Long poem by
William Masonis | Details |
Wovoka in the Feverland
In the Dying-Grass Moon came another winter to claim the old and sick.
This was when the first messengers came
To the desolation known as Pine Ridge.
They came riding in at the end of a century of tragedy,
A hundred years that broke an ancient people.
Their world now cold and hollow,
Where no god's voice was heard upon the winds.
Grey clouds scudded across a blank sky
And hung like a shroud over their conqueror's makeshift home for the defeated.
No god's voice answered to their listening hearts,
None heard any god's lament for their children lost,
Lost here, adrift in heart and mind
Beneath the bitter grey skies
Riding over them on chilling gusts, day by day.
The people beneath this sky were weary,
The future hung dim before their eyes
Their hearts dragged down like stones
A sorrow great and silent
Private and unshown,
A shared Eucharist of desperation.
Into this rode the messengers, outriders of a new prophet,
With words to lighten their heavy hearts,
Threads of hope for weakened hands to grasp at.
The one named Kicking Bear had seen this Messiah;
A voice had commanded him to go out and meet the ghosts of the gone-before
Who were soon to return, to walk the earth with their brethren.
He and some other pilgrims rode the Iron Horse as far towards sunset
As the tracks ran, and from there on riding for four suns
Until they came at last to the Paiute camp near Pyramid Lake.
The people there said that The Christ,
Son of the white people's great god,
Had come down to Earth once again.
They said He had sent for them to hear Him speak;
That this was foreordained.
Even now he awaited them two days' ride away at Walker Lake,
Full of important news for all the Indian brothers.
These people were full of a fine new spirit,
Good to all newcomers, infectious with hope.
Together they went to Walker Lake and waited there two days,
An expectant multitude milling about,
The same sort this Christ was said to have spoken to
Long ago, when last he appeared to men.
As the sundown burnt the sky on the third day
The mighty Christ appeared before the crowd.
He appeared, and he was not white, as was expected.
This time he manifested as a brown man like them,
And his words were words of light and hope and love,
Words of life to this dying people.
He was old and wrinkled, scars upon his hands and face
In tattered clothes and a hat too large,
But his eyes cut like flint
And he spoke as a strong man should speak.
These words and more were his:
"I will teach you how to dance a dance, and I want you to dance it."
And with that, The Christ rose and taught them the Dance of the Ghosts.
And with that, The Christ sang and danced with them far into the night.
Come the morning, he addressed them again.
He told them that God his Father had made the Earth,
And sent Him as teacher to the people.
He had first come to the white people, but they had treated Him badly,
Jeering, unbelieving, scarring His body.
So He had returned to Heaven and now He had returned.
His intent to restore things to how they first were,
Indeed to improve even upon that.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, when grass waves to the knee on the plain,
The world would cover itself with a new skin of soil and bury all the whites.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, the reborn land would cloak itself
With a brilliant blanket of sweet green grass, adorned with trees and rivers.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, the vast thundering herds of buffalo,
The many-colored herds of wild horses, beautiful things well known once,
Would return forever.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, the Indians who danced the Ghost Dance
Would be taken up into the air, suspended in glorious freedom
While the wave of new soil consumed the whites.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, they would descend from the sky
Among the ghosts of their ancestors to stand on the fresh new world
And all would be young and strong again,
And live in harmony in this reborn time and place.
The Springtime! The Springtime!
So near! So soon!
Can it be they were not forsaken after all?
Can such a thing be, even when hope had died?
Kicking Bear was stunned, yet he hoped and believed.
After all, had he not dreamt of this?
Was it not foreordained that he should be here?
Aflame with desire to bring such news to those languishing back home,
Kicking Bear and the rest rode the Iron Horse back
To spread the word and way to every reservation they could reach.
Wovoka himself never came to Pine Ridge, but his spirit did,
And held court with those who danced there.
They said he flew in the air above them as they rode,
Teaching them new songs to sing as they traveled.
Who's to say? It could be true.
Who is to say what purer and more savage sight
May have shown them in their fervor, hearts unfettered
By the locks, the twistings and mists of civil, "ordered" life?
Who would dare say?
They felt triumph rising from the ruins of despair,
That the mighty God of the whites, who gave such power,
Snatched it back in anger to give it to those they despised!
The hope caught on and lept in every heart in the hated Feverland.
