Stories long ascribed the penance of our race,
whispered by familiars with the netherworld . . .
the crows, the coyotes, and sometimes even a mallard;
they all at times returned with warnings from the land
of shadows concerning our sentence
for living with the wind.
We knew we were too free . . .
we understood our desires flew
wild, with the thoughts of our ancestors, screaming
throughout the skies, to someday cost us all.
But who could ever comprehend the entire
price would be administered to our whole race?
Would it not be better to kill everyone,
than to rob us of all the skies and wind?
The babies’ hands lie limp and so forlorn
I sometimes cannot tell the live ones from the dead;
I lost all my wives to this journey, and they
grew so weary of life they now have no strength
after death to speak any words to me.
I suffer the cold, I exist in torn blankets
aside the greatest river; I suffer the snow
and the hunger, all this, but it seems too hard
to listen to this silence from the dead ones.
I see a crow wobbling above the gray waters . . .
even this bird studies me before it speaks.
“Human cunning is worthless,” says the black wing,
“when it is necessary to fly . . . and you will live and live
but never again understand the wind.”
I find I cannot turn my eyes from the icy water,
even though the crow wants to taunt me more.
I must learn to endure until I can discover how
to become one of the vocal dead.
After gold deposits were discovered in tribal territory, the state of Georgia, in 1828, outlawed the Cherokee government, and moved to confiscate Cherokee lands. Cherokee appeals to President Andrew Jackson were rejected. In 1832, the Supreme Court ruled in the Cherokees’ favor, yet federal authorities ignored the decision. Most of the tribe—18,000 to 20,000 members—were forcibly evicted in 1838 and endured the three-hundred-mile march generally known as the Trail of Tears. The Cherokees, calling the forced march the Trail Where They Cried, lost over 4000 people who perished due to hunger, disease, exhaustion, and exposure.
history of souls by Ward Kelley.
Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:
Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.
Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.
Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.