For a present last Christmas Helen and I were given genetic profiles from ancestry.com.
I was reported as having 2% Polynesian ancestry. I wrote this after visiting the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy.
Polynesian FantasyWalking backwards into the future
Ancestral totems call me to explore my past;
Will my DNA help the unravelling of an ancient story?
How came my Polynesian genes within me now;
Mingling with Norfolk and Jewish strains?
Oceania revealed so many of the island peoples
Rich in culture and welcoming to strangers.
The vast canvas of sky and ocean housed resilient man
With island homes protected by God’s and a welcoming mat.
A distant memory within me is calling me back.
Wonder woven into the fabric of our interconnected world
Bark fashioned into vessels in the fabric of the home.
Given freely by nature and offered as gifts to visiting strangers;
Canoes protected by spirits and gods carved with emblems
Of protection to charm the seas to give safe passage.
In the spirit of adventure can we intuit the story in my blood?
One of James Cook’s sailors left ashore as Endeavour
Weighed anchor and sailed for home and away?
Did a Polynesian woman offers solace within her arms –
Where mingled genes eventually found their way to me?
Dr David Beales – 8/01/2019