Chet Black

October 21, 2017

I must write about you

for the next generation,

and the next, and the next,

for they will not have the good fortune

to have known you in this life.

I may write about how

you found your wife,

walking on a road near Mascoutah,

You talked, and I think offered her a ride,

you, a serviceman stationed there,

and you and her made plans

for a life full of love,

for a home full of kids,

and after you returned from overseas,

that is exactly what you did together.

Your mother was mad

you went to see your future wife

before you went to see her,

and so it goes.

I will write about your politics

and how it took me

at least 5 years

of sitting in your living room

to get used to the constant opinionated challenges

being thrown about

to realize

it didn’t matter if I disagreed with your view

as long as I spoke my mind.

All opinions respected

but you had to have a brain

and be willing to banter back and forth.

I could write

about how you cried

at the slightest things

in your later years,

emotional in your 90s,

well it’s about time, old man.

I will have to write

about how you voted

for the first Black President in America

because the party you were loyal to

disappointed and betrayed you,

that party didn’t give you

all your due

in your later years of life.

Oh my God, how we will miss you,

how we will hold you in our hearts!

You stubborn soul, still, you supported us

and loved to have family around,

We were always welcome

at your table

or to sit in your living room,

ALL the TIMES we played euchre

in the kitchen,

ALL the JOYS of this life

and its cares,

We cannot imagine life without you,

We cannot believe you won’t be there.

We are happy for you in your journey

to leave us and move on to there,

All roads lead us to one another,

All paths will bring us together.


EarlChet and AL 170903 walking



The 200-year-anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah

October 14, 2017

Baha’u’llah is my Champion,

my Hero, my Adored One,

Baha’u’llah is my Inspiration,

my Holy One,

my Loved One.


The Kindest Person to walk the Earth,

the One most Wronged by all of us,

He who brought teachings to unite mankind,

to solve problems of the world,


the One most loved by all Who knew Him,

the One rejected by leaders and Kings,

He Who suffered in Tehran’s dungeons

meant for killers and thieves,


Called the Father of the Poor,

Inheritor of wealth He gave away,

for bringing teachings to heal our souls

He received a galling chain,


Forgive our weakness and frailties,

our not doing enough in Your Name,

Know that always, my heart follows You

and could never turn away,


“He doeth what He willeth,

what recourse have we?”

We offer little in return,

We call to Thee continually,

the flame is lit and burns,


O Holy One, Who suffered here,

accept our love, we pray,

You come but once in a thousand years,

God’s message for this Day,


You promised to return “as a thief in the night”,

before the world knew You were here,

The Sun returns every morning the same,

though it moves a bit on the Horizon,


Your presence left us forever changed,

Your Message for all to see

is left for each soul to judge its worth,

and some whose hearts leap toward Thee.

cfblack  10-14-17

work in progress,,,

September 30, 2017

She sat in my office and cried,

tears running down her face,

told me her great grandma had died,

and she just lost her cool.

Somebody stole her cell phone,

used it to commit crimes,

She was the only one in her family

to ever go past high school.

I didn’t know

what was true or lies,

or if the tears were real.


I only knew

she thought I had

more power than I did.


……………………….to be continued!!  work in progress……….







We are all here

September 23, 2017


We are ALL here,

We all BELONG here,

We all contribute to what is US.

We are all unique,

We are all connected,

Diversity is our ASSET,

it is a PLUS.

It is what makes us BEAUTIFUL,

it is what makes us ONE,

a Nation of immigrants,

will not be undone.

We deserve to have our babies

with access to care,

We deserve to have a doctor

when we need one there.

If we have a condition pre-existant to another,

This means we are sicker than we were yesterday.


