“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

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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, and dying.

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 appears restless.

I've always thought of them as...

Scottish fighting English

Irish fighting British

Danish fighting Irish

Huguenots trying to find a place to be

Welsh and Cherokee fighting shoulder to shoulder against Brits and Muskogee

Midwives to U.S. Presidents

Irish diaspora by way of coffin ships

Slave owners Liberators Sheriffs Teachers

An ancient grandmother named Esperanza -- a rose of Andalusia

Headstrong wanderers trudging through rain on the Three Chop Way

 

And 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) 2017 / Frank Saizan 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. 

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.

 

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