A dry list of begets and begotten,
bereft of ornament, the nature of being,
inherent in each entry, ignored,
except for the small notations,
Dr., minister, Sr., or Jr —
pointless unless you knew
the pirates in the closet
or the secret tree of the family adulterer.
I imagine my poem tree
with lines as ragged
as the horizontal list of siblings
raining down progeny
like bombs into the future
of accumulated wives, husbands
and convolutions of divorce.

I forget — this is about love,
this cosmology wrapped around me
of inheritance, eyes, noses, and hair,
not of properties or moneys dispensed,
or rights in name bearing patrimony,
but of nurturing,  mothers care
above each name, a perpetual shower,
fathers and grandmothers genes,
binding us all together, all
the abundant creators, and the loose ends,
in passion or lust or conventional carnality –
we exist – because of this love.

Kent Bowker                4/17/12

4 thoughts on “Genealogy”

  1. Is this a picture of your mother? I have been compiling a book of John S. and Rosella Mae Bowker, this picture was in the boxes of things that came from my Grandmother’s
    house. I see now that I cannot include it in this post. So if you will reply, I will send you
    the picture. There is a very young picture of your father.

  2. Jenny, I’d love to see these photographs. I loved talking with Carol in the years before she died, and miss Cleo too,seeing her in LA. you can e-mail me at [email protected] I’ve been writing a long poem about my mothers family saga (50 pgs so far). But I don’t know the emotions driving the Bowker side of my family, the poligamy, etc.
    I’d appreciate anything you can tell me. And thanks for reading my stuff. sincerely Kent

  3. Kent, you’ve done it to me again. I could scream but I won’t. I read this poem and listened to you conversation with Jenny. Didn’t you say exactly what I said in my comment about the poem “Now?” I can still imagine an unconditional Source of love that creates an infinite potential for rejuvenation. You may not think the way I do, but your poetry communicates the same feelings I have. That’s got to convince you that we can be friends.

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