Long Poem Topics

Check out these short poem topics. Find short poems by topic or form.

abortion absence
abuse addiction
adventure africa
age allah
allegory allusion
america analogy
angel anger
angst animal
anniversary anti bullying
anxiety appreciation
april arabic
art assonance
aubade august
autumn baby
bangla baptism
baseball basketball
beach beautiful
beauty bereavement
best friend betrayal
bible bio
bird birth
birthday black african american
blessing blue
boat body
books boxing day
boy boyfriend
break up bridal shower
brother bullying
business butterfly
cancer candy
car care
career caregiving
cat celebration
celebrity change
chanukah character
cheer up chicago
child child abuse
childhood children
chocolate christian
christmas cinco de mayo
cinderella city
class clothes
color columbus day
community computer
confidence conflict
confusion cool
corruption courage
cousin cowboy
crazy creation
crush cry
culture cute love
dad daffodils
dance dark
daughter day
death death of a friend
december dedication
deep depression
desire destiny
devotion discrimination
divorce dog
dream drink
drug earth
earth day easter
education emo
emotions encouraging
endurance engagement
england environment
epic eulogy
eve evil
fairy faith
family fantasy
farewell farm
fashion fate
father father daughter
father son fathers day
fear february
feelings film
fire firework
first love fish
fishing flower
flying food
football for children
for her for him
for kids forgiveness
freedom french
friend friendship
fruit fun
funeral funny
funny love future
games garden
gender giggle
girl girlfriend
giving god
golf good friday
good morning good night
goodbye gospel
gothic graduate
graduation grandchild
granddaughter grandfather
grandmother grandparents
grandson grave
green grief
growing up growth
guitar hair
halloween happiness
happy happy birthday
hate health
heart heartbreak
heartbroken heaven
hello hero
high school hilarious
hindi hip hop
history hockey
holiday holocaust
home homework
hope horror
horse house
how i feel howl
humanity humor
humorous hurt
husband hyperbole
i am i love you
i miss you identity
image imagery
imagination immigration
independence day innocence
insect inspiration
inspirational integrity
international internet
introspection ireland
irony islamic
january jealousy
jesus jewish
jobs journey
joy judgement
july june
kid kindergarten
kiss language
leadership leaving
life light
little sister london
loneliness lonely
longing loss
lost lost love
love love hurts
lust lyric
magic malayalam
marathi march
marriage math
may me
meaningful memorial day
memory men
mental illness mentor
metaphor metrical tale
middle school military
miracle mirror
miss you missing
missing you mom
money moon
morning mother
mother daughter mother son
mothers day motivation
mountains moving on
mum murder
muse music
my child my children
mystery myth
mythology name
native american natural disasters
nature new year
new years day new york
nice niece
night nonsense
nostalgia november
nursery rhyme obituary
ocean october
old onomatopoeia
pain paradise
parents paris
parody pashto
passion patriotic
peace people
perspective pets
philosophy places
planet poems
poetess poetry
poets political
pollution poverty
power prayer
prejudice preschool
presidents day pride
princess prison
proposal psychological
purple quinceanera
race racism
rain rainbow
rainforest rap
raven recovery from
red relationship
religion religious
remember remembrance day
repetition retirement
riddle rights
river romance
romantic rose
roses are red rude
sad sad love
satire scary
school science
science fiction sea
seasons self
senses sensual
september sexy
sick silence
silly silver
simile simple
sin sister
sky slam
slavery sleep
smart smile
snow soccer
social society
softball soldier
solitude sometimes
son song
sorrow sorry
soulmate sound
space spanish
spiritual spoken word
sports spring
star stars
storm strength
stress student
success suicide
summer sun
sunset sunshine
surreal sweet
symbolism sympathy
tamil teacher
teachers day technology
teen teenage
thank you thanks
thanksgiving thanksgiving day
tiger time
today together
travel tree
tribute true love
trust truth
universe uplifting
urban urdu
usa vacation
valentines day vanity
veterans day violence
visionary vogon
voice volleyball
voyage war
water weather
wedding wife
wind wine
winter wisdom
woman women
word play words
work world
world war i world war ii
write writing
yellow youth

Poetry Forum Areas

Introduce Yourself

New to PoetrySoup? Introduce yourself here. Tell us something about yourself.

