Sad History

Posted: September 1, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , ,

Today Pegman took us to Poisson-Blanc, Quebec. I scrolled around and found a man holding a half-fish! This is what happened next.
Sad History

Long ago our sons,
tangles of muscle, brain
laughter and kindness
used two-foot long arrows
to fell stags with antlers
large enough to support
every wall of our homes

Our daughters
slim, strong
and
more beautiful than a
single
crimson
rose
hooked fish as long as their arms

Then you came
with armies and inventions
and words that meant
everything
everything
everything
before they simply meant nothing at all

You gave us
automobiles, planes
and power plants powered by poison
while we shared our bounty
and welcomed you into our homes

Look what happened
Look!
Now!
and, finally, look again

With every landslide
earthquake and change of tide
we
the original people
pay the consequences while
you
the intruder
move on
with a bag full of a thousand empty promises

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Comments
  1. JS Brand says:

    A hauntingly brilliant take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. draliman says:

    Nice one! I can see developers and so on, eager for a quick buck, crashing through the place, beguiling the native people with their modern ways and finally leaving again having changed the place forever (and not in a good way).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynn Love says:

    Happens so often everywhere, using up the resources all around, displacing ‘original’ people (nice phrase BTW), poisoning waterways. Sad look out for us all. Well done Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are prisoners of language. We call these people “developers,” as though the natural land is in need of improvement by their valiant efforts. They don’t develop anything; they merely destroy what is already there and sell what they build. The corrosive idea that making profit is a moral right of every individual will destroy all our lives. You see this in Houston with its strategy of unrestricted growth (a philosophy shared by cancer cells). This is an excellent poem that shows the pain and helplessness we feel as we stand on the sidelines watching these people do this. Nicely done.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jelli says:

    Miigwetche, Alicia. Thank you. this is a strong and powerful medicine you have written. Aho! Hokei! (Amen! It is a good day to die!) Very well written, indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. pennygadd51 says:

    This poem is terrific. I love it.

    “words that meant
    everything
    everything
    everything
    before they simply meant nothing at all”

    Fantastically powerful use of repetition before denial.

    Your words stirred a deep anger in me against those who have cheated native Americans, and in doing so have wrecked our environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A true though painful reminder of what havoc we have inflicted upon Nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. k rawson says:

    So true and so sad. A beautiful poem.

    That is an awfully big bite of an awfully big fish.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pennygadd51 says:

    I’ve just re-read your poem. And re-read it a second time. It is really, really good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a poignant piece, Alicia. Poetry in motion. I am not a developer, or given to making promises I am unable to keep, but I was made to feel guilty. The majority of our minority are so wasteful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. James says:

    I’ve been exploring a similar theme, both in a couple of my flash fiction pieces, and in my primary time travel series. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Lish,

    Stunning poem. I can’t add much to what’s already been said. So much truth. Well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michael B. Fishman says:

    This was a beautiful poem and the stanza that begins with, “Then you came
    with armies…” brings both a power and profound sadness to the piece. I read it imagining the the anger and the power leaving the soul of the narrator with each repetition of the word “everything” until there was nothing left of him. What we did to the native population in the US should be something we’re reminded of all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. rgayer55 says:

    I really liked this one, Alicia. I fear we’re doomed to destroy our own habitat.

    Liked by 1 person

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