Monday Poetry with Melissa Fry Beasley: Breed and Dream About A Curse
A poem with a line from the book
“A Pipe For February”
by Charles H. Red Corn
By product of manifest destiny
& attempted genocide.
Of spiritual prophecies
We chose to ignore.
Who is barely Indian
But can never be white.
Anger without a path of release.
Accumulating a kind of vitriolic,
Hateful, & sanctimonious momentum.
When history is all there is left to hold.
Long making effects of a colonizing culture.
Allowed the inquisition of education.
Knowing assimilation means termination.
Did killing the Ndn really save the man?
This is how I dream:
Our men are dead and our young without ambition.
Lost in a quagmire of superficiality.
What is truly important is diluted and lost in the tumult.
Inside are the things we wished we buried deeper.
I hear my Grandmother ask me
If I see how everything is swallowed into the center?
It is ordained to be pulled in.
She told me the people have been sleeping.
The sun one day would rise in the west.
We will walk as hollow shells upon stone prairies.
We shall go nowhere without treading on a dead man’s bones.
I collect the broken pieces as if as if lost languages.
She was wailing a prayer song for one who had died.
Dream About A Curse
Too drunk to articulate the raging
of my dream about a curse,
or to scrawl such paltry lines.
Unable to wake or sleep.
Remembering people don’t burn spontaneously
but slowly like lamps.
When burned away in houses
one must remember that heat will rise
like a gourd of ashes falling from the sky.
They say the spirits will warn you twice;
but the third time you stand alone,
Mourning the ghosts we walk among.
Gone like tall grass prairies or
that longer silence in which
an entire language has ceased to speak.
Just clamors and thrashes
like all frightened things.
In dreams I recognize the sacred.
There are things we hold and don’t say;
to keep the power from bleeding out,
like the men whose souls evaporated into mist.
(With histories that matter only to us)
We are those scattered ashes
that fell from that gourd,
as invisible as tomorrow.
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