Looking for a Poem

Can't find a poem you've read before? Looking for a poem for a special person or an occasion? Ask other member for help.

Writing Poetry

Ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas how to write better.

High Critique

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!

How do I...?

Ask PoetrySoup Members how to do something or find something on PoetrySoup.

Long Native american Poems

Long Native american Poems. Below are the most popular long Native american by PoetrySoup Members. You can search for long Native american poems by poem length and keyword.

See also: Famous Long Poems

Long Poems
Long poem by William Masonis | Details

The Ghost Dance Part III

                                     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.
Come Springtime...

     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.


Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by William Masonis | Details

The Ghost Dance, Part I


                                    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,
And dream.

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.

Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details

Why MultiCultural Education Matters

The Twelfth Principle

Cooperatively adopt
and responsively adapt
for creolizing acclimation,
best climate and landscape health practices.

The U.S. today
reweaves two points of national nurturing departure,
both taught in schools
and history books
and multicultural sciences
and scents
and sounds.

LeftBrain dominance,
here in post-millennial enculturing lands,
remembers we came to be
in this U.S. place and time,
because Columbus discovered
the American Continents.

RightBrain nurturing matriarchs,
PermaCultural Designers,
Cooperative Incorporators,
ecologists as ecotherapists
for climate health
by clearing out maladaptive relationships with ecosystems,
seasonal-fractal annual redevelopers
farmers designing and planning DNA with RNA regenerative systems,
also remember the WesternHemisphere before the 1000s,
indigenously, from within,
more nature-spirit balancing holonic as  Eden healthy,
here all along
cooperatively uncovering ourselves 
before Columbus 
visited to competitively harvest us.

It is important for LeftBrain dominant ecopoliticians
and teachers,
mentors and parents,
and healthy sustainable incorporating persons,
to finish our cooperative original national Constitution Statement
in ways that both polarities can win further gratitude for regenerativity,
healthy cooperative wealth.

Columbus did historically discover what became the Americas,
more or less,
as an ecopolitical commodity
for WestEuropean colonization,
immigration by means of
mutually assured aggression
as necessary,
or even just more convenient,
to Christianize,
sometimes violently and rapaciously,
further WhiteMale economic and political patriarchal empowerment,
especially over women of color sex slaves
for breeding by night
when they were not seeding and harvesting
and cleaning
and cooking
and feeding mixed race babies by day.

That happened,
and continues to internally happen, 
both as us, LeftBrain colonizers
and to us, RightBrain creolizers.

adopting a RightBrain Sacred Elder
perspective on Turtle Island Paradise,
the old, yet also new, EarthTribal  gratitude attitude landscape
notices Yang healthy adoption
v. Yin pathology-as-maladaptive-RePressedVictim.

What creolized into U.S. mutual acclimation
was here all along, potentially, without Columbus,
waiting to uncover further WinWin gratitude
for grace already deeply and indigenously learned
by polypaths
noticing polycultural historical reweaving opportunity,
promise for better AdoptingLeft and AdaptingElderRight
ecopolitical cooperatives,
emerging through fractal annual 4-seasons
of polyphonic
polynomial holonic
Zero-Soul Outcomes
for global climate through vulnerable personal health redevelopment,
for those with more of a RightWing District of Columbus orientation,
whom we have more rapaciously become,
and for those with more Left and Right wings of Revolutionary Eagles
spreading democratic trusting colonies far beyond pre-historic nativity,
patriotic-matriotic feelings
about healthy landscapes
and courageous climates
of ecological life
and dualdark predation.