Chicano, Latina, Mexican, Puerto Rican,

Lakota, Oglala, Ojibway, Navajo,

the Irish, the German,

English, Scottish, Dutch,

the Greek, the Chinese,

Polish, Vietnamese,

the Gay, the Lesbian, the Bi, the Transgendered,

and African, Ghanaian, Liberian, Kenyan,

We are refugees from EVERYWHERE,

from Sudan and Yemen,

from Serbia, and anywhere people are oppressed,

We are ALL HERE,

This is OUR America,

We will speak our minds,

We will watch the News,

We will peacefully march for the rights of all,

for children and youth in our neighborhoods,

We express who we are,

a Nation of immigrants,

many people as ONE,

and we ain’t goin’ nowhere.

cfblack 09-23-17 


August 19, 2017

I was born about 1:10pm on a Wednesday. My mother always said, “I knew the minute you were born!” like that was unusual. I think because from her experience, women were doped up and pretty much unconscious, which is sad, to me. I was the 2nd child and my older brother 8 years older than me. Probably, I took a lot of our parents’ attention that he was used to absorbing. They tried for 2 years to get pregnant for me, & then got the other gender, so I figure I was the center of their world for awhile. Until my sister came along 2 1/2 years later. And then our younger brother 5 years after that! So I was 7 1/2 years from one brother, 8 years from the next. It was my sister & I in the middle.— My dad was a professor and he loved to take 3-4 weeks of his summer and roam around out West. We went to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Yosemite and the Redwoods, Canada and Mexico. My birthday usually occurred on a trip. I can’t really remember hardly anything that I really wanted for my birthday, I think because it was celebrated away from home. I remember more, what I wanted for Christmas. Dolls……. Raggedy Ann, Barbie, “Miss Ideal”, Tiny Tears. Nancy Drew mysteries. A stingray bike. One thing I DO remember I really wanted was a transistor radio for my 16th birthday. My dad said they couldn’t find the one I wanted, they’d get it later. We had the birthday dinner, I went to bed, then I heard this loud rock & roll-type music playing…….. went downstairs, there was the RADIO, my radio. My dad liked to play games & tricks like that on us. He died 9 days later at the age of 50, on my mom’s birthday. I have lived 14 more years than he was able to. He never met a grandchild. I have 6. No one ever knows how long they have on this earth, to be with your loved ones. Life is a gift of God. I appreciate all the bounties I have been given to have lived this long. May I enjoy many more.

Who we are

July 25, 2017

We are flesh, and bone,

gristle and tendon,

We are blood, and muscle,

eyeball and ear,

a fragile hunk of skin over skeleton,

veins and arteries,

ligaments, hair,

and underneath, a brain that is thinking,

while magical neurons

flash signals through air,

We draw breath, take in oxygen,

exhale the carbon,

while a heart pumps blood

to our organs and toes,

We fall in love with another,

We contemplate stars,

We laugh, we create,

wonder who we are,

We are conscious beings,

use language and reason,

and at some point we know,

there are worlds beyond this one.

cfblack 07-25-2017









July 24, 2017

I am going to post some dreams, just for interest, & to see the commonalities in my dreams. If you stop and think before you are fully awake, usually you can remember the dream you were just in. For me, the meaning of the dream is emotion, how I’m feeling in the dream. Also who I’m with. Probably 90% of my dreams, I am with children.

When I awoke, I was dreaming I was with a bunch of children & we were in a desert, running to safety, running, running, with danger always nearby. There were these giant worm-like creatures, kind of like in DUNE but above the ground & they moved slowly so we could pretty easily get away from them. Small groups of children kept trying to play in these desolate areas, the danger being it was not a safe area. 7/24/2017


dream of 7/24 night: I awoke to an alarm so couldn’t remember much. The only thing I remember is that I was going to have some sort of race, a car race, with my “2 sisters”. (I only have one sister.) We were going to race our cars, and my mother — who WAS my mother in the dream — disapproved. She was afraid police would catch us. I was aware of my father in the dream also. (When I was growing up, they were together, a team, a couple, my parents). At one point we were in the gravel driveway and backyard of the house I remember most as a child, on So. 11th St. My mood in the dream was a little afraid, and laughing about the race and my mom’s opinion.


night of 8/2:  Lots of snow. Everywhere. The world I was in was in danger, and cold. My grandson Raven was prominent in this dream. I was trying to keep the family together. They were somewhat scattered in various places of safety but not all together. If they went outside into this world, outside sheltered buildings, they were in danger. I was not in great fear for them, but aware that the danger was always out there. At some point, I was riding buses near an old part of Lafayette, Market Square (probably because there is an image of that place burned into my brain with huge masses of snow drifts. They always plowed that parking lot and left mountains of snow that turned into blocks of ice over time.) Raven was with me in this dream but I don’t remember him doing anything specific, it’s just that no one else in the dream was defined as to who they were. There were lots of other people around us in the dream, in the buildings, the safe places, which were always rather dark, but safe. Kind of sci-fi-ish. I don’t remember anything in color in this dream.

