I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

11 April 2015

Calling Into the Void

Who are my ancestors?
The trail goes cold
after (or rather before)
Léon Pereira, apothecary
somewhere in India
in the State of Orissa

or past the Colonel,
the sandy-haired Scot
with pointy ears in his one photo,
like my son's and my brother's —
the hidden ancestor, that page 
torn from the parish records.

Where are all you wild ones
further back — you rebels? 
I must have got that 
from somewhere,  
along with my contradictory loves
of tropic heat and craggy rocks.

I know the witchery came
through my mother's mother,
the Indian line; and from her
the healing touch.
But surely the magick must come 
from those pointy-eared Celts as well?

Ancestors, I can only know you
through myself and my cousins,
my aunts and uncles,
my sibling, my sons —
in us I find your faces.
But I long to know your dreams.

The 10th prompt for 'Poems in April' at 'imaginary garden with real toads' is to address our ancestors, descendants, or both.


  1. I adore this, Rosemary, love the traits coming from this ancestor or the other...love especially the witchery gene. And "But I long to know your dreams." My biggest regret (well, one of them) is that I did not tap all my grandma's stories and family history and write them down. Now so much of it has been lost.

  2. Ah--a sweetness here. thanks. k. (Manicddaily)

  3. Wow! To have such a connection to your past and see bits of it in your present. Yes, it would be nice to know the dreams of our ancestors.

  4. I love this~ The magic, the different features-fun to read!

  5. We are sort of on the same track tonight, Rosemary. Regrets that we didn't ask more while those who could tell were still living. But the younger ones aren't asking us now, while we are the older generation who could tell things they would like to know when they slow down a bit.
    In real life, I have a mystery ancestor, named Mary Smith. Supposedly she is kin to the Kaiser Wilhelm I. But her family was expelled from the House of Hohenzollern because of a marriage out of favor.

  6. I wonder what they thought when they peered into the night sky... ~

  7. We of the colonies know the end result of the cultural melting pot. I can relate to your love of both heat, and the crags of your ancestral home. I certainly wouldn't want to swap blue sky for the overcast shores of the old country (where they think 22C is warm!)

    1. Kerry, I grew up on the island of Tasmania, where they think 21C is swimming weather! Though I loved many things about Tassie, I won't go back to the cold.

  8. "But I long to know your dreams." a stunnung last line which throws me into deep deep empathy, for i too long to know more about them, your telling sty was so interesting

    thanks for dropping in to read mine

    much love...