Alien Feet

October 11, 2016 by in Blog

Alien feet

 

Memo from:  William Blake

To:              Jerusalem

 

“And did those

feet …”

I know

I’ve heard it

thousands of times;

massed choirs

chorused voices

proudly

sang it myself in school

shivers down the spine,

hearts bulged by being

chosen

as different

on this  land

eons ago

He walked upon

sandal footed

a belief

we embraced

loved

seized it as ours

Jerusalem!

cradle of our

holy civilisation

wholly alien

dark skinned

middle eastern

wandered Africa

mendicant foreigner.

We sing of Him

in joy

gifted

honoured

in the name of

Holy Ghost

son of

cymbals crash

in bands

bald northern folk

ruddy faced, fat

southerners

complacent

hear them sing

uplifted

full throated

foreign feet

green and pleasant

land

upon our shores

sure of the welcome

a seeker

of truth

spiritual enlightenment

peace

found

a haven from

thoughts that would

kill you

knowing

you returned

and were

crucified

(temporarily)

stranger

alien in our

green and pleasant

land

 

 

In thrall we followed the foreigner

Declared our allegiance

Monarchs

Nobles

Peoples

Built edifices to His memory

We christened children

Baptised the virtuous

Priests preached morality

Forgiveness

Self control

Stoicism

In the face of adversity

Mercator became bright red

(or was it hunting pink?)

Stained the globe with

The foreigner’s blood message

His words washed clean

Brains

Thoughts

Foretold trade

Commerce

Domination

 

In sandals

Dirt between His toes

In flowing garbs

We persuaded

Exploited

Became rich

Prospered

An empire

The largest seen

 

Our foreigner had been good

Ensured our little offshore European

Islands

Conquered the world

 

Justifiable proud

The foreigner’s words became our religion

 

 

Our world has never stopped moving, migrating, trading, sharing, miscegenating, exchanging language, copying. Our nation has seen its language, a stew of Norse, German, French, Anglo-Saxon, become the global lingua franca.

 

We have spawned our peoples across the globe, raised cities, named countries. Our maritime has united, allied with traders and nations to become commerce’s life blood. Symbiotically others have added cultural, social, scientific and economic riches to these islands.
Every region, city and town has attracted foreigners contributing to our commonweal. These, and more, have become our heritage in our tiny patch of earth and rock DNA. This we have freely given. Freely embraced their diversities.

 

“Nowt’ so queer as folk …” runs the expression. “Nowt’ so queer as to where folk come from” might now be added with scientific hindsight.

 

A little cash, a spit of saliva, and a tube stuffed in a pre-paid padded envelop is all that stood between me from illusions of English purity to discovering my ethnic and geographic origins. And what a wonderful surprise to become acquainted with all the locations and peoples who have contributed and added to my unique identity. And, of course, of my daughter and grandson.

 

What a Euro mix! Russian, Iberian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, British and Irish. I now walk prouder in our green and pleasant land. A new foreigner with roots, exploring migration routes.

 

  • Ireland 37%
  • Great Britain 31%
  • Scandinavia 18%
  • Europe West 5%
  • Iberian Peninsula 7%
  • Europe East 2%
  • Finland/Northwest Russia < 1%

 

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