A Criminal Act


alas..not mine


A Criminal Act

I am amazed at how many photographs, letters which should have been kept by a family have ended up in total strangers hands.  If a person holds ancestral photographs which have nothing to do with their family, wouldn’t they make it their business to find out who’s these albums belong to (clue: the person who last lived in the house…).  How could someone throw other people’s old albums – images of someones ancestors in the rubbish bin!  Yet it happened to a relative of mine and not for the first time.  Some people must have no conscience.  The albums mentioned were pictures taken of my ancestors by my Nana who would group her nine children, light the camera, run round pose with them AND develop the photographs.  They were inadvertedly left in a loft in Liverpool and when the relative missed them, was told by the new owners that they had thrown them out…..

They don’t belong to you

Yet you can accept their custody

As your right to bin

And dispose

Of my right to my ancestors

High handed,

Blind, misguided

Insensitive one

Who so casually

Disposes of someone elses family history

Of which you have no entitlement

No empathy

And no right

But by default

My memorials, pictorials,

Chronicles and images

Have ended up in your careless hands

My ancestors stand in front of your future

And curse your careless hands!

©Lynda Roberts 2010

Found photo from this blog thanks!

8 thoughts on “A Criminal Act

  1. You know I have collected photos for years…usually bought at a yard sale (by a family member) who really doesn’t want to be bothered by ‘this old stuff’…so I guess there is another part of this story not told in your fine poem…the one of those who don’t care about their own family’s history and that is also sad…cheers!

    1. This does put in into perspective slipmartin, thanks! You are right, sadly I guess not everyone values these things. It always seems like the wrong custodian ends up with this stuff though. Sometimes its someone who has married into the family or a relation of theirs for a few months and then just gets rid of the mementos that could be shared and cherished by others who do have an emotional interest.
      Thanks for commenting – appreciated!

  2. You’ve channeled your indignation into a great poem. Especially enjoyed the finally lines and how careless hands repeat. In the face of rampant apathy, it’s good to know that people like yourself and Charles still relish old photographs and the history behind them. cheers 🙂

    1. I’ve been finding out recently just how common this sacrilege is Adam. It’s very sad. I could never do that to anothers albums, I would at least try to find out their owners. I love my old photo’s and have them all on disc now….just in case. Thanks Adam!

  3. I’m relating to this poem from another perspective entirely–that of a writer who has done research with original documents that no one bothered to take care of–yet these are often the only records of any events in the lives of many people. I agree that one has a responsibilty to take care of the recorded histories of anyone–strangers and friendlies.

    1. I agree 47whitebuffalo, there must be custodians so that all can share. The selfish act of throwing others personal history away, deprives all future generations with ‘clues’ and evidence. You can see I’m still fuming about this…
      but its gone now and I must move on (grrrrr…)

  4. Hhehe thanks K! I must put more stuff on here, I’ve kind of neglected it for a while. I have loads of boook reviews to put on here too:) I do think as you get older, and realise that you’re not immortal after all, you really feel the need to trace your past history and find out where a lot of your traits came from. I bet there’s chefs and cooks in yours you know – musicians too! It would be fun to find out:)

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