Poetry Rule No. 27 Your ‘brief case’ is an important tool; use it well, use it wisely

The Trail of Tears

The trail goes on and on and on and on and on
our homelands now are many miles away
hearts broken by the power of the gun

Where once we looked to stars and moon and sun
in that place now we can no longer stay
this trail of dread goes on and on and on

Our pace is slow, we have no strength to run
heads bowed and burdened, slower every day
hope beaten by the power of the gun

We fought our battles, bitter every one
but bullets beat our arrows come what may
and still the trail goes on and on and on

There is no joy, nor laughter, and no fun
our children have no time or place to play
hearts broken by the power of the gun

So onward we must tread, our old life gone
feet seeping sorrow into weeping clay
the trail goes on and on and on and on and on
hope beaten by the power of the gun

© Maggie Baker 2017

This poem was inspired by the painting of the same name by Robert Lindneux 1942. With the passage of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act in 1830, the movement of Indians from their lands east of the Mississippi River to undeveloped territories of the “west” had begun.  Between 1838 and 1839 the Cherokee nation was forced, under military escort, to leave their sacred grounds and move to what is now Oklahoma.  It is said that over one-quarter of the fifteen thousand expelled Cherokee Indians died on the marches from exhaustion, exposure, hunger and disease.  The Cherokee people came to call the marching path, the “Trail of Tears” to represent their suffering. … The “Trail of Tears” by Robert Lindneux (1942), is one of the more famous Native American paintings and shows the downtrodden warriors and their families traveling to a new and unfamiliar land. http://www.sussexvt.k12.de.us/science/The%20History%20of%20the%20World%201500-1899/Trail%20of%20Tears.htm

Poetry Rule No. 37 Recognise a cry for help when you see one

Cry

A cry goes out
but no one hears

The Act is almost
done, no tears

But then another cry
is heard

That stops the Act
before the end

And so it goes on
and on
and on

These are the pages between the sheets of our lives

Blank. Black. White. Dirty. Torn. Cornered. Folded. Plied.

These are the lives that we limit to live
These are the cries that we’re frightened to give
These are the days that we count on our clocks
How soon will it be before it all stops?

© Glad the Poet 2020

Poetry Rule No. 47 – Still in development (or should that be ‘instill development’?)

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com
Fox, Alert

Once, upon a green and white day, I walked
with shades of blue and grey above
and occasional muted pools of golden light
along the way

Cold and still, it was as
wrapped in thoughts and clothes
I lumbered on
taking weary steps in heavy boots
glad to be out but ill at ease
and with no easy motion

Then, suddenly, up ahead
a quick quiet movement of life
and limbs
and fur of warm brown red

A dog, I thought, at first - but no -
a fox!

I stopped and stared
and thrilled at each tight turn

Alert though not aware of me
she moved, close enough to see
the splash of white
upon her breast
no cunning vixen, she
with body, mind and spirit
in perfect poise
and purposeful grace
beside the still
and silent
trees

Doing what she needed to do
being what she needed to be

But then I moved
and she was gone

So I carried on 
through the green and white day
with shades of blue and grey
moving easier now
but missing her and wishing
that our eyes had met
that I hadn't seemed a threat

For in her hungry hunt for food
she had nourished me
and warmed my heart
while her cold search
went on

Alone, both
and alive

She free, and I
a few steps closer now
to being
me

(c) Maggie Baker 1998 & Glad the Poet 2020