2020 post-bilateral millennial revision
remembers who and what colonized America
and reweaves who and what developed the Americas
during the prior 1000 years,
while both East and West cultures
virtually (0)Sum ignored us,
and most certainly did not overpopulate
or ElitistChristianize
by demonizing
what SkyWoman created,
Turtle Island ReVolutionary Eden ReForestation,
divine-humane ecotherapeutic
and familial
and tribal
and more patriarchal-matriarchal
domestic through international ecopolitically resonant,
confluent; not dissonant.

WinWin Cooperative EcoPolitics
adopts LeftBrain deductive language and healthy intent
while Elder RightBrain adapts with creolizing regenerative
Sacred EcoLogical
with 2020 balancing bicameral enlightenment.

We are both Prickly Cowboy Colonizers
and Graceful IndigenouslyGooish RNA root systemic 
transgender polypathic forests and climates,
both lightLeft and dualdark GooeyRight,
creolizing acclimators,
to paraphrase,
and somewhat Gregory Bateson double-bind embellish,
and Buckminster Fuller reincarnate,
Alan Watts with Julian Jaynes bicameral ethology
as historical democratizing WinWin purpose.

Cooperatively adoptLeft
and responsively adaptRight
for optimal creolizing  post-revolutionary acclimation,
best climate and landscape health practices,
surviving dualistic colonizing eclipses
by thriving nondual creolic co-arisings
of mutually sacred gratitude.

Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by William Masonis | Details

The Ghost Dance Part IV

                                             The Holiest Dance

Come out and dance, children of the New World.
Come out brothers, sisters, old and young.
Come dance and call back your dead.
Wheel and turn in long slow movements,
Passing through one another like eagles in flight,
Sailing over the endless plain.
Dance in rhythm, dawn to sunset
Wearing the sacred Ghost Dance shirts
Flapping in the grey cold mist lifting
As the sun climbs into the bluing skies.
Dance in the magic shirts their bullets won't penetrate,
Your protection from the great New God,
Who has forsaken His White Ones, adopting you as His own.
He has given them over to his enemies
For they have betrayed HIm,
Given His son over to His enemies and turned from His words.
Now He walks with us to make us strong again,
We His children now.

     Dance, Dance, Beloved Ones,
     All the day and into the night
     Calling to the Dead, the Gone-Before.
     They stand close to us now, - can't you see them?
     The shadows of yesterday drawn close by your hope?
     Can't you feel them gathering close by the fires
     As the days out in wild, smoking skies
     As you dance together, calling their names, 
     Calling them back to the light,
     To the dreams and fears and loves of life
     While the stars come out to keep their watch
     Bejeweling the night with their cold sweet shine
     As you dance and dance and dance
     Until exhaustion claims your bodies with a faint.
     No matter: the good times come and with that knowledge
     The sweet dreams go one, even in collapse.

Dance, children, dance all together, safe in the magic shirts
Adorned with strange magic symbols
Our Fathers' Fathers knew so well.
Their power returns with your belief
And the Whites are afraid, for once.
They don't understand this, they feel something is wrong,
But they cannot grasp what is happening.
That must be our secret - they'll find out soon enough.
When their well-deserved ruin overtakes them.
Enough for now to be patient and tread lightly near them,
For they are easily moved to destroy anything that puzzles them too much.
     Dance and Dream.     
     Sing and grow stronger.

Sing sweet, wheeling under the stars:

                                                        Father, have pity on me,
                                                        I am crying for thirst,
                                                        All is gone; I have nothing to eat.

Wovoka's spirit will hear and smile. Sing on:

                                                        The Father will descend,
                                                        The Earth will tremble,
                                                        Everybody will arise,
                                                        Stretch out your hands.

The Spirits hear. Can you feel them gathering?

                                                         The crow! Ehe'eye!
                                                         I saw him when he flew down,
                                                         To the Earth, to the Earth.
                                                         He has taken pity on us.
Throw back your hands and laugh. Soar with joyous thoughts. 

