The Deep

Posted: December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

This is a poetry post over three years in the making.

Seriously though, I wrote this in May, 2016. I may have read it once. I like the sentiment but that is about it.

The Deep
Nobody ever asks me where I’m from.
There is no assumption of ‘other’
When my skin, accent and bearing
Fit the official standard
Where multi-cultural still has
A base to which others
Are compared.
My census says Canadian
Because my lineage claims no
Sovereignty over me.

Priske is German but its trappings
Have long vanished into our
Pseudo Western European melting pot.
There was no O’ Tannenbaum
When we could be decking the halls.
When the Berlin Wall came down
There was no emotional pride
Other than in the human race.

My mother’s family was English
But the Banner line sure looks
Scottish or even Norse
As Eric the Red would seem
A better phenotype match
Than Elizabeth II

I feel no kinship with
Far off lands that have
Shaped my cultural identity.

So what of my more recent
Family tree?
My Grand-dad Priske was in the Navy.
He sawed at his own history
As the world went to war
With Germany.
He was a lifer, making ships
His career-
Call him Chief Stoker
Before retirement took him
From his ocean and his
Solace came from the
Rushing tide whenever
He would tip one back.

My grand-dad Banner served
But wartime ended and
Parting was more sweet than sorrow.
Air force but found himself
On the waterfront-
Working the docks
As ship after whip brought in
Their exotic bounty-
Which became less exotic
Year after year as the
World shrank and shrank.

So maybe I am not the offspring
Of Germany and England
Or a Viking invasion.
I am the son of a son of a Navy man
And the son of a daughter of a
Longshoreman.
I am the great grandson of the Sea-
Generations removed but
It is still in me.

So what am I?

I am the great forests of B.C.
Forget Treebeard, I call them all Doug
When they talk to me.
But once where they were thick
Like the air on a temperate
Rainforest kind of day,
All moss and green and
Rivendellian close,
They are cut clear to the earth
As someone forgot
Who was here first.

I am the Mountains, Rocky and
Coastal. The jagged peaks that
Remind us that the world
Was not made for us.
They refuse to be easy,
Tearing the sky and
Giving us the rain
As the sea gives to
The mountains which
Gives us the forest
Which gives to the sea.

But mostly, I am the Ocean.
The blood of Poseidon runs
Through me
Looking not to master it
But to learn to be free.
We are over 70% water
And the other 30 in me
Is brine and seaweed
Because when you look
At the ocean,
What do you see?
Day after day
And nothing has changed,
An expanse of water as
Stable as the mountains
before they crumble
To the sea-
But beneath?
The ocean is never the same,
Constantly changing,
Always moving
As the mysteries of the sea
Are yours to discover today
As they are rewritten tomorrow
And this is a perfect
Analogy for me
Descended from the ocean,
Descending past its waves,
A surface of calm
But still waters run deep
And I am searching,
Ever searching,
For the bottom.

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