Blue skies over waving prairies, tall Osage grasses
beckoning weary travelers to take comfort and shelter, seeming to say,
come and rest, feed yourselves, as they have for countless generations,
the bison herds and all who have been so nurtured.
White faces cannot comprehend this compassion and kindness, so they cut, slash and burn
their way through all the cursed growth, to remove it out of their way.
Make room for crops, homes and children to play
along with their small vain animals, they say—-
Relentless attack on grasses, trees and plants of all kinds,
they did not understand nor accept, thus creating massive hordes
of water spirits for
their off-spring to contend with and there was nothing left
to slow them down or deter them.
Noden (wind) comes calling blowing gusts of sand everywhere,
and the people still cannot grasp what has happened!
We must create, we must civilize,
sounds the cry of the conqueror And they don’t stop
with grasses and trees.
They continued with the children of the common people who greeted them
and nourished them, for a time.
Educate, civilize becomes synonymous with enslaving
the two-legged and their kind—
Cut, tear, slash, create civilized dwellings
for us to live and breathe, they say—-
And now the plantings they have done,
seem to cry in the night and beckon for attention in the day,
so that the conqueror
must start yet another process of clipping and shearing,
lest they grow and multiply beyond demand.
And what of those
who were educated and primed for becoming civilized?
Are they improved, or have they become
impoverished, bereft, stripped of everything they once were,
thus creating another dependency to be dealt with?
Where is the voice
of the grasses when
Noden (wind) called upon them for their songs?
Voices stilled forever
so the common people cannot
hear their sounds of joy and peace any longer.
The true education
must reign and be allowed
to share its wisdom for the children to be free, bright and true.
Where are the voices and songs of the people, as they rode and played
among the tall grasses and frolicked among the trees?
The original songs
and teachings are slowly coming back,
but through different voices,
echoing the injustices and the sufferings, the common people have endured.
This then could be the Indian Literature
the conqueror makes such big talk about—-
Ah, but he thought he had silenced all those voices,
and now wants them to be heard again, throughout
the hallowed halls of learning he has created
among the squares of stone and wood he has chosen to
place the voices of the common people within.
Can this be?
Nin se Neaseno…