                                                         I circle around
                                                         The boundaries of the Earth,
                                                         Wearing the long wing feathers as I fly,.

The Whites are afraid. Their time is passing.See their faces, and pity them.

                                                          Iyehe'! My children -
                                                          My children,
                                                          We have rendered them desolate.
                                                          The Whites are crazy - Aheyuheyu!

Yes, children, the time is come at last.
Dance and rejoice; dance them into Oblivion.
The Game, our Dog Soldiers, all the true men
Are returning to us.
The old ways shall be ours again.
Dance and rejoice! This Earth, our Love,
Will be ours again.
Ours forevermore.

Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by William Masonis | Details

The Ghost Dance Part V

                             The Ending at Wounded Knee

This is what happened:
Two worlds collided,
And the elder one died.

Pony soldiers and Indian police,
Triggerhappy and jumping at shadows,
Killed Sitting Bull at Pine Ridge;
     His horse pawed the muddy ground and danced
     To the thunder of the shots as they rolled over the plain and back,
     Shuddering through the grey empty space
     To toll the birth of another memory.

When change rolls through, things happen fast.
Reason gives way to confusion,
In the manner of beginnings and endings.
This is how the dancing ended
And the Spirits evaporated into silence.

Leaderless, his people wandered
In the cold of The Moon When The Deer Shed Their Horns,
They set out for the Badlands
To join their brethren in the New Faith.

Searching for Bigfoot's camp on Cherry Creek,
Unaware that he was to be arrested, as a "formentor of disturbances."

He and his were en route to Pine Ridge
To seek protection under Red Cloud.
Chief Bigfoot traveled a dying man, chest rattling with the wood of his wagon.

He ran up the white flag,
Parlayed with the pony soldiers who stopped them.
Major Whiteside said to go to the cavalry camp at Wounded Knee Creek.
Chief Bigfoot nodded,
Red drops raining from his nose
To make red flower stains on the snow.

They arrived in the twilight,
With pony soldiers all 'round in the frozen glow,
Ice crystals flashing in the air like Winter fireflies.

     Somewhere nearby, the Dancers all knew,
     The heart of Crazy Horse lay buried in a secret place
     Somewhere his Spirit walked, in converse with the winds.

Major Whiteside posted his men about the camp,
Placed cannon on a rise,
Sent his surgeon to see to the Chief.

     In the deep, bitter darkness
     The new 7th Cavalry arrived,
     Set up 2 more guns
     Spent the night drinking whiskey.

Came dawn, the prisoners were assembled and told to disarm.
Unsatisfied, the soldier chiefs had the teepees searched,
Then, finally, the warriors' blankets as well.

Their Shaman, Yellow Bird, had had enough.
Strong in his faith, he stamped the Ghost Dance steps into the snow,
Singing a Sacred Song.
"The bullets will not go towards you;
The Bullets will lose their way."

What followed might yet have been avoided,
But at last the soldiers found a gun.

Black Coyote, who was deaf, resisted,
And somehow, it went off.

     With that, the killing ensued.

In the chaos that followed
Carbine fire made death;
White smoke rolled like fog over the fallen.
The guns on the hills roared like Heaven and Earth
Being torn asunder;
Shreds of teepees, women and children
Blew like scattering leaves
And blood fell to frost like hot rain.

     And what of the magic Ghost Shirts?
     - Back to buffalo hides; the Great God had changed sides again.

The Shades of the Ancestors stood by in silence
Robbed of Faith's power
As the dying stared into the slate sky
That heralded a coming blizzard on its descending breath.
It was the End, All knew it was so.

In madness' aftermath
Pony soldiers collected the wounded,
Piled them on open carts like cordwood,
And rode on back to Pine Ridge.

Their caravan arrived in the velvet darkness.

Their dead lay where they fell,
Contorting into strange frozen shapes
Beneath the snow that fell all night to bury them,
Holding a great Counsel with the Ancestors
Full of such questions and answers as only the Gone-Before conceive.

