Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 23 -- Ancestors Part 2


  1. So this is the wild west Molly says. It’s moister than I thought
    And what about all these deer? Where are the horses?
    I don’t know I say as we perambulate the prairie
    Watch one enormous owl take wing then land on a branch
    It’s odd how we both write about the country but are
    Really city people. She nods and lifts her skirts to avoid
    The tall grasses. Why did you stop working at the university
    And why don’t you use the honorific Doctor? I shrug those
    Things seemed less meaningful. She looks at her watch — the
    Green one she wears pinned to her dress. We fought for such
    Things you know — we couldn’t vote. Had no birth control --
    Still she says, stretching her arms to the sky. The air was better
    The food tasted, cleaner. She points at the deer. You’ll have to
    Protect all this better now. That’s your challenge. You’ll have to
    Learn not to conquer the earth but work with it. We link arms.
    I believe you can. You will. Molly’s small like her daughter, my
    Grandmother. I’m taller than both of them. Taller than my daughter too.
    She reads my mind. But how big are you on the inside?
    That’s the question. I walk with her and try to feel spacious.
    A deer lies in the shadow of a hedge. Waiting on two fawns.

    1. Love this poem! Love it! I love the discussion of tallness a the end.

    2. There is so much packed in here ... my favorite line, "I walk with her and try to feel spacious" It says so much

  2. Ælla

    I stand before an ancient king
    A tyrant
    A murderer
    My blood, his

    He looks on me with confusion
    This woman
    So strange
    So very weak

    I say, "Did you really seize York?"
    He replies
    "I did
    And even more."

    "Did you kill your own brother for the throne?"
    "It's possible,
    the histories
    swallowed my lineage."

    "And you died by The Blood Eagle?"
    "Sadly yes.
    My bones
    my lungs
    Gifts for Odin."

    He raises a brow, looks me up and down
    My clothes
    My face
    He is confused

    He says, "How dare you speak so freely to a king!
    I'm royal
    You're not
    This cannot be."

    "Many things have changed since the 5th century," I say,
    "We're free
    and equals.
    We are Americans."

    Unmoved, Ælla slowly fades back into history
    Too soon
    Without fear
    We'll meet again

    1. A great journey!

  3. I love the poem, and the history too. I love the way you play with line breaks too. Very effective!

  4. The wind is my ancestor

    I hear it rolling like a great wave

    over Joshua trees and petroglyphs

    charging like a ghostherd of bones

    until it engulfs my camp now settling

    to graze on the moment and swallow

    me alone with dreams of the future

    held in the balance

    I am not afraid under the blinding moon

    The wind is my ancestor

    The desert is my home

  5. That's fantastic! Wow, that's really great.

  6. Two Charlies

    Grandpa Thomas
    flush with
    money from
    his inheritance

    started the bank
    in little Buffalo Kansas
    with his Uncle Charlie

    financed the
    farming co-op

    built the
    Mason Lodge

    They were
    robbed twice
    in the twenties

    and lost it all
    in the crash

    All Grandpa had
    left was his

    1. I thought of this before I heard the video, so I had to write it also.

      I already wrote on in conversation with an ancestor, but I wrote one to this Grandfather's Father (see below).

    2. This is a great poem man! Well done! Love that last stanza!

    3. Yea, his integrity carried to the work ethic of all my cousins (all 35 or so of us).

  7. Generation Gap with grandpa

    My sakes, you turned out just like your dad
    You know I loved you
    I was chiding you about
    How your cocoa was cowgirl coffee
    growing up as you wrestled with getting up
    early in the morning, it down right made me
    chuckle, remember, I used to call it cowgirl
    coffee, and the way I would put one of my fists
    out in front of me, tight as a rock and you would
    get all tuckered out just a bumping up against it?
    I was a tough guy in my day, mostly stubborn
    I remember breaking up you and your sister from
    fighting just with the sight of me flying out the door
    with my barbers razor belt in my hand
    You have it so easy now
    I remember making your dad pick out his own
    switch from the branches out on the elm tree
    Make it too small and I would go pick it for him
    Rule of thumb they called it
    No bigger than your thumb and it was legal
    But now my anti horse thief days are over
    These days everyone gets rights
    Women, children, and the like
    Race, religion and creed
    Our only creed back in my dads day
    was a gun in your holster
    Makes you a man quick
    And you and your walk for, what?
    Peace on earth
    Well, la di da, you better find peace
    within you, that's the only peace you'll
    ever need, but, I guess you got a point
    With all the guns on the loose
    Darn near out of control
    A tragedy we can't do something about all
    The N.R.A. rights and the amendment
    There is a way though
    Here's a little tip
    Speak gently and don't fear your neighbor
    I mean, don't let your fear control you
    This world here is too fast and wild
    Wilder than the West ever was
    even with its lawlessness
    some folks talk as if its a battle field
    or a war zone like we need more of those
    Mind if you don't get caught, that is shot
    But you don't need to defend yourself
    Unless you
    are a hot shot like me
    you see most people don't know
    guns kill people
    People like you dodging bullets
    and the military, don't get me started
    Let's just say the world has changed
    since I was around
    We didn't need protecting
    We were of love
    You know them gunslingers
    Like Jesse and Pretty boy
    They were downright good ol' boys
    right friendly and respectful
    I just don't know about all the wars
    now, I guess my best advice to you
    Was to just find your own peace
    and you'll do just fine

    1. I love the monologue, man. You really capture him.

    2. this is a great piece. Makes him out to be someone you want to know.

  8. John Conklin Thomas

    So you’re my Great-Grandpa


    I’m your oldest grandson’s second son

    I see

    My name is Thomas

    Of course it is

    My first name is Thomas

    Good choice

    I’m here to work

    Hmph, day’s almost done

    It’s 9:00 AM

    Time for Breakfast. Be back in
    ten minutes. Eat well we have
    many hours left

    I’m back, what now?

    Here’s a post hole digger
    we need a fence from here
    to the hill every five feet
    2 foot deep

    that’s a half mile

    barely a quarter, should be
    done by lunch, here’s some
    leather gloves, bandages,
    and salve for your blisters
    for your lady hands.

    I stare at him as he walks to the barn

    1. Blogspot won't take my formatting, oh well.

    2. Man, John Thomas was a tough guy!

    3. Just like my Dad (named after his grandfather). Farmer's are tough. Both were soldiers also.

    4. When my dad put me to work
      He called it play, didn't want
      to get in the way of that Sun.
      sabbath with resting I guess
      Played all the time with him

  9. I'd recognize you anywhere
    You add cream before the tea
    Talk to people who aren't there
    Need to be alone to think
    Want to dream and want to read
    Like other people want to breathe
    See the plant in every seed.
    Want to own just what you need.
    Love one man and see the world
    As a place to learn to be
    Feel every moment as a prayer
    An echo of divinity.

    I'd recognize you anywhere
    Parasols and paisley prints
    Lavender and blue and green
    Chinese lanterns, chocolate mints
    Scarves that billow in the wind
    Chunky jewelry from a fair
    Paper flowers, gypsy skirts
    I'd recognize you anywhere.