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Martin Carter: poeta-activista de Guyana: “Estás involucrado”

Martin Carter (al derecho) con un poeta-compañero Ernest Perry_Georgetown, Guyana

Martin Carter (al derecho) con un poeta-compañero Ernest Perry_Georgetown, Guyana

Martin Wylde Carter (poeta-activista de Guyana, 1927-1997)
“Ahora es el tiempo oscuro, mi Corazón”
.
Ahora es el tiempo oscuro, mi Corazón.
Mayates castaños están gateandos por todo el país.
Se esconde dentro del cielo el sol brillante.
Flores rojas se doblan en una tremenda pena.
.
Sí, Corazón – el tiempo oscuro…
Es la estación de tiranía, de metal negro, y de lágrimas.
Hay un festival de armas, un carnaval de miseria.
En todas partes, la cara de la gente está tenso, inquieto.
.
¿Quién está viniendo, caminando en la negrura de la noche?
¿De quién esa bota de acero que pisotea el fino césped?
Es el hombre de la muerte, mi Corazón,
el invasor extraño que te mira en tu reposo –
y él está apuntando a tu sueño.
. . .
“Estás involucrado”
.
Éso yo he aprendido:
hoy eres una mota, y
mañana – un héroe.
Pero…
héroe o monstruo – ¡estás devorado!
.
Como tiembla el telar la plantilla,
como teje un adorno la telaraña.
Estamos todos implicados – enredados –
¡todos están tomados!
. . .
“Dicen que yo soy…”
.
Dicen que soy un poeta escribiendo para ellos:
a veces yo río, a veces asiento con la cabeza – solemnemente.
No quiero mirarles a los ojos
no sea que chillaran pues escabullirse de mí.
.
No puede escribir el poeta para ellos que no piden su ser honrado – sino mentiras.
Porque los poemas están escritos para los moribundos o para los niños no nacidos
– no importa lo que digamos.
.
Pero su audiencia no existe, remota en una matriz o en algún lecho de agonía.
Solo quiere decir ésto:
nosotros que desean poemas de honradez,
tienen que volverse nacido de nuevo, y morir primero para hacer eso.
. . .

“Para un hombre que andaba de soslayo”
.
Orgulloso, descalzo, doy zancadas por la calle,
y él que quiere mi camisa – pues aggárela.
Solo recibe el dador.
El indeseado desea el mundo, y
el talón moreteado de su pie patea como un metéoro.
La oscuridad sombría atrás de la ilusión azul
se para como un altar en un templo de una tierra renunciada.
Ellos fracasaron como morir, entonces perecen desgarbadamente.
(Al menos Laocoonte, aún con todas las culebras, luchó bien…)
. . .
Martin Wylde Carter fue un poeta y activista guyanés.
Su obra Poemas de Resistencia (1954) lo consagró como una voz políticamente entregada por la lucha de descolonización y los derechos del trabajador pobre. Aunque en sus inicios su poesía estaba muy comprometida con los movimientos sociales, Carter evolucionó durante los años 60/70/80 hacia una lírica más personal.
. . . . .


Martin Carter: Guyanese poet and political activist

A fanciful German map of the north coast of South America, from 1635, based on Sir Walter Raleigh's description of the chimerical El Dorado. Guiana was his misnomer for the entire region, and based on his 1595 voyage and book entitled

A fanciful German map of the north coast of South America, from 1635, based on Sir Walter Raleigh’s description of the chimerical El Dorado. Guiana was his misnomer for the entire region, and based on his 1595 voyage and book entitled “The discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful Empire of Guiana, with a relation of the great and golden city of Manoa”.