The Pine Ridge barracks were full,
So the wounded were left out in the bite of the wind
While other accommodation was sought.
At last the Episcopal Mission was opened,
And the broken and bleeding brought in and lain on hay.

     'Twas 4 days past Christmas,
     Year of the Christ, 1890.
     Festive greenery yet hung about,
     And by candlelight those mothers who could read,
     As they lay groaning in this rough Nativity
     Could scan the words writ large
     On a banner above the pulpit:

"Why, oh Why," they must have thought,
"Fathers, were we yet forsaken again?
Was it too little Faith, or too much?

Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Hannah Borke | Details

The Great Food Revolution

After three-and-a-half* millennia 
Europeans walked the earth in America 
And chanced upon amazing crops
That, back at home, they knew of not;
Around the world, new foods debuted
For one and all, and me, and you

Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate
What was the world like without it?
Hot cocoa sips, cookies with chips...
The proof is in the pudding, favored:
That would be the chocolate flavored;
Bittersweet or milky -- on the palate, silky...
Chocolate melts as I write -- in my mouth
Credit goes to the tribes of the south

Vanilla bean -- from the new-world gleaned,
Surpasses chocolate, in ice-cream and malted;
Strawberry, too -- from America, stems
Add your best flavor to milk, and blend!

In this world of Hershey bars and milkshakes,
Let us acknowledge corn and cornflakes;
Corn is the base of most puffy snacks
And crunchy ones, and Cracker Jacks;
If potato chips is what speaks to you
Keep on reading -- that's American, too
(When is it proper to act like a slob?
When eating buttery corn on a cob)

Starchy potatoes in earthy skins
Were cultivated by Indians;
And naturally became prolific
Across the Atlantic and Pacific
Due to their 'filling' characteristic
Besides which, they also taste terrific:
Baked, or mashed, or nice brown-hashed
Or stuffed in a knish, for calorie rich;
For potato cakes, do shred them thin;
With fries, serve ketchup for dipping in

Ketchup -- a tomato-based condiment
Stems from the American continent;
Offer ketchup when you serve spaghetti
Or else, they probably won't eat any;
Cook your meatballs minus a sauce ...
More than likely, they'll end up tossed;
Pizza is Italian?  Not fully true --
That's not the place where tomatoes first grew;
A sandwich begs tomato slices
Never mind how high the price is --
One large slice, or two, suffices

First grown on American soil,
Avocados are fatty and royal!
People chop onion and dice a tomato
And mix it together with mashed avocado
Which makes a dip called guacamole --
To get it hot, just add some chili

Instead of a route to the Indies
Columbus discovered the Chilies;
First, they were shipped to the Asians;
From there, acquired by Caucasians;
What's your fave bell-pepper hue?
Red or orange, green (not blue)
Shiny yellow, or purple too;
Very versatile, stir fried or grilled
Or cut up, fresh, in salad, chilled;
The people of the colored ponchos
Grew specimens like jalapeños
For the folks who so desire
For their tongues to feel on fire --
No food prior could effect that
Though I 'get' not why they want that

I do 'get' the goodness of pancakes with syrup
And we sure didn't learn to make syrup in Europe --
The Indians tapped holes in to trees
Through which the sap oozed out with ease
Which was boiled into syrup, tasting of the Maple,
Although syrup from corn is the candy-making staple

Sweet potato's loved by babies and adults
Bake it extra long, for sumptuous results;
People on diets, who need special flour
Rely on cassava and arrowroot powder
(Cassava starch is called 'tapioca')
All these 'roots' have roots in America

Pineapples grew on the Native's ground,
With a leafy crown, and spiral gown,
And yellow pulp, so juicy and sweet --
No one else knew about this treat

The south is home to the unique passion fruit
Which tastes as good as it looks bad, which is cute

Sunflower seeds; and popular quinoa
Started out, both, as American flora

Pecan is the nut I rate first place
Cashews, no less, rank high in taste;
Peanut allergy is indeed a dread
Though, jelly or not, most of us spread
Peanut butter on slices of bread;
No ifs about it, ands, or buts
We depend upon peanuts and nuts

And all the above American food stuffs
That, thanks to G-d, traverses our guts

* The continents separated during or after the flood.

