Category Archives: Buffalo

I am America

All the honest ones on the bottom rung,
hunger without a green clue about how to grow food.
Yet our ancestors had the heirlooms, which would later
be bought by corporate leaders to make
toxic morsels, without real sustenance.

They would see dollar signs in the leaves of the trees,
ignoring the animal need in the seed we
received when we breathed our first
naked breath here, when we were taught to
respect here, this wilderness,
and the corrupt ones with their
pockets lined with lies,
grew rich off our trustworthiness,
or took it, with force, when we
were powerless to defend against them.

We watched what was once fecund,
become what is now a wasteland.
An ashy womb of indifference,
too poisonous to bear fruit.
We said mother earth must have
closed her legs and refused,
and yet they pried and forced
a millennia of greed a thousand feet deep,
so that the scope of it,
could be seen to permeate
every sector, from produce,
to health care, to political
sway, still she lay there
unresponsive to their touch.

It’s like I am America
and you are Europe,
like you rush towards me
with bloody hands,
fresh from raping your
own land, and you come here
hungry, looking to build a
new empire, from the ruinous
resin of your burned down world.
Like I have only an arrow to defend myself
against your lead battalion.

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Ebb & Flow

My blood origin is water but thicker than any oil. We were the people of the rapids, always following the tides in and out, as far as they could carry us in our birch bark boats. My grandfather the great Eagle spirit, who could be called on the wind at will, would carry the message of love across the rivers. My father the feathered dancer, always ran with the shadows, ran with the quick horses, wild across the prairie sky, far on towards the high hills, westward to the mountains. He caught the rapids in his veins, the eagle song rushed through him too fast, and I lost his tracks on the wind, it beat quick through his heart like that rabbit on the rails who cried from the weight of the train cutting across his leg. Love is mercurial this is what I chased. I danced with strangers who I hoped could show me deeper into what I felt behind my eyes, spirits passing by like clouds, dark over my head, deer child in storms, under cover of night, crying to the pleiades, snared beneath a thousand shooting stars, willing forward. This is who we are, these are my kin, wild on the hunt, with a scent in us that says love is of this, caught between these river rocks, these feathers, this sky. We follow that scent towards eachother like wild animals marking their journey home again, we will meet at the shore one day. My father visits me in dreams, speaks through the others, offers symbols to guide me closer to the turtle of truth who rises up towards the light. He told me of the 7 teachings, the sacred ways we follow, a path of shells. The beaver works hard to build up these twig towers of hydro electric power that allow us to connect. But the buffalo speaks of respect, tells me “we all have a gift, don’t waste yours, for if beaver did, he would grow long in the tooth and die,” and then we would have a great loss of life, a loss of light to lead us through these dark times.

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The man holding a swan

He arrives at dawn when the others are gone, soaked in their debauchery, seen as a stain on the city, red speckled sea on the horizon , something we avoid on the morning walk to where we have to be, not where we want to be.

If I had my way I’d marry music, swan songs and oblong stories of our less than genteel history. Here in the North we are sorry, that’s our story, forced manners , like blisters on the fingers of the erhu player, but his country has communism, a cracked schism in the pavement, where I step to behold his wordless poems.

You cry out in the morning, no memory of the night before, no purpose, when your legs are sore from running against the current, can’t keep your head above the water long enough to see the shore.

Each morning you stumble down Portage on your way to nowhere, because that’s all we’ve got sister, that and the man with the blister, whose music makes us forget the pain, makes the suffering more tolerable, but what have we to compete with that?

A man holding a swan, caressing it’s long neck of eternity, you and I are lucky if we last ’til tomorrow but that beautiful sorrow can be heard like an ancient cry to the soul, and his case is full of potential coins for the demon that eats loons and moons from our past dreams. They float up merrily and coo at his fingers, see how he wraps them there, wings soft as straw, another corner conquered by something other than a drunken squaw.

What started as awe quickly turns to indifference and downright bitterness for birds. You start cawing and spitting venomous vitriol at anything that jingles. Where did they put my moon eh? Where’s that crescent thing they promised my people, no one remembers the buffalo, they killed him with the red skins, somewhere near wounded knee, but we got this Eastern melody flooding our streets with beauty.

I’m too ugly and my spirit is a deaf traveler. I’ll strangle that white-necked whore! Be nice to the hand that feeds you, it’s the hand that holds you down. They talk like indigenous means religious, it’s not a political stance, it’s birds in the hands of a dying democracy.

I’m the white and you’re the black on the chess board. They are counting on you poor pawn, they are singing for you sweet swan, together we can make a symphony that rises up towards the parliament in full plumed brilliance and lands on Harper’s lawn. Tell him to quit selling what doesn’t belong to him. Take off that Isis mask borrowed from the president and fuck terrorism when we’ve got heroism in our own hands..

dawn over oil spilled feathers, washing these sorrows pure again.

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