A different dream shortly before I woke up was I was in a house/building with about 2 other students and one instructor, a female. I was cramming very focused for a test. Super intensely studying just before the test. I was doing really well going through the material. The instructor saw me cramming, made a point of how cramming was bad (kind of sarcastically laughing at me) at which point I lost my focus, gathered all my papers and went upstairs to get away from her. Upstairs was not my favorite place to study but if I had stayed downstairs near her I would have lost my ability to study and bombed the test.

— My dreams are usually with a lot of people in them. I think oftentimes there is danger just around the corner.–

Samuel M. Agnew, Fulton County, Cincinnati, Ohio, approximately 1778 (maybe b. PA) to sometime after 1850 —

July 23, 2017

Samuel Agnew military records 1814.jpgRecords of men enlisted in US Army, Prior to the Peace establishment, May 17, 1815

(on ancestry)

“Agnew” – Samuel Egnew, 17, Private, US Infantry. Height: 5′ 1 1/2″  OR 5′ 6″

(note: Well, which is it? Were there two of you, one 5’1 1/2. one 5’6″??)

Blue eyes, Light hair, Dark complexion.  (how dark?)

age: 17 OR 22.   (For our relative, age 17 fits.)

where born?  OHIO.

Enlistment: May 20th, 1814, Chillicothe, Ohio. (Chillicothe was the 1st capital of Ohio, is in southern Ohio near Cincinnati, and was the chief settlement for the Shawnee Chala·ka·tha division of the Shawnee nation.)

Time served: 5 years.

Notes on his record. Some are very hard to read. I don’t know what some of the abbreviations mean. These notes are handwritten all together in a few lines, in cursive:

D.R. May 22, 1814. Present. —

D.R. Captain Henry Crittendon, Co., Feb. 16.

D.R. Erie Pennsylvania, Feb.28, 1815, Present, a musician–

M.R. Capt J.T. Chunn’s Co. 3″ —

US Infantry, Fort Knox, Ind.m “Tevy” (can’t read) Dec.31, 1815,

M.R. “et” Aug.31,

SA M.R. Dec.31, 1816,

M.R. ets, Jany (Jan.) 31 & April 30, 1817

absent on furlough at Cincinnati, since April 18 or 19, 1815 (*what??*)

S.A. M.R. June 30th 1817, absent, unknown.

17 US Infantry, was made 3″ after May 17, 1815.

**So, my best guess is, maybe there were 2 Samuel Agnews who joined the Army. The main record seems to follow the one who would’ve been 17 yrs old, which matches our ancestor. He joins in Chillicothe, goes on furlough to Cincinnati and never returns to Army. This also fits our ancestor, who lives in Cincinnati, becomes a postmaster in Fulton in 1836. He had a dark complexion & joined from where a branch of the Shawnee settled. Who knows, maybe he was Shawnee. But this doesn’t show up in my DNA tests.

The initial M. comes from an 1830 census record where a Samuel M. Agnew is in Fulton OH (a part of Cincinnati). That record lists one male age 40-50 (fits him), 2 males ages 20-30 (William & James?), and also 2 females ages 15-20. No names given except head of household.


July 19, 2017

I pray that we awaken,

that we not succomb to hopelessness,

that corruption not encase us

in the inevitable Iron Cage,

I pray that we, as humanity,

not lose our unique ability

to READ and think BEYOND

the images blasted at us on TV,

———— this is a poem to be finished later………………………………………………




Creating final exams

July 16, 2017


Stay out of my way–

I am at work,

the words come slowly,

I take many breaks,

This is MY creative process,

a labor of love,

gathering lessons learned

in a semester of time,

This group will never come again,

they splinter and vanish,

in two more days,

The best result being

more questions than answers,

The answers are supplied with their response,

Their decisions, their analysis,

their actions, their future,

There is no right answer,

it is up to them,

to consider alternatives,

challenge every fact,

Think outside the box,

Re-write the question,

Because we need a better world,

and my time is limited.

Yours is the journey, now,

Your future the new path,

the challenge is the choice,

which way will you walk?

cfblack, 07-16-2017