Copyright © Hannah Borke | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by laughing cougar | Details



What makes one man or woman better than another?
Should we think differently of those who adapted
to another environment and adapted another color?

If our differences are only skin deep as a tone
why do we unto our heritages
so dearly as if their our own

Why should I feel as if I should atone?
For past misappropriation of rights of other races
while I welcome them warmly into my home

Past atrocities do not belong to me, unless I attack with racial fanatic fervor
of racial superiority. I should only be held accountable for the acts
I commit intentionally, so if I have to ask for your forgiveness, fine, 
please forgive me.

But alas I am guilty of stereotyping race and relations, relishing in its comforting
dramatic obscurities. 

Thugged out “nigga” with 30 inch rims, a Jesus chain, speaking in strangle syllables, while wearing teeth jewelry. 

Exotic Indian maiden, adorned with glittering jewels and gold, Karma Sutra dancing 
erotically, insatiably. 

American Indian war cry, cries tears over land, beating wildly on a drum, with fierce war paint running down their dark fierce eyes, dart quickly. 

Dark eyed “suspicious” Arab, deep in thought, seemingly angered, in long robes and curtain dresses, quick to speak loudly in protest about past atrocities. 

A chattering group of Chinese, hustling cheap goods, martial arts, strange medicine, bartering and gambling at seemingly any opportunity. 

 Hispanic people, quick to party, willing to work, no hablo ingles, illegal immigrants knowing how to take advantage of the American system's quirks, semi-transient , seemingly divided by two countries. 

The privileged white man, a regular Richie Rich, hitched a ride on inherited riches, a white picket fence, a puppy, a fine ass “bitch”, gets a kick out of “stepping” on those who are deemed inferior financially.

Are things truly as simple as I see them?
Misconstrued by cultural misconceptions,
America the plenty, is it truly a living Gem

A diamond that glitters, will not glitter overnight
We will never understand another culture or way of life; 
if we keep them at arms length and out of sight.

Our racial differences, seem to make us genetically unique.
But our anger blinds us, when misconstrued by the world, hungry for answers, 
seems to be when our racial differences begin to peak

It is when we welcome a stranger into our home,
that we truly realize we are not alone.
We may be separated by lands and culture,
but our hearts remain at our cores
“unnoticeable” deeds of foreigners, of love, warmth, and affection
crossing the lines between social and racial lines,
Teaching us a valuable lesson.

Its far too easy to be envious, and carry the baggage of Hate.
In which only love can seemingly cure, love for one's culture,
love for another, self-love, for all sisters and brothers,
with a love from being reared from a mother. Love cures fear, a cure for well being,
a cure for a tear. 

Fear is the baggage of hate, in which we must learn to love, so the fog of hate,
will dissipate, and love can shine sweetly in one's eyes. 
And shed our racial barriers we wear as a disguise
as a form of comfort, because its our own race we see first 
when we are in a land we don't recognize

But after all we are all humans at heart
leaving everything behind us when we so dearly depart
taking our souls into the afterlife
leaving you with a seemingly an inanimate corpse
but love is immortal, traveling between heaven, hell, and the earth
so one could assume, you will always be left with the love in our hearts

Copyright © laughing cougar | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Kody Walters | Details

Reservation Blues

Reservation Blues
5.2 million Native Americans in the United States
And many live in conditions equal to that of third world countries
Removed and relocated from the land they loved
Discarded like yesterday’s garbage
Picked up and dropped off in land fields Uncle Sam called reservations
But for Indians, having your land stolen is just the same ol’ news
Another track on the reservation blues

