Language in my Blood, language in my Bones

Apparently, I’m a throwback. Shared this with my long-lost sisters. Now I can tell those who ask where I acquired my bent for writing; my DNA! Brushing up on Scottish history, I found reference to Robert Fergusson, the poet.

I only discovered five years ago that I’m a Ferguson and descended from a long line of Robert Fergusons, also the name of my biological father. This Robert Fergusson was an “18th century poet who despite his short life is widely considered to have provided inspiration to the Scottish Enlightenment and for having influenced the likes of Robert Burns and Allan Ramsay.” I will look for him when I get to Edinburgh. And he was quite the bohemian. “Fergusson involved himself in Edinburgh’s social and artistic circles mixing with musicians, actors, artists and booksellers who were also publishers.” Sounds familiar.


Ferocious as I am elegant
I did not ask for this
protracted neck, pale plumage,

penchant for the pond.
I may appear to be gliding
but my palmate feet paddle.

Neither did I ask to be a versifier,
foolishly speaking
in the voice of a swan.


We did not ask for this fate.
Who in their right mind would,
the gift of life bestowed without consent.

Born with words in my mouth,
put there by some outer force,
whether I believe in divinity or not.

And what does it matter, my faith?
I can identify with a waterfowl
or the Virgin Mary for all anyone cares.

Blame it on nature.
Biology. Tribe vibe perhaps:
Yeats, Baudelaire and Burns.

The words burst forth,
language in my blood,
language in my bones.






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