Tag Archives: Indian

ALAS POOR…

ALAS POOR…

And we in this new old land turning up
with our plan
hammer heads, and arrowheads, and sometimes
a bone or two
and if one would be an uncrushed skull it would
be no Yorick that we knew

This noun, once verb, would mock us
in its grinning
all those with whom we might converse
are laid neath Hamlet’s soil

His redder kin scattered
like his bones

NORTH OF THE MEDICINE LINE

NORTH OF THE MEDICINE LINE

Given the theory
with some evidence
that the natives of this land
had about the same tolerance
for alcohol as they had for smallpox
and because someone “knew better”
they were not allowed to buy it

If your husband, although a member
of a supposed superior European race
showed a weakness for the drink
and a strong tendency to spend
the grocery money on the demon rum

You’d just go to the proper authorities
have him knocked down one race
quickly added to the Indian list
and barred from every bar

And there we were
children of the tolerant Swiss
eating nigger toes at Christmas
(we think them Brazil nuts now)
all thinking it all perfectly natural

DREAM CATCHER

DREAM CATCHER
(for Maia)

Boogie man boogie man get out of my dream
Boogie man boogie man can’t make me scream

Cause I’ve got a dream catcher over my bed
I’ve got a dream catcher right over my head

Now only sweet dreams can make it through
and boogie man boogie man that ain’t you

Boogie man boogie man get out of my dream
Boogie man boogie man can’t make me scream

You were feeding on my fears all night long
that’s what was making you big and strong

Now dream catcher and me have got you beat
so you have to eat at Susie’s down the street

Boogie man boogie man get out of my dream
Boogie man boogie man can’t make me scream

A KINDER GENTLER GOD

A KINDER GENTLER GOD

As we look around the world today we see
with God as our father in trouble all are we

Fathers as you know, often have a tendency
towards discipline, judgement and wrath
while grandparents almost always
take a wiser, gentler path

There may be much to learn
as we choose, or create our deity
from the Blackfoot, Sioux and Cree
who still gather at Grandfather’s knee

THANKSGIVING

THANKSGIVING

The natives did share their food with the
first settlers

But
It is well documented
though not well known
that the first official Thanksgiving
(proclaimed by the governor of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637)
was in celebration of a massacre of 700 Pequot
men, women, and children gathered together
for their own dance of thanks

Ordered out of their home they were shot as
they came forth; those who stayed inside
were burned alive

We have a long history of freedom

We have freed the Americans from America

We are now freeing the Iraquis from Iraq

There will feasting when the boys come back

STONE HAMMERS

STONE HAMMERS

In my house
two stone hammers
picked from the ancient land
where Cree and Blackfoot fought and died

Beside the deep ruts of the Red River carts
showing yet through a hundred years of grass

Mounted police on the Fort Walsh trail
to stop the whisky and move the rail

Stony silent bookends now
with many more stories to tell
than the pages they hold between them