Martin Wylde Carter (Guyanese poet and political activist, 1927-1997)
. . .
Not I with This Torn Shirt
.
They call here,
– Magnificent Province!
Province of mud!
Province of flood!
Plantation – feudal coast!
.
Who are the magnificent here?
Not I with this torn shirt
but they, in their white mansions
by the trench of blood!
.
I tell you
this is no magnificent province
no El Dorado for me
no streets paved with gold
but a bruising and battering for self preservation
in the white dust and grey mud.
.
I tell you and I tell no secret –
now is long past time for worship
long past time for kneeling
with clasped hands at altars of poverty.
.
How are the mighty slain?
by this hammer of my hand!
by this anger in my life!
by this new science of men alive
everywhere in this province!
Thus – are the mighty slain!
.
(1950s)
. . .
Do Not Stare at Me
.
Do not stare at me from your window, lady,
do not stare and wonder where I came from
Born in this city was I, lady,
hearing the beetles at six o’clock,
and the noisy cocks in the morning
when your hands rumple the bed sheet
and night is locked up the wardrobe.
.
My hand is full of lines
like your breast with veins, lady –
So do not stare and wonder where I came from.
My hand is full of lines
like your breast with viens, lady,
and one must rear, while one must suckle life.
.
Do not stare at me from your window, lady.
Stare at the wagon of prisoners!
Stare at the hearse passing by your gate!
Stare at the slums in the south of the city!
Stare hard and reason, lady, where I came from
and where I go.
.
My hand is full of lines
like your breast with veins, lady,
and one must rear, while one must suckle life.
.
(1950s)

. . .
Tomorrow and The World
.
I am most happy
as I walk the seller of sweets says “friend”
and the shoemaker with his awl and waxen thread
reminds me of tomorrow and the world.
.
Happy is it to shake your hand
and to sing with you, my friend.
Smoke rises from the furnace of life
– red red red the flames!
.
Green grass and yellow flowers
smell of mist the sun’s light
everywhere the light of the day
everywhere the songs of life are floating
like new ships on a new river sailing, sailing.
.
Tomorrow and the world
and the songs of life and all my friends –
Ah yes, tomorrow and the whole world
awake and full of good life.
.
(1950s)

. . .
You Are Involved
.
This I have learnt:
today a speck
tomorrow a hero.
Hero or monster,
you are consumed!
.
Like a jig
shakes the loom;
like a web
is spun the pattern.
All are involved,
all are consumed!
.
(1950s)
. . .
This is The Dark Time, My Love
.
This is the dark time, my love.
All round the land brown beetles crawl about.
The shining sun is hidden in the sky.
Red flowers bend their heads in awful sorrow.
.
This is the dark time, my love.
It is the season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.
It is the festival of guns, the carnival of misery.
Everywhere the faces of men are strained and anxious.
.
Who comes walking in the dark night time?
Whose boot of steel tramps down the slender grass?
It is the man of death, my love, the strange invader
watching you sleep and aiming at your dream.
.
(1950s)
. . .
Words
.
These poet words, nuggets out of corruption
or jewels dug from dung or speech from flesh
still bloody red, still half afraid to plunge
in the ceaseless waters foaming over death.
.
These poet words, nuggets no jeweller sells
across the counter of the world’s confusion
but far and near, internal or external,
burning the agony of earth’s complaint.
.
These poet words have secrets locked in them
like nuggets laden with the younger sun.
Who will unlock must first himself be locked;
who will be locked must first himself unlock.
.
(1957)
. . .
After One Year
.
After today, how shall I speak with you?
Those miseries I know you cultivate
are mine as well as yours, or do you think
the impartial bullock cares whose land is ploughed?
.
I know this city much as well as you do,
the ways leading to brothels and those dooms
dwelling in them, as in our lives they dwell.
So jail me quickly, clang the illiterate door
if freedom writes no happier alphabet.
.
Old hanging ground is still green playing field.
Smooth cemetery proud garden of tall flowers.
But in your secret gables real bats fly
mocking great dreams that give the soul no peace,
and everywhere wrong deeds are being done.
.
Rude citizen! think you I do not know
that love is stammered, hate is shouted out
in every human city in this world?
Men murder men, as men must murder men,
to build their shining governments of the damned.
.
(1960s)
. . .
They Say I Am
.
They say I am a poet write for them:
Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I solemnly nod.
I do not want to look them in the eye
lest they should squeal and scamper far away.
.
A poet cannot write for those who ask
hardly himself even, except he lies;
Poems are written either for the dying
or the unborn, no matter what we say.
.
That does not mean his audience lies remote
inside a womb or some cold bed of agony.
It only means that we who want true poems
must all be born again, and die to do so.
.
(1960s)
. . .