Had not these whites treated their God's own son shamefully,
Like a toy a child breaks and forgets?
Who had listened to the words of that Son and paid them greater heed once heard?
The messengers brought the news of the Ghost Dance to Sitting Bull's people,
And soon there were many believers,
And in great groups they danced together.
Dancing through the night into the first light of dawn,
Dancing till they fainted, calling their lost warriors back.
Reeling, stamping the dust under the stars' cold light,
Calling to the dead through the frozen blackness.
Long poem by
William Masonis | Details |
Red Mesa Dreamscapes
The sun spreads its red light on the mesas,
Those ancient sentinels, those fractured bones of the Earth
Scattered outposts that rise as lonely islands
Through the vast dry sea
That fills the heart of this continent;
Its heart beats in notes slow, deep and sonorous
Buried somewhere deep in its weathered flesh
Of canyon, mountains, desert -
All cast adrift upon this sea of hollow, howling spaces.
The mesas thrust themselves up, pointing at the sky
Like great bony fingers cut short at their last joints,
Reaching into the merciless deepblue immensity
Falling down on all sides, enfolding the distant horizons,
Where the light of the nearby yellow star
Goes shifting to red as this side of the Earth turns its face slowly away,
Burning in soft rose light
Caressing the cooling arms of the night in the brown flesh of the land,
So like the flesh of its people.
Dawnings and sunsets, ages and ages, the red light washes the mesas
Turns of the world beyond counting as the people gazed mute in wonder
Standing in the purity of the red light
Bathed in its clean magnificence, purified by its brutal beauty,
As alive in their way, these bones of a planet
Alive as the strong brown flesh of the people
Who gazed on them in sanctified silence
The ancient people who took this land for their home
Long ago, when Man was new and still fearfully reverent;
These ancient ones were meant to live and die
Beneath this endless paradise of blue,
And to love this land at times in ways too deep
For any civilized mind to comprehend.
The brown ones loved this land,
And the land accepted their love in bountiful return to them
In the fullness of the life and glory they once knew here,
Singing to them in the eagle's screams that cut the still air
Drumming in the brown waves of bison herds
Speaking to their souls in Winter winds and coyote howls,
Rumbling in the dark voice of Summer thunderings
Carrying down to the ears of men the mystic troubles of their gods.l
They passed together a long, still time
The people and the land.
The balance smooth between them,
Until the coming of the Others.
From across the Great Waters the Others came,
Beings white in both appearance and deed.
They walked and talked like other men.
But their ways were new and strange.
They came and they came,
More with every shift of the seasons
Filling the land
Like the snow fills the forests in Winter.
They came, taming all that they touched,
The world to them a thing to be conquered and changed,
For this was their way; this their lives' purpose,
And the spirits of the land allowed it -
Neglecting their invasions, accepting the smallness of their thoughts,
Aloof and above in distant toleration.
Without the Spirits' help the people lost their fight for the land,
Falling ever back against the Others' strange magics.
More clever than strong they were,
But in the end, it's cleverness that wins.
They drew their strength from the magic words
Gifted to them by their god,
With which they would call on him for the powers of conquest,
And they were: Manifest Destiny.
Manifest Destiny granted them terrible powers,
The powers to build a new thing,
A thing which propelled itself in a way that none could stop,
And this thing's name was Progress.
Progress, right hand of Manifest Destiny,
Made everything change,
And change above all, as an end in itself,
Is what the Others loved the best.
The brown ones could not comprehend it,
And so they lost all before they fully new it was happening.
How to fight those armed with an oath from their god?
Through his will they held their power,
Never doubting the right of it.
For their love their god returned them power,
The magic of the metal tubes that boomed a hard burning death,
Weapons no magic could stop,
And more than this, numbers,
Numbers to drown the land.
Against all resistance they claimed the land for their own.
The survivors they sent away
To wait out their time in being forgotten,
Casualties of Fate.
So now, the red light spreads across the mesas
Changed parts of a changed land that goes by another name
Part of a new nation vast of size and strength
And terrible in sleeping might,
Kindhearted giant, great and noble in its way,
Though forgetful of its native sons.
Where now hangs the eagle's scream?
- Lost, blown apart upon the wind.
Where do the great gods of Old hide their faces?
- They sleep, infusing the Earth with their dreams.
Where walks the demon named Progress?
