|Nancy Shanahan, Director of the AAPS welcomed guests.|
The nearly thirty guests who attended the OPA poetry reading, “Voices from the Past,” at Serpent Mound State Memorial on Saturday, September 26, 2015, were treated to a delightful afternoon of poetry and drums. The Great Serpent Mound is a 1,348-foot three-foot-high prehistoric effigy mound on a plateau of an ancient impact crater along Brush Creek in Adams County, Ohio. The mound is maintained by the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System (AAPS) on behalf of the Ohio History Connection. It is designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of Interior.
Guests were welcomed by Nancy Shanahan, Director of the AAPS, and then treated to the poetry of featured reader Kimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson. Kimberlee is a Yankton Sioux Native American. Her poetry examines the fading boundary between Native and non-native, and questions whether to re-enforce the lines between two worlds or to smudge the great divide where peaceful relationships can be restored. She is an adjunct English instructor at Kent State University, Geauga Campus.
|Kari Gunter-Seymour was among |
those who read poems.
|David and Guilda LaClerc Altman |
played the drums for the event.
According to Chuck Salmons, president of OPA and reader at the event, “Though the weather grew cool and a bit wet as the afternoon progressed, the setting was perfect. The poetry combined with the drumming made the day a nice tribute to this monument and state treasure.”
Visitor Carol Loyd, from State College, Pennsylvania, said, “It was an extraordinary event, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”
Herb Wasserstrom, from Columbus, agreed saying, “This was a wonderful event in every respect. The people who were presenting their poetry were as fine a group of poets as I’ve ever seen in one place at one time. Thoroughly enjoyable! Do it again!”
Following is one of the poems Kimberlee shared with those who gathered at Serpent Mound:
In re-memory I was never
taken; never kidnapped. I do not
remember that unreal day.
I reach across time; decades are lumbering clouds
super-saturated with tears; I mean water.
Grief takes as long as it needs.
Never mind I was two, never mind—
I reach across the long sky, neon shifting
auroras like a young mother and toddler embracing.
Fleeting, so fleeting… so temporary, so fragile.
Call them the long arms, the strong arms of government.
Name them dissolute in the act of unbraiding
Native families; their plan superior to Creator.
Say they walk in the armor of arrogance, go on;
Say it. There are no hushed voices now.
We have been silenced too long.
Kimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson said of the event, “The setting at Serpent Mound for Voices of the Past: the Ancient Ones was perfect. To be among the other poets from Ohio and listen to our diverse voices honor the past was a beautiful way to share stories of the ones who have gone before us.”