The government realized the only thing strong enough to destroy an Indian’s native pride
Was that fire water, which they used to both burn and drown that pride
The main reason for their 82% rate of suicide
Death and blood from 4000 + broken, beaten, blistered feet of the Cherokees
Seeped so far in to the ground that it turned clay to the dried blood rust color it is today
What was once war paint is now a streaked mess
As tears flow freely from a mother and father as another one of their infants dies
Two redskin baby caskets are built for every one Caucasian
But Native Americans and dying is just the same ol’ news
Another track on the reservation blues

Victims of the first use of biological warfare
Europeans wiped out masses with small pox
And the fact they did it on purpose proved they didn’t care
Still victims of the police, Indians are only 1% of the U.S. population
But yet, twice as many lose their lives at the hands of those pigs
Like a single mother of 4 with no choice but to work on the pole
The government is still steadily stripping land from the tribes
But Native Americans being victims is just the same ol’ news
Another track on the reservation blues
Forced to be uneducated and remedial
Living below the poverty line means not keeping up with the times
Can’t even say that when it comes to technology that they are behind
They don’t have anything, not even able to step up to the starting line
IPhones, Androids, not even Tracfones phones exist there
No reason when there aren’t any telephone lines there
The only Facebook they know 
Is the one that contains the mugshots of their loved ones
90% without internet results in the cardboard sign
# No internet therefore I can’t tweet
Three generations under one roof
Living their life like half of all Indians on the reservation
No sewer so their forced to use an outhouse
But when a dozen people all share the same home and you only have one outhouse 
You have to make a reservation on the reservation just to take a crap
For Indians though, living a life beyond disadvantaged is just the same ol’ news
Another track on the reservation blues

The government felt the Navajo language was important enough to use in the World War
Yet, you never see any tribal dialect offered as a foreign language choice in school
As all these dialects become extinct
Uncle Sam’s smile only widens
For with the loss of these dialects the history of so many wrongdoings also vanish away
But being silenced and outcast for the Indians is just the same ol’ news
Another track on the reservation blues

A race that went from owning a country
To being forced to live in lands that even people in ghettos crack jokes about 
The U.S. government has become a Hitler Clone
Placing a curtain over everyone’s’ eyes 
As they perform a disappearing act
One that results in the annihilation of all the different tribes
A term known throughout the world as genocide
But fighting to stay alive for Indians is just the same ol’ news
Another track on the reservation blues

Copyright © Kody Walters | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details

First Uniting Nations

Honey, why doesn't the United Nations include the First Nations?

Are you asking about Babylon
or Native Americans?
Who were, at the time,
thought to be more like wild Indians
by the movers and shakers of rapid industrializing history.

What about a Security Council
made up of the Maple Tree Nation
and the RainForest Nation
and the WaterDweller Nation
and the WingedFlight Nation?

I suspect that would be a transportation
and a communication nightmare.
Your First Nations
are too wild
and voiceless
for nurturing mutual health and wealth translations.
What language could they understand
and speak together?

Is that why the Security Council
is composed of its current constituencies,
because they share a common health as wealth language
everybody understands
and speaks cooperatively together?

Probably not.

I wonder if they might like to adopt some First Nation Golden Rules
for planting and harvesting.
(adapted from Robin Wall Kimmerer,
Braiding Sweetgrass,
p. 183)

Know the ways of the ones who take care of you,
so you may have the first clue how to take care of yourself,
by taking care of them too.

That would seem to preclude rabid overpopulating infestation
of any one overbearing Species,
or Nation,
or monoculture.

It does shed a variegated light
on UncleSam's ways of taking and giving care
to existing United Nations
and First Nations
and even His own health and climate care giving
and receiving.

So what's the next First Nation Planting and Harvesting Protocol?

Introduce yourself,
by re-introducing your active gratitude.
Become, and sustain, accountable integrity
as one who approaches each living system
asking to share cooperative life.

