August – Stanza 12

tree strong, sure, with roots meandering deep
elusive broken chains, some stories silenced,
ever undisturbed, to sleep between the lines
of history’s pages, glimmers only glimpsed
by those remembering, distant reminiscing kin


For Jane Dougherty’s August Stanza Challenge.

I had a thrilling find on my father’s side of the family tree this past week! A photo posted on ancestry by someone who is likely a distant cousin of mine, of my great, great grandparents August Vilhelm Johansson, his wife, Charlotta Sofia and their children take before the family emigrated to America from Sweden in 1903. I’m guessing the young girl leaning against her mother’s knee is my great grandmother, Hanna Bernhardina Johnson (surname obviously Americanized). Along with the photo I was also able to discover another link in the root of this side of my tree: the names of Charlotta’s parents, my great, great, great grandparents, Carl Gustaf Giesche and Helena Sophia, née: Martensdr. That is where the story ends for now…to be continued. 😊

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -12 August 2018

I’m sure there is a message somewhere in today’s ReVerse. In fact, I can feel it. Several of the verses are lifted out of my daily stanzas. This month I have chosen as my daily theme, the stories of my ancestors.

Fast forward to 2018. If one reads the lines below, taken out of context as a whole, applied to the present time, I think the lesson is clear, if not a bit cliché. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We have heard this saying over the years. It is coined to make a point, especially when things feel out of whack and off the progressive course, where leaving things better than we inherited them is being derailed by our worst selves. The quote is in fact attributed to George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) who was a Spanish-born, philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist. He lived in America from the age of 8, though he never become a citizen, and established himself as an esteemed professor in the philosophy department of Harvard where he himself graduated. Never married, he return to Europe later in life. The quote above can be found on page 284 of “Reason in Common Sense” the first volume of five from his greatest work, “The Life of Reason”. In its entirety, it is “sometimes considered to be one of the most poetic and well-written works of philosophy in Western history.” (According to Wikipedia)

If we take an honest look ourselves in the mirror it is easy to see that we are doomed, so to speak for ignoring our history while at the same time clinging to an idealized version of it. Yes, a reread through the lifted lines from the past week’s work below makes it perfectly clear. Though we have sought to amuse ourselves by stumbling down into a rabbit hole, we are now discovering that it is, in fact, a black hole in disguise. We do seem to be imploding. So sad, but perhaps needed in order to set us back on track. Have a great week. I’ll leave you with this poem from George…

There may be Chaos still around the World


There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
I heed them not; or if the subtle night
Haunt me with deities I never saw,
I soon mine eyelid’s drowsy curtain draw
To hide their myriad faces from my sight.
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -12 August 2018

around the time when separatists sought freedom
was his name, a roving love philanderer
we sipped tea here, from porcelain cups with pink roses
penned in history’s tomes the story of a clan
came on horseback through the town, they say, naked
some city folks pot bright flowers in their concrete spaces.
are we there yet
but what of peace…love
makes his bed, alive for centuries, not dead
hence ended by his bastard son, poor fellow
After days of sweltering heat, even the seashore was little relief to beach-goers…
cast time in shadows
rendezvous en rouge
that most of us will fade into obscurity…
she is not whispering
i have loved like a fool


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

Saturday with the Muse

i have loved like a fool
lingering longer than i
should, breathless with
fever, unaware that the
fire was slowly
devouring my soul

she is not whispering
anymore…the goddess
is repulsed by our hate
and greed…a storm is
surely coming if we
stay this ugly course


Magnetic Poetry Online

August – Stanza 11

fellow genealogists would certainly agree
that finding distant relatives, a generation,
maybe two, or if you’re lucky, three’s a testament
that most of us will fade into obscurity, i must
admit a lucky thread runs through my family tree


For Jane Dougherty’s Stanza a Day Challenge. Taking a breather today from royal name dropping. Royals are like cockroaches. If you find one, there are dozens more hidden between the cracks. Mostly because there are scarce records kept on common folk like me and…I won’t presume to speak for you… 😊 What records that may exist are often locked away in dusty church archives…baptisms, marriages, deaths…like the one I have pictured here. It is the burial record of my 15th great grandmother, Joan Pilford, born in 1536 in Braunton, Devon, England, to John Pylforde (surnames often changed generation to generation) and Joan Thorougood. She married Walter Wyatt in 1556 and had one child, a daughter, Margaret (my 14th great) in 1569. Joan died in 1589. She was here for a blip and then gone but for a few blots of ink on fading pages, in tomes piled high in dusty archives. I think I relate more to old Joan than many of our more notorious greats. But it is kind of cool to know they’re out there. 😉

The Rose

rendezvous en rouge
the agony and the sweet
thorns amidst the blooms


This week, a haiku for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge  

using synonyms only of the words: congregation (rendezvous) and  passion (agony)

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