Monday Poetry with Melissa Fry Beasley: Breed and Dream About A Curse

Monday Poetry with Melissa Fry Beasley: Breed and Dream About A Curse

Both of these poems begin to touch upon the struggle and realities for me of being a mixed blood, for everyone as far as being a minority and product of a dominant society. What ensues in the intermixing and balancing of it all in the many areas of a person’s life culturally, traditionally, spiritually, socially, politically,, etc.


The Ouachita Mountains cover much of southeastern Oklahoma. Photo credit: wikipedia

A poem with a line from the book
“A Pipe For February”
by Charles H. Red Corn
By product of manifest destiny
& attempted genocide.
Physical manifestations
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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Melissa Fry Beasley is a Humanistic poet of Cherokee origin, who resides in Oklahoma . Through the written and spoken word, she examines the gap between the ideal and the reality involved in living in the world during this time. Her work is both personal and subjective, yet she does not turn aside from the political and social issues of her environment. She is a woman who seeks to express her individual perspective and needs while accepting the diversity involved in questions of gender, race and culture. Melissa believes that change is necessary and deploys her writing to reflect her personal experience in the wider social and political context. You can find her work in print and online in Indian Country Today Media Network, Native News Today, The Native American Encyclopedia, FirstPeople.Us, Working Effectively With Aboriginal People, Churn Magazine, Big River Poetry Review, Enhance Magazine, A&U Magazine, and many others. She has two chapbooks forthcoming. " When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator." Mahatma Gandhi " They won't break me because the desire for freedom, and the freedom of the people, is in my heart. The day will dawn when all the people of will have the desire for freedom to show. It is then that we will see the rising of the moon." Bobby Sands

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