Only look, his marks is everywhere.
Now we live in the long forgetting-time,
When the wrinkled elders sit in their ramshackle homes
The driftwood of some primeval sea's recession,
They dream, in a fog blurred with the alcohol poison,
Of the stories of fathers and grandfathers,
Tasting memories again and again,
The salt lick of remembered moments aging like strange wine.
They dream of the ending-time,
Of the last stand made
In the face of the endless advance
When Progress buried the world in its relentless avalanche,
The dream of the wearied few,
Worn and shaken in disaster's wake,
Gathered one last time on the heartless plains.
They take a long straight look into the land of the Dead,
The shadowland out of sight beside our own,
Where the gone-before walk and watch in silence
The steady procession of the living,
Existing as memories until the time of reunion.
Long poem by
Travis Lone Hill | Details |
I live in a place striving for sobriety surrounded in alcohol looking for happiness trapped among our very own sadness. I hear my people’s laughs and I hear my people’s cries, but most of all I see their dreams because their dreams are my dreams because we remain not against each other today as enemies but hidden friends united through culture, language and blood. I laugh with my people and of course I cry with my people and I fight with my people but most of all I continue to dream with my people. I know who I am and where I am from to know where I been to still hope to where I am going to go. I feel darkness engulf not only myself but also almost my entire reservation’s race, no matter mixed or not because soon our culture and language will have no face without any more light to shine upon it. I know where I lived and still live to know if I will truly go where I truly want to go in life before I have my one walk with death. I know by a long shot that I am not the best but by a close hit on the reservation’s target I could be better.
I take a stand against self to stand against others to better a worsening crowd of many young lost indigenous souls waiting to be unknowingly found and waiting for something similar to what I’m about to write. I take a stand for self so that others know that we aren’t all lost and we can and will be found with the true hope of no one’s but your own. I take a stand because my brothers and sisters wont, I take a stand because now days most the people around me or within me can’t or don’t know how, I take a stand for the children who don’t have a father and mother as I once had, I take a stand for my unborn child almost here, I take a stand for courage because within me is filled with fear, I take a stand against because the alcohol and drugs within me now I just can’t stand, I take a stand for those around me who cannot stand, I take a stand for a culture dying on its knee’s trying to get back up, I take a stand for the forsaken yet to be forgiven self-stand.
I patiently wait, lying away in the darkness searching for light even though I can see the light I just don’t know how to get on thy path to the light. I am not alone, I know for a fact that I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings about life on earth here. I can see our pain, I can hear the hollers and screams, I can feel your anguish and I can smell our destruction. I walk through the reservation valley of darkness as if I am but a blind witness to our own destruction upon where many of us go unknown truly forever in depths of time, in the depths of death.
I know that I cannot give in or give up on a dream of a people’s dream where the buffalo in our young hearts and minds may roam around free and where the wolf warrior chief may rise above all odds and become thy greatest modern day warrior, the people seek him, the people crave him, the people need him, the people need someone to rise if not geographically the worldwide mentally.
Travis Lone Hill
Long poem by
cherl dunn | Details |
Hear the screeching of the Nighthawk, as its talons grapple
At the tail ends of the moon's rising, dragging it ever upwards, unto
The center of the blackened shroud, of the universe.
This celestial light casts illusion's rays upon the sacred totem,
Transforming wooden carvings, bringing these honored beings to life,
Wood yields unto flesh and bones desire to enter our realm of reality.
Nay the tribal medicine man, bows and grovels low unto them,
These spiritual sacred brethren of the earth and sky, chanting
In native tongue, welcoming them once more unto the land of the living.
By tooth and claw, taking winged flight, may the elemental essence,
Bless thee, and nature itself give strength to sustain thee, so does the
Tribal elder chant, on the whispering winds, that echo from the
Even do these rock giants, seam to bow, unto these deities of the
Supernatural realm, one by one, that come forth, the great eagle to soar,
The mighty bear to guard and defend, the alone wolf to watch over
His tribal flock and the Wiley coyote with his cunning, and stealth.
Then last but not least the wisest of them all, the ancient being the owl,
Whom listens in the night, hearing all secrets, but when asked his eyes
Do so flash, answering only one word's echoing, who.
