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Rated: E · Poetry · Genealogy · #2281853
Who am I? for Poetry Challenge

Whom am I?

Glad you asked.
I am John (Jake) Cosmos Aller
The one and only.

I was born on October 30, 1955
The same day that rock n Roll was first named
Co-incidence, I think not.

I was born two months premature
Spent the first two months
Of my life
In an incubation tube

The newly invented technology.
Saved my life.

Had all the childhood illnesses
All at once
Almost died.

Born and raised
In Berkeley, California
Son of a college professor
And local politician
And a madwoman mother.

The very Berkeley middle name
Has nothing to do with being
Born in Berkeley

My grandfather
Wanted an English translation
Of our Germanic last name
As a middle name for his son

Had a choice of Cosmos
Or Universe

And so Cosmos Aller
Became a name
I am the last Cosmos Aller

Had six siblings

Three of my parents
Prior relationships
Three from their relationship.

22 nationalities flow through
My tangled bloodlines,

Basque, Cherokee, Dutch, Danish, English, French,
Finnish, German, Irish, Jewish, Italian, Laplander,
Mongolian, Nigerian, Norwegian,
Scottish, Scot-Irish, Swedish,
Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Welsh.

Went to school at Berkeley
Attended Thousand Oaks
Kamala Harris’s elementary school.

Three years in DC public schools
Became student body president

Went to the colleges
Flunked out of Oberlin
Graduated with honors
From the University of the Pacific.

Went to the Peace Corps in Korea
Looking for the woman of my dreams
Met her in 1982- married six weeks later,

Been together for 40 years
No children though.

Taught ESL, government
And business in Korea.

Went to graduate school
At the University of Washington
Got a MA and MPA degree
My wife

Joined the US State Department
Served 27 years
In ten countries
Doing many different jobs.

I am most proud
of helping American citizens
Who get into trouble overseas
Made over 35 death calls
During my service.

Meanwhile, my wife
Joined the U.S. Army
Retired 20 years later
As a Major in Military Intelligence.

Cheated death 23 times
In my life,

Had childhood diseases,
Arthritis, Bronchitis, dengue,
Weird tropical parasites
17-leg operations.

Before finally overcoming
An MDR staph infection
That almost killed me,
Almost amputated my leg.

Since my retirement
I have been living in Korea
And the west coat
Of the US.

And blogging up a storm
At my blog
check it out at

These are just some of the strands
That makes up the tapestry
Of my improbable life
The life of John (Jake) Cosmos Aller.

Fan Story prompt

Who am I?
Read "A Simple Query" to find out.
Then tell us about yourself.

The topic for this poetry contest is: An Overview of How you see yourself

Write a poem that somehow incorporates the topic. The poem does not have to be specifically about the topic and creative approaches are welcomed. But contest voters will be asked to consider the topic when making a choice for a winner.

The contest winner will win half of the prize pool which is based on the number of entries. The second and third place winners will each share the remaining prize pool. The prize pool is currently 20.00 member dollars. There are 14 spots still open. If all open spots are used the prize pool will be 90.00 member dollars. In this contest at least 2 submissions must be made for the vote to begin.

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