Flooded

Sitting on the cliff

legs dangling

listening

Crow and Hawk debate

Mee-ahh-ahh-ca-caw

said Crow

“You’re a far-seeing bird

with near-sighted memory;

it was here

painted warriors

rained arrows.”

Awk-skee-skree-awk

said Hawk

“You’re a foul fowl,

cousin to Coyote,

trying to trick Metis’

in search of himself.”

Lake Billy Chinook,

a memorial title,

ancestral Warm Springs native

who would see the irony;

his name on the White Man’s

man-made lake,

not one formed by

Earth Mother and Sky Father.

 

Does the name

ease the collective guilt

for flooding canyons

rich in tribal history?

Ke-ca-ah, ke-caw

said Crow

“Progress, see the progress.”

I peer down:

speedboats pulling skiers,

Ski-doos doing their dance,

tethered houseboats packed

like tuna (white meat),

the poorer throngs

suffocating the shoreline.

Beneath the surface

visible to the naked eye

and callous hearts,

a dead forest,

drowned,

moss-covered buildings,

roads to nowhere.

Flooded

sites of ancient passing.

Did they stir up Matchimanitou?

Ca-caw-eek

said Crow

 

“Test the water,

test yourself.”

Only if Hawk had spoken,

for you’re cousin to Coyote.

Kiyah-kiyak

“One step closer

to two halves whole.”

 

©JW Thomas

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18 thoughts on “Flooded

    • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 3:54 am

      Thank you, Cathy. I thought is was a little much that they actually buried an entire area of heritage just to make a playground for water sports. The buildings, forest, roads, etc can really be seen under water.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 3:57 am

        Yeah. And the way they tried to ease their guilt was to name it for a Native American. Which is funny, because they gave it a so-called American name prior to flooding it… ha ha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 5, 2016 / 4:06 am

        That I didn’t know. But the past is the past, what’s done is done, and no changing it now. Is there anyone still alive who had anything to do with how the tribes were treated?

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 4:07 am

        Actually for this, yes, because it was done in the latter part of the 20th century.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 5, 2016 / 4:12 am

        The reason I asked is because I wonder if being held responsible for what our ancestors did is really fair.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 4:16 am

        No that’s not the case in this situation; but I understand what you’re saying. I have thought about that in other areas as well. No, this was strictly a collaboration between whites and the Indian council that got fringe benefits for compliance; if you get my meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 5, 2016 / 4:20 am

        Yes, I do. I suppose not all are “noble” as has been portrayed in the last couple of decades.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 4:23 am

        No, my friend, there are good and bad in all cultures. But they’ve done a lot of changing on that particular rez. One of my best friend’s is the second highest official on the rez now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 5, 2016 / 4:28 am

        A funny thing…sort of…the current chief of the Cherokee Nation is 1/32 Cherokee by blood…has less than me.

        Like

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 4:29 am

        I didn’t know that. That is ironic, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 5, 2016 / 4:33 am

        The previous chief was a woman, I believe, last name of Mankiller, if I remember right. If she wasn’t full blood, she was close to it. Times, they do change.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 4:34 am

        Yes, I remember her; in fact, I read her biography in college. Strong and smart lady.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 5, 2016 / 4:37 am

        Now that I think on it, there was another chief between them. A man.
        Well, JW, I’m off to bed. Good night and sweet dreams.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 5, 2016 / 4:39 am

        Always a pleasure talking to you, my friend. Good night and sweet dreams to you, Pretty Lady.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. poeturja April 5, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    Nice to know that the spirituality of my two friends sojmo (hawk) and korako (crow) are appreciated by others. Wonderful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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