool that my ancestor had something to do with Mount Holyoke (and that is the name of the college that Emily Dickinson went to).
MORE OR LESSI don’t know much about my ancestors. I understandthey came from Germany, mostly on my mom’s sideThere’s supposed to be a statue of one of them somewhereI don’t think many people would take me for German though:dark hair and dark eyes, Latinos always ask me como estas?I answer, mas o menos, because that’s generally how I feel about the whole nationality identity thing, more or lessMy dad would have been 100 years old last weekHe died when I was ten, so I didn’t know much about himHe told us we were part Native American like everyone saysWhy is it always Cherokee? Does that make people feel better? I don’t think it is true, just a story he’d tell us like so manywhite lies parents tell their children about race and cultureBut most days I would rather identify with a roaming tribe rather than a statue somewhere cold and motionless standing for principles More or Less
"why is it always cherokee! does that make people feel better?"great question! i like how this moves from germans to dad to tribes.
That's great man. That's a really wonderful meditation and I agree with Stephanie!
Home At LastTouched by the hand of GodThis majestic land of mountainsAnd streamsThe eagle flies over us with its wingsOf strength and courage shrieking nobilityThe skies are filled with the white cotton cloudsFloating over our headsSteep terrain of cliff and rockJutting up high into the Blue skies of countryWe come to this landFrom faraway To find promise and hopeAnd the fortune of peaceThe birds in the treesSing songs of praiseTo the wonder and graceall the land has to offerA greatness beyond expectationteeming with wildlife and safetyguiding our way, there is a sensewe have stumbled onto the heavensand the angels have approvedNothing we can do disturbs this dreamListen to the howling cry of the wolvesListen to the night calling with a blanketof comfort in the stars sparklingThere are no words to expressAppreciation for the beautyNor the magic in the airAs if anything is possibleand a sense we have arrivedHome at lastComing across the expanse in wagonsOver the trails we conquered the new frontierFeel the rain wash over our tired bodiesand refresh us to start the day anewHumbled by our good luck and blessedby our fortitude, we persevere to findnothing can stop us from remaining herefor the next generation and the one afterThere are the skiesThere are the mountainsThere are rivers abundant with fishThere are birds There are treesMore than the stars in the HeavensThere is always the feeling we can do no wrongEvery step preordained with God and His acceptanceOf us in this great land with our destiny
Wow, that's a really powerful, epic poem!
Lower the Sails on the White DoveThe colonies were beckoning in February of 1620Henry could smell the opportunityTo make his mark on the new worldAnd transform New Amsterdam into a cityHe petitioned the Dutch LordsFor permission to ship the freightTo deliver a cargo that would change the worldBut was denied by the cruel hand of fateThe package was sent in July of 1620But was carried by British handsAnd Henry was left to lick his wounds in HollandNever to set foot on colonial sandsHis ship, The White DoveIf it had left the Amsterdam dockWould have delivered into the pages of historyThe pilgrims of Plymouth RockHis son, Henry Jr. would come across the pondAnd his sons traveled from sea to shining seaPlanting lawyers, priests, senators and thievesWho eventually begot me
That's a wonderful poem. Your family has been in this country a LONG time.
Well, I could have gone back farther, but this is such a cool story. My family was fortunate to be the subject of a book back in the 90's. So I have our history at my fingertips :)
i agree. great to be able to go that far back!
These houses are so close togetherWhere's the wash, and where's the weather?No clothes lines stretched between the treesNo scrubbing floors down on your knees?Where's the wind that always blowsSo we sew metal bits in clothesTo keep our skirts from flying high.You call this hot, you call this dry?This ain't nothing. Where's the land?Chickens, horses, bunkhouse, sand?Tucson ain't no place for fearNo candy asses make it there!All your paint and all your cleanCan't hide the fact you folks are meanAnd all the perfect you can makeAin't loving people for their sake.
Wow, that's a really powerful and emotional poem!