Beloved Man
(For My Uncle Jerry Wolfe, Beloved Man of the Eastern Cherokee)

Men make Saints,
but God makes Angels.
The right hero's name makes a mouth a prayer book.
Hear the beat of the drum?
You've met a Warrior.
Woven from the round dance of time,
And chance, which happens to them all,
Who answer War's call,
And love our Nation enough to lead.



~ Dr. Dawn Karima



How to Live Forever

(Why My Great Uncle Bascomb Stands Outside on the Big Cove Church Steps to Listen to Me Sing on Sundays)

Forget nothing.
Remember each footstep on the Trail of Tears,
Recall each murder of crows at Boarding School,
Savor the taste of lye over your language,
Never believe that the hymnal means you,
White-washed and sin-stained and "Just As I Am"
Sobbing at the altar over your loss of land.

~ Dr. Dawn Karima




We Were One People Until 1492


Wedding rings.
Over there, they kept wedding rings
And teeth fillings
Old gold
From souls
Weighed in blood
And found wanting.
Rosaries,
Now it's rosaries,
Folded into calloused palms at the border
Under orders,
Seized 
Left to freeze
In the Land of the Free.


~ Dr. Dawn Karima 


 
Juneteenth

First, you sweep up all the ashes,
Spin until you set them afire,
Aspire,
Higher,
Weave wings of broken dreams and treaties.
In the aftermath of THAT round of voting,
Shake off serpents and delays, 
Remember Heaven on Earth, those holy days,
Call your Ancestors,
And fly.

~ Dr. Dawn Karima


Currents & Agendas 


Blood 
Bones
Wa-bi^`
Wa-hi`
rivers 
and stones of
weathered aggregate

there is 
an eddy swirling
amongst the 
water weeds
and lush cattails
of the marshlands
we knew so well

ni-cki`-the_ca-gi
where the 
rock salt
was harvested
for centuries
before we/
were/
" discovered "

there...a softened
hill of clay
just to the left
of centered eyesight
we`-do^-be
cross hairs focused/
it is a skull
wa-pa
ancient/ageless
w/disproportion

i`-e_shpo^
it speaks 
of sodden dreams
mid stream of currents
and fllash floods
ill concieved
reminding us
of deaths 
uncalled for
debts of sorrow...
we never asked for

anguish that has 
plagued us
mercilessly 
"
for as long
as the grass
shall grow
for as long 
as the rivers
shall flow"   

do you/
recognize those
treaty words?!..
lies repeated in
constant verse?!...

Ni`-u-ko^_cka
we are they
of the mid waters
our story is
intimately familiar
to us/
it is not unique
among the 
song echoed laments
held by 
sovereign nations
of TurtleIsland

zhu`-dse
mo^-i^`-ka
it is story
common place
unto all 
of red earth...

The Nimiipuu
the Nez Perce
the....non treaty
Nez Perce
have stories about the 
Bear Paw Mountains
the blood rent heartache
of death...ts'ee
fears unreSolved
and...the possibilities
of then...escape...
from the...blue caot 
soldiers....

Nimiipuu...
they say
you can still hear
the people 
screaming/running
from the/
thunder belch
of....cannon fire
to`-ckiu_Gtho^`-I^

and should you/
have cause...to
run your hands 
across the bark
xi^-ha
of the trees
at head height

you can see
you can/...feel
where the starving
had removed bark
to eat the 
tree jelly..
of that/...bitter winter 
season
ba`-the
they say...amongst 
the Lakota..and Cheyenne
that....among the trees
of a "park"
where once stood
ft. robinson
of nebraska
hu...xo`-e
voices...whispers
of speech
ancient 
before intrusion
discussions of desparation
of escape 
can yet be heard

there are 
many such places
of practiced  genocide
upon our 
TurtleIsland
and WE
have had to learn
to live with them
in "perpetuity"..
(ssah!...ou don't
even remember 
your killing words!)

on and on!
we do!...
and now the
few places 
of time...
before the times
of you xi^-ha`_cka!
your falling/fouling 
descent upon our shores
like some 
ravening beast!

you wish to destroy
for the paltry dollars
you deem as "progress"
our places of prayer...
wi`-gi-e...wa-tho^
songs of silent gratitude

as well
the orange wigged
bozho 
who sits on your 
puppeteer king's chair
wants us
reassigned to...designations
from sovereign nations
to race?!...WHY?!..
so that we might be E-RACED
from our own landscape?!....
how dare you?!!!...

Cultural Genocide
at it's best!!..
so then
instead of
places of  prayer
and ceremony
u-k'o^
sacred ground
ta`-ko_to^-de
there should only be
the man made monuments
tributaries of slander
to your acts of violence?!...
the laud and magnification
of your red and blue actions
of violence upon us?!...
the violence
of an unnamed holacaust

We need o such reminders!
we live with the 
visceral scars of such
every day we wake!..

We are the 
GhostRoad borne
guiding 
our loved ones 
home 
u-tsi`
always!

no^-xe_u-zho^-ge
u`-be-hni

~ SoldierBlue