Saturday, December 17, 2016

Here (Wallingford CT)

We are here, agreeable.
Entwined like vineyard vines; a village
with commons and parade ground.
A riverside place of Puritan roots, whole
tribes cleaned like fowl and fish
their proudest names in covert
remembrance as rivers, and trails.

We are here, agreeable.
Where crossroads of four corners, so rare
to be perpendicular among the confluence
of hills. Grandma Moses vistas; planted
steeples, barns, and seasonal trees
Elm, Oak, Yew and Chestnut. 
Each rival nature in long years. In-filled
with Evergreens and orchards, and streets 
lined with blossoming pear.

We are here, agreeable.
Sans many grandiose homesteads, inns and means.
Historic traces in pewter, silver, and smiths.
Parks and buildings ceremoniously christened.
Community beyond calamities, actual and imaginary,
Indians, beasts, famine, the great white plague;
a disease or Other, French, Dutch or Devil,

We are here, agreed.
Beyond ‘stretched to the highest tension’
of trains, of tracks, of cable, of speech.
An incubator for Masons, sanitariums, private
schools, societies - secret or just safe. Moose
Elk and Bear bridge the boundaries of heritage
and markers declare Americana: George
passed through – here.

We are here, agreed.
Sans dragoman, yet a King
An Emperor, Czar, a few godfathers
and Dragons among an army of partisans
Few foolhardy in dissent.  Bullets in descendant’s
hands; now needles in young arms.  As if
it were the fittest missionary. Still. Our history
brings hands to our ears.

We are here, central to all.
Gatherers of stone for fountains
and gazebos forsaken, updated or gone.
Protectors and poets. Creative bedfellows.
Winds rise.  Rain renews. 
Agreeable Souls take root.
A stone wall protects our dead.

Acknowledgement: The History of Wallingford by Charles Stanley 
"Our Ancestors wrought in a magnanimous spirit of rivalry with Nature, or in kindly fellowship with her When they planted,they chose out her trees of longest life, the Oak, the Chestnut, the Yew, the Elm, trees which it does us good to behold, while we muse on the many generations of our Forefathers whose eyes have reposed within the same leafy bays."                                             HARE'S Guesses at Truth.

Wallingford Settled
Indians, wild beasts, famine, cold, the diseases that lurk along the borders of new     settlements, " the French, the Dutch, the devil," and all other calamities, actual and imaginary, that kept their faculties constantly stretched to the highest tension, gave them no time to look backward. Other men retreated from the world to avoid its cares;  they fled to the solitude of nature to begin life anew. 
Purchase of Indian Land:  
In 1774, there were but four Indians in Wallingford. When the town was first settled the Indians were very much disliked, and in more than one instance, when the hat or        contribution box was carried round in the meeting house for money to christianize Indians, instead of a coin, a bullet was dropped in, as if it were the fittest missionary.   Children were often quieted by the cry, "The Indians are coming "! 

Backes explosion Wallingford May 29, 1952. | Courtesy Wallingford Public Library
Backes explosion Wallingford May 29, 1952. | Courtesy Wallingford Public Library
Mattabesett Trail CT Blue Trail System Begins off Route 68. Has one of several George Washington Route markers.

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