Metis’: bred in a barrio


Choctaw, Cherokee, and Welsh: a fair-skinned metis’ raised in the bowels of a Southern California barrio in the culture of Ramirez, Romo, and Reyes: friend and foe.

Inca, Mayan, Aztec, and a cut of Spanish with Apache, Tex-Mex, and Mestiso sexed-in for good measure; a hot-blooded community communicating in Spanglish, fiestas, murals, music, faith, and blood.

The sixties generation got lost in the translation; no middle-class LSD and grass; no peace, free love, and have a flower… just poverty and shotgun blasts, and street love by rape, position, or hour.

No one was feelin’ groovy, there was no purple haze – except pollution – though some existed hollow and numb, and stumbled through their days with tequila shots, cactus juice, and cheap-ass wine that rotted their insides.

No hippies ever found our hood, but hipsters walked the block in flared-out fashion that cost all their cash… so they always tried to hustle a buck.

I saw flower-power VW bugs only on TV between Lone Ranger and Tonto and the Cisco Kid, or Speedy Gonzales at three.

I tried to like Bonanza because of Little Joe, and Johnny Madrid in Lancer really stole the show; but while they placated my fair-skin side my indigenous side felt a twinge.

The color-code in the Hollywood West, in fact, every period and place, told half of me to live with pride and the other half in disgrace – but only if I chose to buy what they were selling.

I shunned the used car tact – sell the sizzle not the bacon – I’d rather see truth, common sense, hope, and a genuine connection.

I favor a new direction in a life I choose to lead.


© JW Thomas


No Love for Twister


Stars shine bright on an indigo night

Vision far-seeing and focused

Moon mirrors my love for you

Day breaks forth when Morning comes

Sun steps on-stage to set Earth Mother aglow

It glows brightest where you stand

Evidence of pleasure without measure

Satisfaction complete with morning dew

Cleansing need inspires naked rain dance

Bathing beat in rain – spellbinding attraction

Lures Lightning’s attention and flashing affection

Bolts of synergy and sexual arousal

Thunder hears, Thunder sees, and Thunder roars

At Lightning’s illuminated faux pas

Moving to the beat of a mortal

Twister heard Thunder tales, came to see ‘tis true

He laughed at Lightning’s shocking antics

Then saw you and loved at first sight

He tried to wind his way into your heart

Your rebuff smacked his spiral hard

He cried awhile… fizzled… and was no more

© JW Thomas



Any musician can play notes.

But if they do not infuse their life into the tune…

If they do not form the movement with honest emotion…

If their rhythm is not based on valid values…

If they cannot celebrate the syncopation…

If they harmonize without instilling hope, or mete’ out melodies without a message…

And if they have not sacrificed enough for each arrangement, or bled enough to interpret the piece, they will never master music or create their magnum opus.

Jerry drumming #1

© JW Thomas


I am of two peoples

I am mixed-blood

One people call me Metis’

One people call me Half-Breed

But all my blood is red

I am told I’m Welsh

I have never lived in Wales

I have never even seen Wales

except those in the sea

I am told I’m Indian

I have reservations regarding many things

I have visited many reservations

I have even made reservations

But I have never lived on one

Am I Welsh without seeing Wales?

Am I Indian without residing on a reservation?

Heritage is inherited

so I am told

My father’s blood

My mother’s blood

They have intercourse within me


© JW Thomas

Found Wanting

Running errands

Being productive

A chance crossing

Her and me


Mere glimpse

passing by

Her smile fades

Smirk forms

Brow dips



turns head

rolls eyes



I have been judged

and found wanting

Filled app out

Handed in

Don’t call us

We’ll call you

If interested



Look good on paper

Just what we want

That’s great

Don’t be late


Hardly ever


the punctual

Selling self





Ushered in

No time to shake

First glance

a glimpse


Tells all

I am not

what he imagined

I have been judged

and found wanting

I marvel at the audacity

that accompanies

their skill

Seconds too long

Briefest moments




They know all

there is about me

in their minds

Their actions judge them

and they are found wanting

©JW Thomas

Great Spirit

One orgasmic burst of creativity

the Great Spirit created all

set all in motion with a word

positioned natural laws to maintain

barred the Spirit World from Unbelief

left Faith a path to freely follow

chose fatherhood for Himself

spawned a diverse family

gave them freedom of choice

Great Spirit knew

forced love is no love at all

merely an illusion

Great Spirit desired relationships

He is appalled by religious substitutes

human constructs

all the evil done in His name


© JW Thomas

American Poets?

Wind brought the words

I heard it called waves of air

Claims of natural talent

Red blood

Red skin

Red clay

Erdrich is grandiose

Momaday the master

From oral tradition

to ink stains on paper

No treaty for creators

The hoop circle complete

Give air to the truth

say the warriors of the words

The Great American Poet

A spirit whispers

Whitman is dethroned

Are there real American poets?

Crane is shelved

Ginsberg is shackled

Poe is Poe

All Wasichus


Symbols by Silko

Howl with Harjo

Share through Young Bear

Don’t swim with Matchimanitou

Word warriors


Never saw the face of Death

No war honors

No spirit guide

False vision quest

Trickster’s prints are present

Socio-political activism

Public war of publicity

Market you

Market me

Forked-tongue talk


Great Spirit Father

and Mother Earth People

When we walk the Wasichu way

the strategy betrays

Coyote plays

Our people lose Integrity

who is drowned by Publicity

and stumbles in darkness

beneath the murky waters

of Matchimanitou

© JW Thomas