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Saturday, October 27, 2012

This Is Me

Self Portrait shot by me





















The Irish troubles brewed within me until they blew each other apart.
See my Irish blue eyes, my earth eyes, my eyes like marble earth.
Catholic and Protestant (and Celtic old) frozen into Germanic strength.
Through these eyes, these hurt eyes, these wizened eyes

I saw Rome, the Rome of men, the Rome of crosses, I crossed
the earth to see it, I'd always wanted to, and I saw the burning
crosses of war, of persecution, of execution affixed to churches
in every piazza and I knew they burned inside of me killing
mankind, persecuting people, creating prejudice that had lived
since tribal times..bound in flaxen cords, bound with the wisps

of my fair hair bleached from lack of sunlight in caves. There
were the people, my people removed from blackest Africa to
Northern climes; oh yes, check out the road maps on my palms
the wanderlust imprinted there.   I followed those roads out of the
heartland where the Irish had come, out of Missouri and Oklahoma
away to Texas to a native place and to Louisiana to soak up that
Frenchness that is only a small percent of my crooked smile, my
need for richness, for design, for beauty, for the odd, the curious,
the weird, the occult, (oh the celtic call was strong in New Orleans)

there there I found another part of me, the time traveler, the wizard,
the artist. On across the nation where I was born, traveler of place
state to state, time to time, ice to glacier, hope to city, energy to
corn field, gold leaves to mountains, green granite to desert flame.
Where in my face can you see love, tenderness and kindness; I
suppose it's there though my brow claims intelligence first, and last.
My sturdy body would have wanted stronger legs and feet, though
never fast they moved over many roads, and up to highest stars.

Can you see my partners, my consorts, my friends hiding behind me?
They're only shadows leaving their hopes, designs, and needs on me.
But I come forward to say that there is order, it's written on my
freckled countenance and that order comes from courage to change,
and will to protect, to care, to construct, not to tear down, not to
do harm, not to put myself first, but to change for good, to give, to love.

© Gay Reiser Cannon – 10/27/2012 * All Rights Reserved


48 comments:

  1. small bit of frenchness in your crooked smile....ha....and irish eyes of marble earth...i have a bit of the wanderlust as well...(just not the cash to follow it too far, ha)....this is a very honest look at yourself...legs that wont carry you too fast, help you notice things you know....love this gay...

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    1. Thanks Brian, if there's a second time around (as I've said many times before), I want to D A N C E! Give me legs and feet and a bod to go with!

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  2. I like the way you've drawn together the distant and not so distant threads of ancestry through your looks. It's very clever and thought-provoking.

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    1. Thanks Ms. Hollyanne - (Holley was my mother's maiden name and my cousin was Buddy Holly-that's why my other blog is called hollyheir). I loved yours too. It just keeps being about that Irish thing for me. In many ways it's defined my life yet nothing was stranger than when I actually went there, even though they said I looked as though I'd lived there all my life.

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  3. So interesting to go back to Irish eyes (not altogether smiling here) = and the description of shadows of friends, consorts, hopes and dreams especially affecting. k.

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    1. They usually are smiling and now (thanks to gravity and age) they turn to tiny slits when I smile...ha ha (I'm smiling now!)

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  4. I enjoyed the way you took genealogy into your poem.

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    1. Well it's all tied up together for me - genealogy, travel, faith, courage, being, seeing, writing, singing. It's just different threads of the same fabric. Thanks.

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  5. Ahh... you know Gay, as I grew up and learned about Hitler was searching for and trying to create his 'perfect' Aryan race, I was so angry. I don't think there is a single nation in all the world that can truly say it is of pure race. As humans we have migrated here, there and, everywhere, for different reasons since we learned how to walk. You have quite a mixed heritage. I'm English, Irish, German, Italian and,some Romany too. So, I have no idea where people get these crazy notions of pure race from at all.
    Lovely look at the person behind all the beautiful words Gay :)

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    1. So glad you saw that aspect. This idea that because you "look" a certain way should elevate you - I've detested that idea ALL my life. I am so curious, so thrilled to know other people, I cherish our differences and our similarities. I think art diminishes prejudice more than any other societal thing - it's where we celebrate what makes us unique.

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  6. I love it Gay, specially the last two stanzas ~ The pace is fast and fascinating with your journey ~ Best of all, the courage to change and give goodness and love ~

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    1. Yes, when you become a widow at 48, you learn the meaning of courage, and you hold on to it with every step you take. Thank you Grace for your comments always and your support.

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  7. .."energy to cornfield" I like very much. Such a gifted way with writing you have.

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    1. Maybe because I did kiss the Blarney Stone. Thanks!

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  8. I really appreciate you sharing this Gay. It's a fantastic piece. I love the aspects of time, memory and discovery throughout here. The time traveler, road maps are perfect metaphors. Such a good poem. Thanks again for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Fred. I think I must have been subconsciously waiting for this prompt. I've never in my life written anything this fast. A wonderful article, and much appreciated!