Running free amongst the living, these sacred beings reveled in
Such wonderful freedom, to feel the warmth of the earth beneath their
Paws once more, to feel the winds currents beneath their wings,
What proud creatures of the neither realm, to join again
To live once more amongst the world of men.
But at dawn's rising a maiden dressed in sacred white skins did
Appear, calling unto them to return therein, to the totem once more.
All came willingly, except for the Wiley Coyote, for a spirit
Of trickery, is he, nay did he refuse to go.
At this response she the maiden dressed in white skins, placed
Her hands in the air, and began a sacred incantation's chant,
And low did appear within her hands grasping, but a glowing dream
Catcher that seemed to burn with an ethereal fire.
Made of vaporous mists, it shimmered and hissed, as if it were
A rattle snake poised to strike, the coyote back into a thicket of wild
Sharpened thorns, daring it to try and take him.
Again she beckoned him return unto for which you came,
Back into thy sacred totem.
But the Wiley coyote would not listen, the maiden
Spoke with venomous malice, then shaking the dream
Catcher, she spoke fetch him.
Hissing, again the dream catcher, grabbed at him,
Dragging him back within the sacred totem, now thee
Shall stay always my Wiley friend, all the others may
Run free unto the next mornings dawning,
Then all was still, and silent as the sun
Rose on the distant horizon.
The maiden vanished; the people were at peace once again,
But the Wiley coyote cries from within the sacred totem, never
To be released from his wooden prison.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Long poem by
Ian Howard | Details |
Tribute to the Wolf
I am of your nation (Cherokee)
I have travelled far to find my family
(They are scattered across America)
Boundaries are now gone
I know you as you know me
My Mother taught me so
I know you, ” a ni wa ya”
(Of The Wolf Clan)
You speak in our tongue
But the words are of another
I am of the, “a ni sa ho ni” people
(Of The Bear Clan)
Yet I listen to you young one
Your clan has been spread
Many left by the wayside
(1000 died in the great walk)
Yet you are still many
(The trail of tears)
The largest arm of our Nation
You are our protectors
The First New Moon of Spring,
(Festival of Spring held in March)
Has past and the seven did well.
( Seven Clans)
I will keep food for you till
(There is always a welcome to others )
Green Corn dances the days away,
( Mid Summer festival)
Of the Stomp, Feather and Buffalo.
Not eating, playing games.
Then to be cleansed by the water
Holding our Sacred Prayers
Of seven and four we hold dear
(Seven Clans, Four compass points)
Our seven that scattered to the four
(The scattering of the Cherokee)
While three levels we retain.
( The three levels of existence)
The Owl looks on as the Cougar screams.
(The sacred creatures of the tribes)
Our balance is retained therein.
Secretive yet open in their ways
We will dance in a great circle
(The great circle was paramount in their beliefs)
Then let the Long man take our dreams.
(Running waters, Rivers & Streams)
The little people will come if called
(Belief in little people that are in their image)
They are our Brothers though so small
Hair that sweeps the very chaff
( The little ones have very long Hair)
Remember they live in all things.
(They live everywhere and in everything)
Guides to lost children they are.
( They look after lost children)
As children they play with us.
Bringing happiness to a sad child,
(The little ones have healing powers)
Creating purpose to the befuddled.
Treat them with respect
(The little ones must be treated properly)
Bother them not with silly ways,
Or silly ways will stick in your mind
Should you see them be blessed!
Let not a loose tongue talk of them
(If you see one don’t talk of it for Seven years)
As the westerner and his broken mirror
Take seven years to talk of them
Never speak to them after sunset.
Beware of false cures in this life
( Medicine men beware of them)
The Raven Mocker, may be in disguise
( Raven Mocker was bad Medicine man)
Seek only the pure to be cured of ills
Seek not a cure from one that ails
(Choose a medicine man that is healthy)
They are a false being in our eyes
Mix today with yesterday to be safe
(Use Modern and old medicines together)
Only smoke with the fit one
Then drink the waters they give to you
May your ways with the Wolf be many
(Just a farewell to the Wolf Man I was talking to)
I shall read of you in the dens of the Great Bear.
