An appeal for all enquiring minds to learn of their genetic origins
beyond politics, religion and tribal conflict. Simply by being given
a prescription, paid for, by the state, of a free and detailed DNA test.
Of course we are a combination of the cultures we have absorbed
in our minds but much of our historical narrative and the journeys we have been on
are there to be found in our DNA. Our mother’s and father’s haplogroups show us
where we have been before reaching Ireland and Britain.
If we could only separate
the sheep from the goats
By setting the cat amongst the pigeons
What then of our perceived religions?
What then of our conflicted state
In Northern Ireland?
We would be doing ourselves
The biggest of favours.
Saved by our genetic markers.
No longer tribal barkers.
Our bark would peel away
To reveal our sap and strength.
By dipping our hands
Into this pick and mix history.
A free DNA Prescription
For each one of us curiosities.
To take to the chemist.
To take stock of ourselves.
A magic ticket to see through
The thickest of thickets.
To draw up from the deepest of wells.
To see past the guns and the masks
The jealousies and the bells.
Of the Paddys and the Micks
The Huns and the Brits.
Past the ignorance and pricks
Of our ancestors.
Would it cost a lot
In comparison with the costings
Of the Troubles?
So what could it cost us then?
What would we have to lose?
Would it only trouble our egos
And shave the stubble
Of our half cut ideals.
Politics won’t feed a table
Of young hungry minds.
Young seals swim in the sea, free and easy.
While we are dressed in lead.
Shod with concrete feet and it is said
We think we know who we are.
But do we?
Are we blind to our own reflection
In the shape of our neighbours across the fields?
Our sometimes misguided sense of self.
The tall coloured hats that we wear
The flags that we wave
And the stories we rub, count and share
Like a string of beads and broken teeth.
Counting the grief but rarely counting the cost.
Those disaffected stories
Won’t leave us alone.
They haven’t gone away you know.
Will never go away.
The acid in our spleen, nails in our stomachs
That rots each smile.
But a gift to each child
What would it cost them ?
Wee brothers, wee sisters, hims and hers.
Even roughly cut sods like me.
What price would we incur just to see
That free DNA lottery ticket of chance?
To learn who we really are.
To all learn to dance
To dance with each other.
Ah now . . . what an imagining.
What would it cost the state
A free un-redacted program of enquiry?
Not to invade our privacy
But to merely express what has always been there
Like sleeping stone circles
We all lie a few inches below the grass
Waiting to stand, to mass
On the green.
My mother’s Haplogroup MTDNA, took me back to the area of Udmurtia in modern day Russia, along with Romania, Tunisia, Iran and the Caucasus. Her DNA is found in post Saxon burial sites in Britain suggesting arrival with the Vikings.
My father’s Haplogroup Y DNA, took me solely to Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. My ancestry geographical spread locally is to be found, in the main, in South West Scotland and Northern Ireland, with patches from Middle England, Northumbria, North West Scotland, South East England and North Wales.
So what does that make me? Not really one of “Britannia’s Huns”, as mentioned in the the song “the Fogey Dew”. Surely not? While that is a great tune. The tune is not original to the words.
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Illustrator, Storyteller, Poet and Songwriter.
East Antrim. Northern Ireland.4 Attachments