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  9. Gay, you have really taken 'self portrait' to a high level here, gone into heredity and history as well as some mythology! Impressively written.

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    1. High praise indeed Mary. I loved yours too!

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  10. How beautiful you are inside and out - 'time traveler, wizard, and artist' indeed. I absolutely love your approach to this, through time and your heritage, cultural and physical, to what is not only you but everyone you are in relationship with. It has an epic air, an expansive poem that took me around the world and even better through the gorgeous vistas of your inner landscape. Thank you for all that you are, that you give, and create.

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    1. Your comment is more meaningful to me than I can tell you Anna. Thank you for all you've given me, and all you've shared with this community. I think I can safely say we have all learned a lot since you came aboard!

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  11. I loved this piece. I felt like I was watching the expansion of your being. From your ancestral roots to the discovery of the wizard within. I think it's interesting that you mentioned the "celtic old" early on in your poem. Which means that you were always aware of the magical aspects of life.

    I love the photo!

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    1. Thank you so much. My paternal grandmother was from County Clare. She told me fairy stories from my earliest days. I always knew that magic, and that music. It has been woven into my life and my poetry. Thank you for both your compliments - I like that picture too.

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  12. oh gay - i just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this...and after having met you, i can see the things that you're mentioning...this is just absolutely wonderful

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  13. Thank you Claudia. Yours was amazing. I truly feel a sisterhood with you!

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  14. Gay, I wonder if you'll remember how much of this we share. The journey to Rome and out (mostly out for me), the wisp of French peeking out now and then, the criss-cross journey across this land in search of... well, I'm not sure. Reading this was a little like looking in a mirror. And then when I read the comments, I found another piece. My maternal grandfather was also from County Clare.

    Oh, and great picture!

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  15. I will remember Patti - I also remember you were about the second person to find my blog in what seems an eternity ago..you and Gwei Mui (who I found out was a famous actress when I got to meet her in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum). It's such a small world, isn't it. Thank you Patti for being there!

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  16. We're made up of so many different bits, what a journey yours is, I do to wish for stronger feet...would love to explore my own inner heritage the way you have. Thanks so much for the wonderful journey of yourself.

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  17. This is a wonderful portrait. You've given yourself to your readers with it. I am applauding and cheesing your courage and confidence. So happy to see a picture of you. Lovely, kind, gentle, witty woman. Your last stanza is epic ... Can you see my partners, my consorts, my friends hiding behind me? Yes, I believe I can.

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    1. Much appreciate your kind words. Mean all the more coming from someone who expresses herself as well as you do!

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  18. I am applauding and cheering your courage... not cheesing. (i think it is time for some shut-eye :))

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    1. I think I can be cheesy sometimes, and corny too...though I'm never sure exactly what those terms mean when people say them to me. The musicians in Aspen talked about corny phrases in classical music which still doesn't make any sense to me. I thought "Hee-Haw" and Lawrence Welk were corny, not Debussy and Ravel...oh well.

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  19. Ah, another Irish woman..(county Kerry here)..and the journey you have had..perspectives on life change, revealing a caring, loving and unique soul ..seen in those blue eyes ;)

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    1. Loved getting to know you through your poem. Yes, the Irish have it here I think! Nice getting to know you!

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  20. Interesting prose-poem that blends and pulls in how we are the child of so many who did as they could in ways we can but pray we were not they. And so we are part of the great Irish diaspora who each left from a different shore a land they never saw again

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    1. So many Irish abroad and about, more than those who stayed and lived there. Funny folk are we! I gather you don't really look like T.S. Ah, well!

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  21. Such an interesting journey and so bravely told in all openness. Nicely Gay!

    Hank

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  22. You're beautiful, and you beautifully express the history buried in your countenance. How lovely you write - with humility and pride at the same time. I really enjoyed reading this, and getting to know you.

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    1. Thank you Myrna. I'm pleased to meet you too and think you such a beautiful person, so easy with who you are. The world gets smaller here at dVerse poets, and every read brings me new insights.

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  23. enjoyed this Gay, love that you started with the eyes and spent a bit of time there. That is where so much of us resides.

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  24. This is an autobiography to be proud of. Not just the contents, though that for sure, but the style and the confidence of the write. Exemplary.

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  25. Very strong writing—that your celtic all! Whitmanian, I suppose. Love the length of the sentences, the sound and the travel. Powerful and sincere. Deserves careful re-reading. Thanks.

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  26. I shall never be worried about long sentences again. Great write
    and I could see all your consorts hiding behind you. Thanks.

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  27. A great way to get to know you. Thank you for visiting my blog, I am looking forward to exploring yours and reading more of your poetry.

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