505 Years

first published in The Crossroads - Jan. 1998
First read at La Raza/Galeria Posada - Sacramento, Ca Dec. 1991
"La Noche de 500 Years of Resistance"
revised as 505 years of Resistance

Phil Goldvarg

Now 508 and Still Counting
Broken treaties lay along the ground,
they rest beside small skeletons
of slaughtered children
and fleshless arms of mothers
held up in eternal protection,
the signed names of presidents
have faded in the sun,
too fragile to stand the test of truth,
treaties were dark winds
that moved fist nations to strangeness,
burial grounds to glass cages,
where there was no sky,
no earth,
only broken circles of dead rivers,
the treaties died by their own hand,
others were born to portray innocence,
a mask of deceit,
until they disintegrated
and the earth was filled with bones
more numerous than the blades of grass.
For 505 years the flesheaters came
with silver plated skin,
without soul, without heart,
they came with hunger for gold,
power, oppression,
rape, murder,
they presented themselves with the land
that was not theirs,
the paid the price with first nation blood,
a harvest of death
in tribute to the mislabeled new world.
They came,
split the skin of drums
that would talk to the People,
expose the beast
and its terror,
they cut the feet from the dancers,
tongues from the singers,
hands from the drummers,
attempting to shatter the link
with mother earth,
hide the beat of revolution,
extinguish the flame of resistance,
no merenque,
no ghost dance,
no sun dance,
were the edicts that hit dead
against the great spirits,
the People would dance,
in mountains,
deep forest,
places invisible
to the invaders weak eyes.
505 years of trails and tears,
forced moves,
offer of pebbles for mountains,
the promise,
a white feather seduced by the wind,
leaving wingless spirit
in the fenced mind of the flesheater
who pushed the march thru ice and snow,
hoping for avalanche,
a blanket of white death,
forced move,
ridge children wander,
trail tears cover sisters and brothers,
old words that Unaka will come
with rivers of misery,
fill the sky,
darken sun,
Cherokee feels the great water
washing his/her mind,
the trail end
a long tear.
505 years,
return to place of grandfathers, grandmothers,
on disappeared road
to home of youth
where child voices are covered by cement, the river of life
filled with poison saliva of false tongues, we return to the place
where child of the sun
was ripped from the earth,
roots torn and bleeding,
spirit losing form in the strange shallow land
that held no nourishment
for this bronze child,
for this red child,
for this fire child of the earth.
Flesheaters - Headhunters,
1872 -1873
150 - Modocs 150,
Captain Jack - Kintpuash
refuse reservations
at the reservation,
1000 - soldiers - 1000
held off,
Siskiyou County,
150 - Modocs - 150
murdered to 0,
heads of Modoc leaders
sent to Smithsonian,
"scientific analysis:,
sent to carnival for display,
for disrespect,
Modoc heads visited the Smithsonian,
a forced, bodiless march
after almost defeating 1000 soldiers
in the 72/73 Siskiyou war,
Captain Jack laid his heart
along mother earth,
claiming it for generations
with blood and resistance,
until Modoc bodies
lay down their arms
to search for the lost faces
of their relations
who floated disconnected
in the dead hands
of ghost anthropologists
and fearful
round-eye carnival savages.
500 years,
year 407,
Colonel Sherwood
with Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
gave false invitation to Akwesasne,
Chief Jake Fire in handcuffs,
demands release of his people,
death answered Mohawk eyes,
betrayed blood
on the council floor.
505 years,
the BIA - FBI - CIA
must have sailed with Columbus and Cortez, honed their skills
during the massacres,
learned deceit
during the destruction,
how to steal the land
with crooked smiles
and paper
heavy with the weight of the us Calvary, learned how to tear children
from their land,
from their people,
place them in sterile boxes,
memory erasers
intent on breaking
the connection of generations.
505 years
the flesheaters came,
brought our Afrikkan brothers and sisters
to this land,
you would think they had enough Indians
to oppress - murder - rape - steal from, without adding another layer
of strip-mining to the pain,
we saw our sisters and brothers
hanging in the trees
like some forbidden fruit,
their soft skin
a half step from ours,
their ancestors crying
somewhere in the night.
Across 505 years
they copied the Iroquois Confederacy,
copied their structure,
their words,
gave no credit to their faith,
their heart song,
used the model of equality
and concern for the people,
for the earth
to fill long scrolls of parchment paper
signed in self-important script,
copied it,
framed it,
but never used it with the people
of the great Iroquois Nation
or any other first nation.
The flesheaters came,
called the list for termination,
Arawak - Taino,
clawed La Isla Hermosa,
wild with hunger,
feasted day and night,
a continued rape,
when Spain was done
the U.S. shoved its metal tongue
into the sweet brown body de Boricua.
505 years,
Batista carrying on tradition
with his US partner,
ripped the 28 year old eyes
from Abel Santamaria
for their vision of the revolution,
for their loyalty to Fidel.
505 years,
Chile - Argentina - Guatemala y mas,
are full of the disappeared ones,
uncounted columns
within the census count,
where they are hidden
in the copper walls of Anaconda,
the picture cans
of the United Fruit Company,
their bones supporting
the rotted house of Pinochet,
US presidents
and their CIA aids.
The Nina - Pinta - Santa Maria
still sail today,
skeleton captains
plunge their flag spears
into the heart of mother earth,
their pens into journals of false tongues, this is the history,
discovery of America,
which was not America or India
and was already discovered
and the indians were not Indians
and already knew who they were,
you cannot discover
an inhabited land,
that is history,
that is the history.

Phil Goldvarg
Zapatista Solidarity Coalition - Sacramento, CA
Viva Los Zapatistas

Conflict in Chiapas: Understanding the Modern Mayan World
by Worth H. Weller, Ben Weller (Photographer), Julia Weller (Photographer)
$16.95, Paperback, March 1, 2000
Rebellion in Chiapas : An Historical Reader
by John Womack (Editor)
$14.36, Paperback , March 1999
Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
by Victor Montejo
$18.17, Hardcover, October 1999
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