My Hand in Yours
.
As in sleep, my hand in yours, yours
in mine. Your voice in my hearing
and memory, like the sound of stars
as they shine, not content with light
only. My fingertips walk on your face
gently. They tiptoe, as a dream does,
away from sleep into waking. In a tree
somewhere a bird calls out. And I wake up,
my hand still in yours, in the midst
of the sound of stars and a far bird.
.
(1972)
. . .

In the When Time
.
In the when time of the lost search
behind the treasure of the tree’s rooted
and abstract past of a dead seed:
in that time is the discovery.
Remembrance in the sea, or under it,
or in a buried casket of drowned flowers.
.
It remains possible to glimpse morning
before the sun; possible to see too early
where sunset might stain anticipated
night. So sudden, and so hurting
is the bitten tongue of memory.
.
(1973)
. . .

On a Child Killed by a Motor Car
.
Child, a moment of love ago
you danced in the eye of the woman
who made you. When another moment,
like the innocent wheat that made the loaf
of bread she sent you for,
in this field of the heart’s ploughed land
you were threshed!
.
(1974)
. . .
On the Death by Drowning of the Poet, Eric Roach
.
It is better to drown in the sea
than die in the unfortunate air
which stifles. I heard the rattle
in the river; it was the paddle stroke
scraping the gunwale of a corial.
Memory at least is kind; the lips of death
curse life. And the window in the front of my house
by the gate my children enter by, that window
lets in the perfume of the white waxen glory
of the frangipani, and pain.
.
(1974)
. . .
For a Man who Walked Sideways
.
Proudful and barefoot I stride the street;
who wants my shirt can have it.
Only the giver gets. The unwanted
wants the world. The bruised heel of his foot
kicks like a meteor. And the dim dark behind
the blue illusion stands like an altar in a temple
in a forsaken land. Having failed to learn
how to die, they all perish ungracefully.
Laocoön, for all the snakes, struggled well.
.
(1974)

Guyana flag...somewhat scuffed up...
. . .
There is No Riot
.
Even that desperate gaiety is gone.
Empty bottles, no longer trophies,
are weapons now. Even the cunning
grumble. “If is talk you want,” she said,
“you wasting time with me – try the church.”
One time, it was because rain fell
there was no riot. Another time
it was because the terrorist forgot
to bring the bomb. Now, in these days,
though no rain falls, and bombs are well remembered,
there is no riot. But everywhere
empty and broken bottles gleam like ruin.
.
(1975)
. . .
Being Always
.
Being, always to arrange
myself in the world, and the world
in myself, I try to do both. How
both are done is difficult. Why,
I have to ask, do I have to
arrange anything when every
thing is already arranged
by love’s and death’s inscrutable
laws, mortal judiciary, time’s
dollhouse of replaceable heads,
arms and legs? In another
house, not time’s, time itself arranges
mine and the world’s replacement.
.
(1979)

. . .
No Easy Thing
.
I must repeat that which I have declared
Even to hide it from your urgent heart:
No easy thing is it to speak of love
Nor to be silent when it all consumes!
.
You do not know everywhere I go;
You go with me clasped in my memory:
One night I dreamed we walked beside the sea
And tasted freedom underneath the moon.
.
Do not be late, needed and wanted love.
What’s withheld blights both love and us:
As well as blame your hair for blowing wind
As me for breathing, living, loving you.
.
(1970s)
. . .
Two (from “Four Poems”)
.
Not so is it done, O no
not so. It is done, so,
as I think I am doing it,
neither not, nor so, but only
just in a wait, in a
moment, in a year, in
and this moment, this
yester just so. Because
a poet cannot truly speak
to himself save in his
own country: even among
the fearers of joy, enviers
of pride. Standard bearers
of his and their defeat. Just
so. And the sly drum.
.
(1980s)
. . .
Bitter Wood
.
Here be dragons, and bitter
cups made of wood; and the hooves
of horses where they should not
sound. Yet on the roofs of houses
walk the carpenters, as once did
cartographers on the spoil
of splendid maps. Here is where
I am, in a great geometry, between
a raft of ants and the green sight
of the freedom of a tree, made
of that same bitter wood.
.
(1988)

. . .