More of a WinWin mutual namaste,
and less of a who grabs whose hand first
and shakes the last life out of it
the hardest and fattest and longest.

I see it more like multiculturing root systems in a forest
waking up to a new spring day
totally in love with each other,
each in a uniquely knowing way.

That does sound like reasonable understory protocol
for a Security Council
surrounded above by a forest of United First Nations.
What's next, if I may ask?

Ask permission before taking
no more than half.
Accept feedback.
No means not yet,
and sometimes never.
Yes may also include but not yet,
and sometimes always and forever,
more timelessly.
Never take the first
because everlasting keeps the last.

I guess what is first and last
is like figuring out similarities and differences
between First Nations and last natives.

And the first clue and last premonition.
Anyway, take only what you need
and no more than half what appears freely available.
Share cooperatively,
which is more positively, and democratically, sustainable
than competing side by side.
Re-invest respectfully,
with full ecological authority.
Never waste what First Nations have invested in you.
Remain as grateful as possible.
Become a national treasure,
in reciprocity for what you have received.
Succeed with the ones who succeeded toward you
and Earth will revolve Eden forests and habitats
fit for First and Last Nations forever.

Sounds like Yin planting
nurtures health care giving.

And swells like Yang harvesting
health care re-investments
of and for First United Nation ecopolitical grace.

Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Robert Lindley | Details

Mighty Oak Tree, Its Acorns Fed Many

Mighty Oak Tree, Its Acorns Fed Many
  (A Native American Food Source)

Hard-cast shell
flung down in Fall,
food for man and beast
nuggets of forested treasure,

sprinkles its bounty
majestic Oaks rain
fruited missiles to ground:

thy treasure feeds life itself
creatures survive on thy seeds
winter hoards feed many
fruit of thy life.

Regal and tall,
massive trunk, widespread limbs
O' sweet thy summer shade
Blessing to us all.

R. J. Lindley
November 11th , 1980

Old note- My grandfather explained that his people ate acorns, so I tried to eat just one. Bitterest thing Ive ever tasted.. Yet Native Americans had a method to remove that bitterness and its poison, in order to use that bountiful food source to survive.

New Note:
Indians 101: Acorns
Posted on September 7, 2011 by Ojibwa

Long before the arrival of the first Europeans, California was the home to an extremely diverse variety of Indian cultures. The California culture area has the widest variety of native languages, ecological settings, and house types of any North American culture area.

One of the mainstays of the diet for the region was the acorn which was used in soup, porridge, and bread. Sixteen different species of oak provided the acorns. Because of the nutrition provided by acorns, the Native American people in California did not develop agriculture. Acorns contributed to the fact that California peoples did not experience annual famine months or develop traditions or legends dealing with famine. It is estimated that among one tribe, the Yokut, a typical family consumed 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of acorns each year.

While many of the early non-Indians in California noticed that the acorn oaks which were so important to many of the California Indian nations tended to grow in regular rows, they did not understand that these trees had been planted as orchards by the Indians.

There are a number of steps involved in gathering and processing the acorns. They are gathered in September and October. Traditionally, the people gathered the acorns by climbing the tree and then beating off the nuts with a long slender pole. The acorns which are collected have white bottoms and no insect holes. The acorns are then dried in their shells, a process which takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. During this time, the acorns are stirred to increase air circulation and encourage drying.

Once dry, the acorns are cracked to remove the nutmeat. This was traditionally done with a small, handheld stone pestle. The acorns are then ground or pounded into acorn flour. The flour is pounded as fine as possible. Once the acorns are ground into flour, it is then leached. Acorns contain tannic acid which is very bitter and which is poisonous in large amounts. The leaching process removes the tannic acid from the acorn flour. The leaching was traditionally done by digging a shallow sand pit near a creek. The flour was then carefully spread in the bottom of the pit and water was continuously poured over it until it was sweet. It would take several hours of pouring to leach the flour.

Copyright © Robert Lindley | Year Posted 2017

Long Poems