3 Native American Poems

تشوكاي بيلي يكتب ثلاثة نصوص شعرية تتحدث عن عادات وتقاليد الأمريكان الأصليين (الهنود الحمر) والتعصب الأعمى ضدهم.

“أمريكانا” —الرجاء متابعة الفديو*

يدور حول القانون الأمريكي في مسح الهوية الأصلية من خلال اختطاف الأطفال وسرقتهم ومن ثَمّ إجبارهم على التهجين في المدارس الداخلية للحكومة الفدرالية

“الأسباب”

مجموعة من التوقعات حين تدخل في حوارٍ مع غير الأمريكي الأصيل.

“اللمّة”

وفيه يصف اجتماع عدد من الهنود الحمر في احتفالهم الرسمي (پاو واو) والمشاكل التي تواجههم بسبب تطبيق القوانين الصارمة.

Chuquai Billy

Americana

Killing off the red and saving the man was always the plan

when they came for us kids;

retaliation for resistance against reservation assimilation

where mutilation, smooth words and bids failed to rid the earth of the indigenous people;

in the land of the free.

Human beings and buffalo nations stood too long in the way on the day the eagle looked west, saw all of us and said “What’s wrong with this picture?”

“well, the bison are pretty and I hate to be gritty but the truth is they keep fuckin up my railroad; and all them redskins, them blanket-ass prairie-savages need to go, that just goes without saying”

in the land of the free .

Men in high collars and upmarket suits recruit like-minded men in high collars and upmarket suits but the main point is moot;

genocide unleashed by the dis-grace of God and manifest destiny designed to bring out the best in me, because the only good indian is a dead one.

So off we march into the wild blue to a government boarding school

800 miles away to keep our heathen relatives at bay from interrupting

while they teach us to kneel, beg and pray.

They say: “Stop all that primitive belief and get with the program, O noble Indian chief, and you’ll thank us later as you booze up your sorrow and grief;

in fact you’re not Dine, Chahta or Oglala any more, because I can’t pronounce that; so I will call you native american,

so you can understand that God is for the Christian right

and of course we all know that God is white.

“So take off those moccasins and pick up this gun,

Get inside this jail cell, no you get no choice, son;

you better do as you’re goddamned told

or we’ll stand you against a wall

shoot you in the head and then make a souvenir of your balls.”

Today I say don’t wave your flags at me screaming the same old song

about how great your country is even when it lives to do wrong;

the word is out about how you make your bank accounts grow

but the dreams of our Elders are much more powerful than even you know;

the day will come and all will be clear

when the old fat eagle limps far away from here.

[trump/walking eagle joke]

 

*** *** ***

REASONS

So you’re a real red Indian

Native American; First generation?

What kind?

I mean..erm..ahh..which one, what do you call them – tribe?

Which tribe are you?

Cha Cha??

What?

Chack – tow. Is that how you say it?

Choke tall.

Choke…like I’m choking!! Heh heh

Nah just havin a laff, mate… so—

Where are they from then, Canada?

Oklahoma. Oh right.

OOOOOOOOH klahoma where the sun shines all the livelong  day!

Oklahoma is a choke-tall word is it?

“Red People” hmm right.

Do I fuckin care?

So what does “HOW” mean?

Is that a real Red Indian greeting?

HOW!

And “heya heya” – is that some word for God?

You know when I was little we played cowboys and Indians

And I always wanted to be the Indians. They looked much cooler than the cowboys.

Yeah man I wanted to scalp a few squaws too HAHAHA!

So do you live on a reservation?

We drove past one once on a holiday in America but didn’t see no Indians. No tipis. A couple of houses and some rusted out cars; that was it.

A bit of a gyp if you ask me!

So do you eat buffalo?

What’s that like?

Can you get it at Tesco?

Where can I get me an Indian headdress? I think they look fab. What? You find that offensive? Why? It’s just a silly hat! ….You have to earn it? —wot by drinking lots of whiskey?

I read that Indians can’t drink alcohol and they all came from Siberia across the Bering Strait  like a million years ago.

No really! It was on the Discovery Channel.

Want another drink, Chief?

You don’t like to be called “chief”?

Why not?

Aren’t you a chief?

Sorry, didn’t mean no offence

I thought it was like some sort of honor* to be a chief.

Like in the navy. They have chief petty officer.

You can be a fire chief too.

Hey if an Indian choke tall becomes head of the fire brigade does that mean his name is Chief Chief?

Chief Chief of the Choke-talls

Hahaha Yeah Chief Chief of the Firewater Brigade!

It was at this point, Your Honor, that I committed the assault on Mr Farage.

*** *** ***

 

A GATHERING OF NATIONS

Welcome to the Reservation of Education

As mid-day sparklers lighten the sky

The five singers surrounding the drum,

Mixing vocals and verse, familiar to some, exotic to others;

Pounding a two-step rhythm like a huge beating heart,

The MC on the mic says it’s time to start.

The people stand and men remove hats as the drum beats an introduction to all that is Grand Entry

The ceremony begins, War Veterans and the traditional elders lead the way, file through one by one

Filling the arena in a circle of colour and the sound of jingling sheep-bells until the singing is done;

Fancy-dancers in layered regalia,

Eagle feather bustles sway in rhythm in the hot summer sun;

Women in buckskin and sequinned dresses step in quiet dignity,

Women in t-shirts and jeans wrapped in coloured shawls and glowing modesty follow behind in groups of three representing the Cree, Navajo, Lakota, and Pawnee

The MC sending prayers for the relations who died at Wounded Knee;

and the tiny tots ages four to nine dance, showing off Grandmother’s bead design and express tribal pride on their tender faces for the very first time. Some of the people cried;

All dance in precision and intensity from seven generations to the time even before Dad was born and when Grandfather fought the bluecoats with Tashunka Witko  Crazy Horse;

A smell of sweet grass fills the air as the congregation ask for Grandfather’s blessing for all peoples

Even the ones who hate us;

They watch us from a distance with binoculars in unmarked cars and flak jackets, convinced sage is a narcotic.

The arena is finally filled with dancers and relatives, young and old and in-between,

With respect in their hearts and thoughts that are clean

We know the Feds* have orders to shoot on sight because they were told we are unruly and obscene

But what does that mean?

Just that we are like smoke in their eyes because we don’t accept the lie

That is their reality.

Ours is the Indian way:  Hoka Hey! Mni Wiconi: Water is Life. Today it’s a good day to die. Today it’s a good day to die.

  • US (informal) – members of the FBI or other federal officials

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