We would like to thank Bruce Paddington in Caribbean Beat (Issue 13, Spring 1995), and Gemma Robinson in The Guyana Chronicle (May 2nd, 2014) for introducing us to Martin Carter, a great Caribbean poet still too little known. We are grateful also to poets/editors Stewart Brown and Ian McDonald for their critical appraisal in a survey of Carter’s oeuvre from the 1950s through the 1980s: Poems by Martin Carter (Macmillan Caribbean Writers Series, 2006).

. . . . .


Alexander Best: Earth Day poems / “Poema al Agua” para El Día de La Tierra

Water water every where...And all the boards did shrink. Water water every where...Nor any drop to drink_Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Handmade Poem
.
One way
Right way
Lost and pounding
.
Treasure
Shovel
Message
Bottle
.
Plastic
Bagful
Urgent
Bubble
.
Soilmouth
Steepdrink
Skypit
Hovel
.
Un-way
Our way
Human foundling
.
Mousepad
Chisel
Boulder
Nipple
.
Clayclod
Seedhusk
Grounded
People
.
Yucca
Maize and
Grains
Astounding
.
Cellphone
Oatmeal
Idealogjam
.
Slowburn
Brainsmoke
Concrete
Feed me
.
Juice of
Grasses
Miles of
Malls and
.
Micro
Chip off
Old block
– Heed me!
.
(September 2010)

. . .

Water Sonnet
.
My love and I go down to the well
With buckets at our waists,
and dip the vessels in, refresh ourselves,
Then give we chase…
.
The sparkling drench is ours,
Extravagance of simple choice.
We swallow all, we surge and runneth over
By such device.
.
And liquid Time a-rushing flows,
And tolls the bell for me,
And us – where did our children go?
Could we abandoned be?
.
My love and I went down to the well
And turned our buckets over;
And sat upon them;
Sighed and waited
– waited, sighed –
Forever.
.
(September 2010)
. . .

Poema al Agua
.
Mi amada y yo, vamos al pozo
Con cántaros a la cintura,
Los metemos al agua, nos refrescamos y
luego correteamos…
.
El líquido brillante que nos empapa es nuestro,
una extravagancia fácil de escoger;
nos la tomamos, resurgimos y
nos dejamos atropellar por tal método.
.
Y el Tiempo líquido corre y nos toca la campana
¿Y vosotros— adónde fueron vuestros hijos?
¿Hemos sido abandonados tal vez?
.
Mi amada y yo fuimos al pozo,
Pusimos nuestros cántaros boca abajo
y nos sentamos en ellos;
Suspiramos y esperamos – esperamos, suspiramos
Para siempre.
.

Traducción al español: Lidia García Garay

. . .

ZP Editor’s note:
I wrote the two poems above at the request of Kate Castelo, a friend who lives in Vancouver. She was involved in a climate-change awareness initiative in British Columbia in the autumn of 2010, and “engaged” poetry reflecting on global development, pollution, and natural resource use/abuse, was sought by the organizers. The Kyoto Protocol was much in the news five years ago, and every issue is still current and of great concern. My second poem (“Water Sonnet”) I composed in a lovely traditional metre which contrasts all the more with the poem’s theme: Canada’s longstanding cultural tradition of taking Water for granted. My translation mentor, Lidia García Garay, kindly created a Spanish version of the poem…
.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty extending the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the premise that A. Global Warming does exist, and that B. Man-made CO2 Emissions have caused it.

The Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December of 1997, and entered into force in February of 2005. There are currently 192 Parties (Canada withdrew, effective December 2012) to the Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to “a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (Article 2). It is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it puts the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Negotiations were held in Lima in 2014 to agree on a post-Kyoto legal framework that would obligate all major polluters to pay for CO2 emissions. China, India, and the United States have all signaled that they will not ratify any treaty that will commit them legally to reduce CO2 emissions.

. . .

Other Earth Day features at Zócalo Poets:

https://zocalopoets.com/category/guest-editors-2/duane-taylor/
.

https://zocalopoets.com/category/poets-poetas/maurice-kenny/

.
https://zocalopoets.com/category/poets-poetas/rita-joe/
.

https://zocalopoets.com/2012/04/22/earth-day-poems-japanese-poets-on-nature-and-human-nature/

. . . . .


William Henry Davies: “Tormentas”

lluvia de abril 1
William Henry Davies (1871-1940)
Thunderstorms
.
My mind has thunderstorms,
That brood for heavy hours;
Until they rain me words,
My thoughts are drooping flowers
And sulking, silent birds.
.
Yet come, dark thunderstorms,
And brood your heavy hours;
For when you rain me words,
My thoughts are dancing flowers
And joyful, singing birds.
. . .

Tormentas
.
Agarra mi mente a las tormentas
que se inquietan para horas pesadas.
Hasta que me “llueven” con palabras,
Mis ideas son flores caídas o
Bichos mudos y hoscos.

.
Pero acérquense, tormentas oscuras,
Para inquietarse esas horas arduas…
Porque cuando me “llueven” con palabras,
Vienen ideas florecientes que bailan, y
Pájaros dichosos que cantan.

. . . . .


Paul Verlaine: “It rains in my heart”

lluvia de abril 2
Paul Verlaine (1844-1916)
Il pleure dans mon coeur
.
Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon coeur?
.
Ô bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un coeur qui s’ennuie,
Ô le chant de la pluie!
.
Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce coeur qui s’écoeure.
Quoi! nulle trahison ?…
Ce deuil est sans raison.
.
C’est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine
Mon coeur a tant de peine!

. . .
Paul Verlaine
Llora en mi corazón
(Traducción del francés al español: Carmen Morales y Claude DuBois)
.
Llora en mi corazón
como llueve en la ciudad;
¿qué languidez es ésa
que penetra en mi corazón?
.
¡Oh, ruido suave de la lluvia
en la tierra y en los tejados!
Para un corazón que se aburre
¡el canto de la lluvia!
.
Llueve sin razón
en este corazón que se revuelve.
¡Qué! ¿Ninguna traición?…
Ese luto es sin razón.
.
¡Es pues la peor pena
no saber por qué,
sin amor y sin odio,
mi corazón siente tanta pena!
. . .
Paul Verlaine
Chora em meu coração
(Tradução de Amélia Pais)
.
Chora em meu coração
Como chove na cidade:
Que lassidão é esta
Que invade meu coração?
.
Oh doce rumor da chuva
Na terra e nos telhados!
Num coração que se enfada
Oh o canto da chuva!
.
Chora sem razão
Neste coração exausto.
O quê! nenhuma traição ?…
Este luto é sem razão.
.
E é bem a dor maior
A de não saber porquê
Sem amor e sem rancor
Meu coração tanto dói!
. . .
Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
It Rains in My Heart
.
It rains in my heart
As it rains on the town,
What languor so dark
That it soaks to my heart?
.
Oh, sweet sound of the rain
On the earth and the rooves!
For the dull heart again,
Oh, the song of the rain!
.
It rains for no reason
In this heart lacking heart.
What? And no treason?
It’s grief without reason!
.
By far the worst pain,
Without hatred or love,
Yet no way to explain
Why my heart feels such pain!

. . . . .