Long poem by
John Arribas | Details |
JOHN M. ARRIBAS
THERE WAS A TIME I ROAMED THESE PLAINS
FAR BEYOND WHERE THE EYE CAN SEE
IF YOU LIVED ON THESE PLAINS
YOU HAD TO DEPEND AND FOLLOW ME
IF YOU WANTED QUALITY MEAT TO EAT
GRASS FED AND IN GREAT QUANTITY
IF YOU WANTED FURS AND PELTS TO WEAR
TO KEEP THE COLD FROM THEE
IF YOU WANTED FUEL FOR A COUNCIL FIRE
OR TO WARM A SIMPLE TIPI
IF YOU WANTED A SOLID PEACE PIPE
TO GAIN A FRIEND FROM AN OLD ENEMY
IF YOU WANTED THE SPIRITS TO SMILE
SPREAD BLESSINGS ON THE COMMUNITY
IF YOU WANTED BONES FOR TOOLS
YOU HAD TO DEPEND AND FOLLOW ME
I WAS ALWAYS WILLING TO OFFER FEED
YOU ONLY TOOK TO MEET YOUR NEED
A BALANCED EXISTENCE FOR ALL TO SHARE
YET OMINOUS FORCES WERE IN THE AIR
THE WESTWARD MOVEMENT IN FULL GEAR
COULD NOT COEXIST WITH THE TRIBESMEN HERE
AN DIABOLICAL PLAN WAS PUT INTO ACTION
CORRAL AND CONTROL THE INDIGENOUS FACTION
THE BUFFALO WAS THE MAIN SOURCE OF ALIMENTATION
ELIMINATE THE SOURCE CAUSE WIDESPREAD STARVATION
RAILROADS HIRED THE BEST SHOOTERS IN THE LAND
SLAUGHTER THE BUFFALOS WHERE EVER THEY STAND
BUFFALOS WERE SLAIN FROM A COWARDLY DISTANCE
THE TRIBES FOUGHT AND OFFERED FIERCE RESISTENCE
FINALLY DOMINATED BY AN OVERWHELMING FORCE
THE TRIBES WERE COERCED TO A PEACEFUL DISCOURSE
DEPRIVED OF FOOD AND MANY FACING STARVATION
TRIBES AGREED TO STAY AND LIVE ON A RESERVATION
THE RESERVATION SITES THE GOVERNMENT SELECTED
WERE HARSH AND BARREN THE TRIBES FULLY REJECTED
FOR NUMEROUS YEARS THE PLAINS LAY UNPROTECTED
BUT IN THE END THE TRIBES WERE SUBJECTED
THE SHAMANS INVOKED THE SPIRITS WANTING TO KNOW
IF THE TRIBES WOULD SEE A RETURN OF THE WHITE BUFFALO
THE BUFFALO WAS SACRED AND SPIRITUALLY POSSESSED
ITS VERY EXISTENCE KEPT THE VILLAGES BLESSED
THE BUFFALO VANISHED FROM THESE ENDLESS PLAINS
BUT AWAITING HIS RETURN IS THE HOPE THAT REMAINS
THERE WERE FIFTY MILLION BUFFALO NOT LONG AGO
AN IMMORAL SLAUGHTERING LEFT LESS A MILLION OR SO
THE TRIBESMEN AWAIT THE BIRTH OF THE WHITE CALF
TO BRIGHTEN THEIR LIVES CAUSE THE CHILDREN TO LAUGH
THE WHITE BUFFALO HAS RETURNED TO THE TRIBES OF THE EAST
THEIR LAND ONCE UNUSED IS A PLACE NOW WHERE MANY FEAST
MODERN STRUCTURES NOW OCCUPY TRIBAL LANDS
WHERE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS DAILY CHANGE HANDS
THE WHITE BUFFALO HAS RETURNED AS A GOLDEN PALOMINO
ENRICHING THE TRIBES WITH A GOLD MINE CASINO
THE TRIBES OF THE PLAINS WHERE THE BUFFALO ONCE ROAMED
MOST LIVE IN ABJECT POVERTY, THE SLAUGHTER HAD SOWN
ON THE PLAINS THE WINDS ARE SIGNALING UNREST
THE RETURN OF THE HERDS IS THE SIMPLE REQUEST
THOSE HERDS ARE GONE NEVER MORE TO OCCUPY THE LAND
THE HOUR GLASS IS EMPTY THERE IS NO MORE SAND
Long poem by
Travis Lone Hill | Details |
I’m trapped in the American struggle/
Surrounded in the alcoholic drug addicted jungle/
In my soul called soul I seem to unknowingly look for trouble/
Yeah am I the only one to truly see our invisible chaotic bubble? /
Am I the only one to truly live in while I realize the hidden pains in our own ghetto living rubble? /
I see in what I still saw of the pains at the same time I hear the alcoholic mumbles/
Like a burnt cracker over a uncooked cookie I still see the culture crumble/
I see the staggering, I see the swerving and I see thy own stumbles/
Still yet I am crawling out the dirt like an ant spreading my wings in the sky like the bees bumble/
It’s when I knew I was a soul called soul/
In my soul called soul I am in the super bowl/
Seven hundred seventy-seven now I can’t let thy football fumble/
I am not going to let thy ring leader lead me in the circus no more, I am no longer an elephant Dumbo/ I’m here to stay not to go/ I been down that same road too many times before/
I know what it’s like at the bottom, I hit it straight rock ,yeah I been that low/
