Another message to the lost in America

The breath of Wishekuanwe wrestles
and tumbles and tears at the matrix
pulls and chews     tearing at the
imagery    the activation of my first
memory     one of the oldest
ceremonies of homeland   of history
Rattles   eagle bone whistles
dancers and drummers keep the rhythm of
history in the inner circle of
women singing        when
first men painted color onto stone

The wind wrestles to strip me of
all the weaknesses    gathered by
vain attempts to be a human being
longing to live inside the color red
a southwest red that streaks the
canyons    collects as dust    and
whirlwinds into pinnacles of red stone

Unlike movies my life began in
color    before i discovered america
an old film in black  white and gray 
To achieve color    it needs
our native attachment for
homeland      from where the oldest
legends pull us from holes in the
earth    or from the sea   the sky or
from cracks in stone

Reality as we know it    imitation
love produces    the phrase suggests
problem love     having to fake your
identity  your orgasms 
Colonial truth has no
color of its own   born to thievery
and murder    It will take your
breath and leave you without
relatives of truth and honor   and
erase the color of your homeland   if
you let it    The ancestors sculpted
stone into elegant shapes    obsidian
edges to cut flesh and shave wood
and bone

We are all supposed to be assimilated
by now     so we will not be
recognizable     we will look like
theives and no longer be as
suspicious    people wondering if
we still really exist    until the
fantasy of heathen blood flows
through all of america and the
guilt is redeemed
We re all Indians now   afterall
What was that struggle all about
Good God
We act like we re not grateful
Well   some of us
Some of us are still burned by
the imagery of holocaust
(with little finger pointing at all
the Jews and Catholics aboard
the ships of
Columbus    the new gangsters of
the new world)
american holocaust    white on
red    red into stripmined earth
white on the backs of blacks   
truth into
stone

Yeah   it bothers me if you claim
my history   and you run from the
truth of your own    to claim my
own thinned blood    then make up
your own fantastic rules about God
and ceremonies    All our ancestors
were once children too and ran
with imaginary friends
cowboys and Indians
Red Ryder and Little Beaver
colonial pederasty in full color
You do know that
Hawkeye and Uncas really had a
thing for each other   No  really
and was Tonto always on top of
a masked white man        and what
was Dr. Quinn doing with that guy in
the factory tanned bucksins    and
when our histories actually blended
Tom Jeffords and Cochise   now
what was that all about  
Did General Crook really have a
crush on Geronimo   and did
OO Howard pursue Chief Joesph
longing to smell his butt  What was
with Johnson and Osceola in
the steaming of the everglades  
Tecumseh and Rebecca Galloway
“Mr Tecumtha sir”
Andrew Jackson and William Weatherford
a Horseshoe Bend rendezvous in
the Danielle Steele bookcover tradition
Colonel Custer and Monaseetah the
little vixen of the plains
Alfred Kroeber kept Ishi   desolate and
stunned   the last of his kind  posing and
demonstrating technique   but what did
Ishi know about porno   about the
history you claim

You know    the TRUTH    yes
you do    and now that america
is falling apart    you come to
find safety   to find answers that
have been spoken and ignored
all along    still ignored   Now the
water comes and swallows New
Orleans    your politicians steal your
dreams of safe lands in the west
Lady Liberty forging
ahead of  western ho the wagons 
big flag in hand to the promised
free land    

The landscape of america is on fire 
and other peoples with whom
colonialism tampers   blow up sacred
icons   and sacrifice their own lives to
keep the colonists out
the sun is not shining right
the earth shakes and animals take
headphoned heads and
jogging asses out   people who
play in the wild as if they know it
and are entitled         Centuries of
disrespect come to a head    and
when you have to sneak through
the door    to claim a place in the
veins of first blood    you dishonor
the truth that longs to be in your
blood anyway    without disguises
without excuses   without
need to control or change   The
truth you come to find is not about
race anyway     Afterall   respect is
a ceremony in which each step is
an honor for the combination   the
confirmation that we are not
alone   that we are grateful to
our own languages    and to
read the languages    that in the
beginning were painted onto stone.



*    *    *    *   


Barney Bush was born in Southern Illinois and near Karbers Ridge, home of the Vinyard  (Shawnee) Indian Settlement.  After completing high school, Bush hitchhiked across the United States for several years. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in 1972 with degrees in Art and History. He became involved in the American Indian Movement, and helped to establish the Institute of the Southern Plains, a Cheyenne Indian School in Oklahoma. In 1980 he earned a Master’s degree in English and Fine Arts from the University of Idaho. He is a poet and author, and also performs and records his own music, and has taught creative writing at the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

"Our Creator makes available to us all that we need. It is an honor to go out and gather it. We must remember to say ‘Thank You.’ It is honorable to give away, to show our gratitude… and to let the children see this.” -- Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
 


Comments

Ed Lopez
08/18/2012 7:09am

And the chorus sings Truth songs as nuclear fallout lands on deaf sloths ears...

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