El Día del Aborigen Americano – en inglés: Michelle Obama / April 19th: The Day of The Indian of The Americas: A speech by Michelle Obama

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe South Dakota licence plate

Prepared Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama for The White House Convening on Creating Opportunity for Native Youth [edited for length]:
Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
April 8th, 2015

.
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the White House. We are so thrilled to have you here today for our “Generation Indigenous” convening…
.
And as for T.C…there really are no words to express how proud I am of this young man, and how impressed I am by his courage, determination and maturity. Barack and I were blown away by T.C. and by the other young people we met when we visited T.C.’s tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, last June. And I want to start off today by telling you a little bit about that visit…
It began when we arrived in North Dakota, and as we left the airport where we’d landed, we looked around, and all we could see was flat, empty land. There were almost no signs of typical community life, no police stations, no community or business centers, no malls, no doctor’s offices, no churches, just flat, empty land.
Eventually, we pulled up to a little community with a cluster of houses, a few buildings, and a tiny school – and that was the town of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, which is part of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. And at that school a small group of young people gathered in a classroom, anxiously but quietly waiting to meet with the President and the First Lady.
These teens were the best and brightest – hand-selected for this meeting – and after we all introduced ourselves, they shared their stories.
One young woman was in foster care because of substance abuse in her household. She talked about how hard it was to be separated from her five siblings. One young man had spent his high school years homeless, crashing on the sofa of his friends, even for a period living in the local community center. Another young man had gotten himself into college, but when he got there, he had trouble choosing the right classes; he realized that he’d never been taught how to properly write an essay; and when family problems arose back home, he struggled to balance all the stress and eventually had to drop out.
And just about every kid in that room had lost at least one friend or family member to drug or alcohol-related problems, or to preventable illnesses like heart disease, or to suicide. In fact, two of the girls went back and forth for several minutes trying to remember how many students in their freshman class had committed suicide – the number was either four or five…this is out of a class of 70.
Just sit with that for a minute: four or five kids out of a class of 70, taking their own lives.
So these are the challenges these kids are facing. This is the landscape of their lives.
But somehow – and this is what truly blew us away – somehow, in the face of all this hardship and all these tragedies, these kids haven’t given up. They are still fighting to find a way forward, for themselves and for their community.
After losing her classmates to suicide, one young woman started volunteering at a youth program to help other kids who were struggling. One young man told us that when his family was struggling he fended for himself for years, sleeping on friends’ couches until he was old enough to become a firefighter.
And that young man who had to leave college? Well, when he got back home, he discovered that his family problems were worse than he had thought. He found that his stepmother was on drugs and his four younger brothers were wandering the streets alone in the middle of the night. So, at the age of 19, he stepped in and took over – and now, he’s back in college while raising four children all by himself.
And then there’s T.C.
He was the last young person to speak that day, and after telling us his story – how he was raised by a single father, how he’s lost so many people he loves, how his family struggles to get by – he then said to my husband “I know you face a lot as President of the United States, and I want to sing an encouragement song for all of us to keep going.”
After everything these young people had endured, T.C. wanted to sing a song for us.
So if you have any doubt about the urgency or the value of investing in this community, I want you to just think about T.C. and all those other young people I met in Standing Rock, North and South Dakota. I want you to think about both the magnitude of their struggles and the deep reservoirs of strength and resilience that they draw on every day to face those struggles.
And, most of all, I want you to remember that supporting these young people isn’t just a nice thing to do, and it isn’t just a smart investment in their future, it is a solemn obligation that we as a nation have incurred.
You see, we need to be very clear about where the challenges in this community first started…
Folks in Indian Country didn’t just wake up one day with addiction problems. Poverty and violence didn’t just randomly happen to this community. These issues are the result of a long history of systematic discrimination and abuse.
Let me offer just a few examples from our past, starting with how, back in 1830, we passed a law removing Native Americans from their homes and forcibly re-locating them to barren lands out west. The Trail of Tears was part of this process. Then we began separating children from their families and sending them to boarding schools designed to strip them of all traces of their culture, language and history. And then our government started issuing what were known as “Civilization Regulations” – regulations that outlawed Indian religions, ceremonies and practices – so we literally made their culture illegal.
Given this history, we shouldn’t be surprised at the challenges that kids in Indian Country are facing today. And we should never forget that we played a role in this. Make no mistake about it – we own this.
And we can’t just invest a million here and a million there, or come up with some five-year or ten-year plan, and think we’re going to make a real impact. This is truly about nation-building, and it will require fresh thinking and a massive infusion of resources over generations. That’s right, not just years – but generations.
But remember: we are talking about a small group of young people, so while the investment needs to be deep, this challenge is not overwhelming, especially given everything we have to work with. I mean, given what these folks have endured, the fact that their culture has survived at all is nothing short of a miracle.
And, like many of you, I have witnessed the power of that culture…
I saw it at the Pow Wow that my husband and I attended during our visit to Standing Rock. And with each stomping foot – with each song, each dance – I could feel the heartbeat that is still pounding away in Indian Country. And I could feel it in the energy and ambition of those young people who are so hungry for any chance to learn, any chance to broaden their horizons.
We all need to work together to invest deeply – and for the long-term – in these young people, both those who are living in their tribal communities (like T.C.), and those living in urban areas across this country. These kids have so much promise – and we need to ensure that they have every tool, every opportunity they need to fulfill that promise.
I want to thank you for coming here today to learn more about “Generation Indigenous” and how you can help. And I look forward to seeing the extraordinary impact that all of you all will have in the years ahead.
Thank you so much – and God bless.

