To celebrate (We Don’t Need) Presidents Day, we welcomed a friend whose name bears a striking resemblance to The Gipper. We like this Ron better.
If you missed Ron Ragin’s live show this morning, you can catch it again in our archives! Or just click in here: To Georgia, With Love
It’s a mix of southern soul, 90’s hip hop and R&B, and a cornucopia of other music from around the world. Interspersed are his poems from a new collection-in-progress.
Middle Georgia earth does not give when you dance
you can‟t dig your fingers into it
if you fall
it will tear off your skin
burn your knees, make you
stand up straighter
The earth softens only where things are growing
I would stand in the yard
east of our red brick home
tickling my ankles
gently cupping my feet
I‟d stare at the stars
head craned up in odd angle
arms limp at my sides
spinning in slow circles
eating the sky with my eyes
Under full moon the land glows blue
if you are patient you can see
by the light
some creatures show themselves
only at night
fireflies, coyotes, roaches
pine needle percussion and cricket song
the whip of thick kudzu ropes
hopscotching the wind
I could feel the forest watching me
To: Ma Frances
Dear Ma Frances,
I am your great great grandson, Ronald Wayne Ragin, III. I am the son of Ronald Wayne Ragin, Sr., your great grandson; son of Herman Cicero Ragin, Sr., your grandson; son of James “Bus” Ragin, your son. I don’t remember Great Grandaddy James, and I don’t actually know too much about him. But I’ve heard a lot about you, Ma Frances. I hope you don’t think me rude. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to talk to you. I don’t know how to pay my respects from this far across space and time. I don’t know the proper words. I guess I shouldn’t be looking you in the eye or be all up in your mouth…
I‟ve been told that you were a powerful woman. Legend has it, you used to beat up white men who tried to mess with your children. I hear that you could handle a shotgun, that you had broad shoulders and strong legs. They say you had a laugh loud as summer thunder. I imagine you cracking pecan shells between your knuckles and making up your own cake recipes. I picture you waking up before the sun to grab your plough and sewing before you went to sleep each night.
Ma Frances, can I ask you some questions? Did you believe in God? What did you pray to him for? What was your favorite song, your favorite food? What was your favorite time of day? I‟d like to know how you named your children and what made you get out of bed on days when you didn‟t want to. Do you remember what your mother smelled like? Did you like to sing or dance?
I sing, Ma Frances! It’s where my power is. No, I mean I SANG from somewhere deep inside me. Just below my navel, Gramma. I feel you there.
I will write more soon.
Your great great grandson,