now pains of my life I outgrow/it’s when I knew I was a soul called soul
In my soul called soul/ I hang on not to my enemies nor my friends but my own inner foes/
I got no true friends, I got no true bros/ I got no true women, I got no hoes/
I don’t even know if I will even make it to be thirty-four/
I worry about alcoholic danger in the hood every time I walk out my front door/
I thank God I’m not rich and thank him for the experience of being dirt poor/
I thank him for the fact that I no longer have to steal from the local store/
I thank him for the simple fact that I can do simple everyday chores/
I remember a time when I was in a prison cell where even death itself felt like a bore/
until one day something great pick me up off the prison floor……..that was a time when I know I was a soul called SOUL/
I know my truck of life was ready to take it’s damage when it can still pull its own toll/
I knew my boat of life was ready to go against high winds with a broken bow/
I knew I was ready when I can go against waves 100 feet high go under and still row/
if not then I make the surf board roll/ The storms comes like shadow hidden in the skies undergrowth/ I’m not only floating I’m also flying through them both/
I am no longer empty with darkness I am filled with light shone/
I am no longer alone, I am force of many through word flow/
I am a prophet among my own/ words put together like no other only I condone/
I say it in a unique tone/
I’m going to make it past the internet and cell phones/
I am the one, I am by a higher power chose/
These problems in life I will outgrow/
I will overcome being just another SOUL CALLED SOUL….
Travis Lone Hill
Long poem by
Shanity Rain | Details |
To be in a young America ~
visions of a ship upcoming statue of Liberty
the young lad holding tightly to his Mothers leg
in all excitement of a new Land to call their own
celebrations of apple pie and fireworks on the 4th of July
thoughts of the old Hollywood on screen
films without 3-D costing less then a dollar
Greta , Monroe , Betty Davis eyes tantalizing blue glare
The Wizard of Oz or books written by Steinbach, Capote, Mark Twain
exciting new visions of creating new concepts
before Capitalism bought all little ones to bigger
songs came from the hills of Virginia to the black Mountains
surfacing in Tennessee for all to hear and wish to see
The day when one travelled by car on the road travelled
every town a story told , learning history we once shed blood
American Indian tears to the British man whom choose freedom of taxes
Boston held a tea party , now wishing they threw out marmite instead
The day when we knew our neighbors and bought homes with a paystub
Everyone had a chance to make their own with pride , even through wars
When Martin Luther King stood proudly as did President Lincoln for Freedom
How many streets have been named after the man whom had a dream ?
When milk was delivered on doorsteps in Glass bottles
Babies wanting the very first of the top being cream
leaving doors open , watching news with your family at 6pm
cartoons were shut down and it was now grown up time
Cereal being a cheap snack for after school
school supplies costing twenty dollars
Grandma school clothes shopping for fifty
before the internet , cell phones , and text for hello ~
2 week Vacations not afraid to put up Camp
Christmas sold in December with the sentiment of Love not money
a day when if one were sick , you could actually get penicillin without question
The Doctor treated everything calling it General Practice no fear of Malpractice
Never forgetting our Motor city
Old Ford Trucks Chevrolets and Dodge
The city that brought Ottis Reding and Marvin Gaye
What happened to us ? Where did America Go ?