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http://genindigenous.com/
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http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/
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A Sioux Prayer (1887)
(Translation into English: Chief Yellow Lark)
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Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds,
whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me!
I come to you as one of your many children;
I am small and weak;
I need your strength and wisdom.
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May I walk in beauty.
Make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
and that my ears be sharp to your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught your children:
the lessons you have written in every leaf and rock.
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Make me strong; not to be superior to my brothers, but to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes,
So that when life fades as the fading sunset,
May my spirit come to you without shame.
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Biographical information about Yellow Lark from Agathos Dorea (David Hunnicutt):
“Yellow Lark, a Lakota Sioux Chief, wrote the lamentation [prayer, above] in the midst of severe persecution by U.S. 7th Cavalry soldiers during the division and segregation of the indigenous tribes who were, at that time, inhabiting the southwestern portion of what is now South Dakota. Unable to come to a peaceful resolution, the years-long ordeal ended with the epic massacre that took place at Wounded Knee (1890) where three hundred Lakota Sioux men, women and children were executed by U.S. soldiers when they refused to be relocated to the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Yellow Lark’s lament was a divine plea to let peace and understanding prevail – even in the midst of severe persecution. Peaceful until the end, Chief Yellow Lark remains an iconic figure among the Lakota Sioux peoples to this very day.
Sadly, Wounded Knee still remains in the midst of the storm. With the average family income hovering near $12,000 annually, and an unemployment rate exceeding 80%, Wounded Knee is located in the poorest county in the United States of America.”
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Spotted Elk lying dead after The Battle of Wounded Knee_December 1890

Spotted Elk lying dead after The Battle of Wounded Knee_December 1890

1891 Portrait of General L.W. Colby of Nebraska State Troops, holding baby girl Zintkala Nuni (Little Lost Bird), found on the Wounded Knee battlefield_This photograph is part of the long official history of the sentimentalization of Native genocide in the U.S.A.

1891 Portrait of General L.W. Colby of Nebraska State Troops, holding baby girl Zintkala Nuni (Little Lost Bird), found on the Wounded Knee battlefield_This photograph is part of the long official history of the sentimentalization of Native genocide in the U.S.A.

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Other songs/poems featured at ZP:

https://zocalopoets.com/2012/02/19/jorge-ben-jor-dia-de-indio/
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https://zocalopoets.com/2012/04/19/el-dia-del-indio-americano-unos-poemas-en-guarani-y-una-reflexion-sobre-el-lenguaje-paraguayo/

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