Poem 114 – Fading

Here lies the stone that stood above my grave
Declaring this to be my resting place
But sadly it no longer has the strength
To stand and lies prostrate in peace like me

The lichen spreads rash-like across its face
Obliterating with the green ivy
My life, my wife, my children and my work
The final thoughts of those who paid the bill

Now who I was is legible no longer
As gradually the elements erode
The once clear words that hold me so
I slip from view and slowly pass from memory

We’ve been away for a few days, exploring my wife’s family tree. This involves visiting graveyards and poking around ancient churches. Straining to read old gravestones I wondered how we’re remembered when the writing’s finally gone.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 102 – Rooted

My weary inbox yawns, bored of
The soulless messages it circulates
But look, lurking amongst the drudge something
Deeper, my DNA results are in
This past geneticist is thrilled to find
The web of coded chains traversed
Binding in double-helix unity
Ancestral homes, ethnicity revived
I trace the paths along this oak’s branches
Running my finger past the unfamiliar
Whom suddenly belong to me and I
To them, my relatives, my blood unveiled
I now can claim with confidence that I
Stand on this ancient shore’s foundation
Its past and mine are spiritually entwined
My roots drink deeply, nourishing my soul
Whilst rooted in one spot its branches spread
Beyond as do its tendrils out of sight
To permeate Germanic past to reach
Beyond white cliffs to Scandinavian sands

My Ancestry DNA test findings have been released. Suddenly I have a lot more relatives.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 69 – Ancient Roots

I spat in a tube this morning
To find out who I am
And then that tube was posted
(Apologies postman!)
Of course there’s more to me
Than my genetic code
There’s everything that’s happened
On life’s long winding road
But I have always wondered
Where my tribe came from
Are my roots in Britain
Or do we have it wrong
Perhaps they are Germanic
Or Scandi, French or Switz
African or Asian
But whatever’s on my list
This fair land has shaped me
And others influenced
And through this cultural cocktail
My life has been enriched

I have always felt a ‘spiritual’ connection to the ancient past of our country, and am intrigued to know if my roots go back to the age of barrows and white horses, but whatever the result of my test, I won’t be disappointed as even through romantic eyes, I know this nation has never been racially pure but mixed and all the better for it.


© Ben Quant 2022