Long poem by
Nii-Ayi Solomon | Details |
On the Trans-West Africa High way we drove
Thoughts of decades we carried
Rich history to be unfolded
Beautiful sights of trees and mountains we view
Hail God’s creation
For his handiwork is perfect
Stories of the Liberian camp at Buduburum were unravelled
How we drove through the hush villages of Gomoa and Mankessim
And our admiration for their rich cultures
Were the praises we kept on our lips
Kuntu Junction to Abandze left us with awe
It reminded us of the story of the slave trade
Those lives that vanished to the Caribbean
How the high seas served as transport in conveying them
And the desert served as grave in burying them
The Trans- West Africa highway was one of the slave routes
From afar, we saw how those forts and castles were dotted along the coast
And how heavy they were with hidden stories of our past
At Abandze, fort Amsterdam featured in brevity
Built by the English and taken over by the Dutch
Again, reminded us of our Negro brethren
Whose lives were sacrificed on the alter
For selfish shepherds who traded gunpowder, mirror and so forth
In exchange for pure minerals and a human race
The Elmina castle, Cape Coast Castle, and Fort St. Jago
Told the story of the slave trade in its sincerity
Fishing communities such as Anomabo, Biriwa and Moree
Were just additions one cannot overlook while on the High Way
At Yamoransa, the attractiveness of a well package Fante Kenkey
Left smiles on our faces and our appetite were titivated
The Trans West Africa highway connects all ECOWAS countries to Ghana
Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin just to mention a few
We were assured of meeting the beauty of Mother Ghana while driving on the highway
The beauty that engulfs a country hefty with opulent tradition and culture
Leaving us with an experience worth repeating
A pacesetter of modern democracy
We saw Fort Amstardam from a distance,
We listen to the infamous stories of Cape Coast and Elmina Castles,
We toured Fort St. Jago,
Experienced the canopy walkway at Kakum
We played golf at Coconut Grove Beach Resort
We took a slice of Ghana with us
Stories about Posuban shrines at Mankessim, Abandze, Cape Coast and Elmina
Kept us awake and our gen about the colonial era were deepened
Drive through the Trans West Africa Highway
And the memories; you will forever lug with you
The Trans-West Africa Highway
Is indeed weighty with ancient stories
An experience worth remembering
Long poem by
Sidney Beck | Details |
The Sioux chief Brown Eagle taught me self-respect
And I saw my life as an Englishman must have greater purpose,
And that these "savages" were actually my saviors.
The spirit of his tribe drew me; to resist was useless.
The closest spirit was Brown Eagle’s sister :
But Bright Water could marry only a warrior-chief :
To prove worthy to marry into the tribe, and to lead it,
I had to endure long tests and trials of grief.
I studied the ways of Brown Eagle,
Whose many scars were openly displayed,
Showing his warrior-status, as well as reminding all
Of the torture ritual in the tribe and the respect to be paid.
The tribe medicine-man explained what should happen:
I had to undergo a series of ritual tortures and tribulation,
Including an O-Kee-Pa style chest-suspension ceremony,
And its most grueling part, the Sun Vow Initiation.
I was hauled up to the roof of a huge tepee
By buffalo-bone hooks through my pectoral muscles, flowing red:
Excruciating exquisite pain - as my former life was torn out of my chest:
My spirit ascended to the roof and I saw my own body dead.
In a sincere desire to become one with the tribe my spirit left
The tepee on a shamanic journey into another order of realization,
A landscape of magic and mystery - and during this ordeal
Manitou came to me in the form of the White Buffalo - a sacred vision:
Hooves pounding, eyes flaring, He emerged from a vast prairie fire.
And of leadership, duty and responsibility I heard Him speak:
And His huge presence ran with my horse and guided me over the endless
Short-grass plains to Bright Water’s flowing creek.
Attention and energy of my small self was removed from its centre;
The world around expanded correspondingly, enhancing
A changing, fluid, magical, and mysterious realm of the unknown.
Deep-etched imagery, a dream of death-and-life entrancing.
My emotional state transcended any normal boundaries
In sacred time and space - because of the ritual, the ceremony,
The privation, the torture, the longing for communion.
I drank from the flowing creek and returned to the tepee.
Helpless, I was cut down from the tepee roof, rejoined
To the world of flesh and bone; but my fire-baptised
Spirit had new authentic power, and Brown Eagle took my arm:
What is your name, brother? I proudly took the name - Buffalo Eyes.
From the culture of the High Plains Sioux in the USA
Inspired by the movie A MAN CALLED HORSE (1970) starring Richard Harris.