“Cherokee to Ho-Chunk”

Cherokee to Ho-Chunk

it is not only the volume as far as their names
but also their inherent cultures’ vast and timeless bounty
that made today’s North America, the supposedly
newly discovered world’s 3rd largest continent

and, each of their tribes suffered

Native Americans, that is

they faced pain beyond

humanity’s capacity

they were subjected to tortures
to butchery, to slavery and to conversion
to Christianity – or else, they would have met death

we all sit now in our own comfort on their land
having pushed them into the most remote
corners of low lands of their country
either pitying what has become of them over time
or admiring their enduring strength, integrity, dignity

how, amid immensely bloody tragedies, they still do rise
to shout loud and act out their ancient words of wisdom
as to how to live with respect for every dab of our world
in honor of not merely the two-legged animal species
but, of our four-legged counterparts, too

regardless of what any of us has / not done in person
collectively, we bear the onerous weight of annihilating
an entire indigenous people, together with their languages,
cultures, generations-surviving rich history and daily lives;
of guiding them to their irreparable shameful demise

how many times have i cited your wise insights
not having a clue whom to give the credit to
dear members of the Cherokee, the Apache,
the Iroquois, the Pawnee people, the Sioux,
the Miwok, the Shoshone, the Osage Nation,
the Navajo, the Lakota people, the Ute people,
the Sauk people, the Cheyenne, the Crow Nation,
the Nez Perce people, the Ho-Chunk, the Ponca,
the Paiute, the Omaha people, the Hidatsa, the Odawa,
the Chumash people, the Mandan, the Duwamish people,
the Iowa people, the Cahuilla, the Modoc people, the Otoe,
the Yakama, the Pima people, the Chiricahua, the Arikara,
the Missouria, the Sac and Fox Nation, the Omaha people,
the Meskwaki, the Odawa, the Washoe people,
the Patwin, the Goshute, the Serrano people,
the Maidu, the Quechan,
the Oneida Indian Nation,
the Yankton Sioux Tribe, the Kumeyaay,
the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest,
the Chinookan peoples, the Clatsop, the Miami people,
the Tulalip, the Mandan, the Hidatsa and Arikara Nation,
the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes . . .

forgive my silence
forgive my ignorance
i bow before each of you

forgive my daring, desperate plea
that which i brought along with me
in my quest to seek wisdom from thee
it is said to come from a Plains Indian, you see:

“Give me knowledge, so I may have kindness for all.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This poem was submitted to the January 2019 issue of The Year of the Poet VI, published by Inner Child Press International

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Reflections

Your readership is appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s