POEM: The Good Ancestor – “What was it like when the great whales swam?”


Every day I walk the hundred years to the hill where my great great granddaughter sits. I carry words of blessing and reach to touch her back. But feeling me near she turns sad eyed and heavy with grief “What was it like?” she asks “when the great whales swam when the birds sang you awake When the rains came soft and the soil smelt sweet underfoot?” And the blessings catch in my throat. On darker days she turns, her famished face charred and eyes, sunk in their bony orbits, burn with curses. And the blessings froth at my mouth with the poisonous spume of betrayal. On the darkest of all days I walked the hundred years and find no one there. Let today be the bright day. Let today be the bright day I lay my hand upon her back And, feeling me there, she turns and blesses me, saying “Your love was fierce enough, sweet ancestor, your love was fierce enough.”

11 thoughts on “POEM: The Good Ancestor – “What was it like when the great whales swam?”

  1. Art, including the 'spoken word' performance art, can help move the hearts of people who cannot understand science, or discourse, who cannot 'connect the dots', and perhaps even do not see that there are dots to connect. Here is a fine piece of performance art from the #ExtinctionRebellion. Bravo!

  2. Climate change is ultimately, at the human level, the most profound form of child abuse. Thank you for this.

  3. Thank you so much for this beautiful poem. Thank you thank you thank you!

  4. Your love is fierce enough, Daverick. Half an hour ago I had never heard of you, but I can feel your love now – in every line of your poem, in the tears swelling in your eyes. It is our love, comrade. It makes the day brighter than anything they can throw at us. Thank you again.

  5. A moving piece, tears still running down my face I transcribed (below) it so that others could recite this poem to others (I hope Daverick doesn't mind). Be fierce!

    The Good Ancestor
    by Daverick Leggett

    Every day I walk the hundred years, to the hill where my great, great granddaughter sits.
    I carry words of blessing, and reach to touch her back.
    But feeling me near she turns, sad eyed and heavy with grief;

                    "What was it like?" She asks,
                    "When the great whales swam,
                    When the birds sang you awake,
                    When the rain came soft and
                    the soil smelt sweet underfoot?"
    And the blessings catch in my throat.

    On Darker days she turns, her famished face charred and eyes sunk in their bony orbits, burn with curses.
    And the blessings froth at my mouth, with the poisonous spume of betrayal.
    On the darkest of all days, I walked the hundred years and find no one there.

    Let today be the bright day.
    Let today be the bright day, I lay my hand upon her back.
    And feeling me there, she turns and blesses me, saying,
    "Your love was fierce enough, sweet ancestor; your love was fierce enough."

  6. I was at the Climate March again and talked about Windyday Concept. Luckily there was someone from Extinction Rebellion and he discussed why they are not supporting any plan. I disagree with this idea. You have a movement, but you have to do something with it.

    The last time in January there were harsh words from the students about my Concept. I didn't give up, as I feel I am an anacronism. I am old enough to be their grandfather, but I have two daughters still in school. My Mother was also an anacrhonism, she remembered Armistice Day all of her life. She described the town in the Midwest and everyone was out crying, laughing, dancing, it was the end of the War to End All Wars. It was the end of a slaughter. She was 3 years old.

    Yesterday I talked with the students. They have been treated harshly by Swiss society. They want to live their lives. The time has come. This was an excellent video, I felt your tears. But the time for crying is over, we have to act.

  7. I hope this goes viral, it deserves so, I have been sharing my sorrow surfaced by the words and speaker. My local XR colleagues are now aware of it, 350 also. I will commit it to memory and add it to my XR Talk to the public. Hamilton ON

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