from a forthcoming collection (2020) entitled Stirrup of the Sun & Moon
“Do you know the legend about cicadas?
They say they are the souls of poets
who cannot keep quiet because,
when they were alive, they never wrote
the poems they wanted to.”
--John Berger, author of About Looking and Ways of Seeing
The cicadas have been fading in the sunlit world
which makes them all the louder
in that shimmering land on the other side of the veil.
Their fateful late-summer clicking and chiming
has given way to a steady thrumming of dreaming, unbinding.
With the impending turning of the season's great wing toward autumn,
I dreamt my way along the kaleidoscope of heritage.
The multitude of tribes flowing through my veins are restless.
I've always thought of them as...
Scottish fighting English
Irish fighting British
Danish Vikings fighting Saxons and Irish
Huguenots trying to find a place to be
Welsh, Choctaw, and Cherokee fighting shoulder to shoulder
against Brits and Red Stick Creeks
Midwives to U.S. Presidents
Irish diaspora by way of coffin ships
A “rose of Andalucía”
and those headstrong wanderers trudging through rain
entering new territory on the Three Chopped Way
I look out at a nation coming apart at the seams
and now all my ancestors are saying the same thing:
To be fully embodied, fully embrace.
To fully embrace, look more closely.
To look is to see. To see is to be free.
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com
sound: For more information about the soundworlds of AGLAIA, visit the Bandcamp page of Water Inside the Light
image: A picture of some of my ancestors including Captain John R. Owen (Company I, Third Regiment of the Mississippi Cavalry), a Sheriff in Scott County, Mississippi, and Pearl Owen Gentry, his daughter, who would later follow in the footsteps of five of her sisters to become a school teacher in Rural Shade, Clear Creek, Lometa, and Trinidad, Texas. A member of the Texas Poetry Society, she settled in Malakoff, Texas and became a three-time published poet (Memories, Hilltops and Hollows, and Evening Red).
Acknowledgements: a nod of thanks to Jeremy Elbert for sharing the wonderful quote by John Berger, and to my father, LaRue Owen, for teaching me an appreciation for history.