Metis’: Bred in a barrio

Choctaw, Cherokee, and Welsh: a fair-skinned metis’ raised in the bowels of a Southern California barrio in the culture of Ramirez, Romo, and Reyes: friend and foe.

Inca, Mayan, Aztec, and a cut of Spanish with Apache, Tex-Mex, and Mestizo sexed-in for good measure; a hot-blooded community communicating in Spanglish, fiestas, murals, music, faith, and blood.

The sixties generation got lost in the translation; no middle-class LSD and grass; no peace, free love, and have a flower… just poverty and shotgun blasts, and street love by rape, position, or hour.

No one was feelin’ groovy, there was no purple haze – except pollution – though some existed hollow and numb, and stumbled through their days with tequila shots, cactus juice, and cheap-ass wine that rotted their insides.

No hippies ever found our hood, but hipsters walked the block in flared-out fashion that cost all their cash… so they always tried to hustle a buck.

I saw flower-power VW bugs only on TV between Lone Ranger and Tonto and the Cisco Kid, or Speedy Gonzales at three.

I tried to like Bonanza because of Little Joe, and Johnny Madrid in Lancer really stole the show; but while they placated my fair-skin side my indigenous side felt a twinge.

The color-code in the Hollywood West, in fact, every period and place, told half of me to live with pride and the other half in disgrace – but only if I chose to buy what they were selling.

I shunned the used car tact – sell the sizzle not the bacon – I’d rather see truth, common sense, hope, and a genuine connection.

I favor a new direction in a life I choose to lead.

 

[Another contribution from JW: words and art.]

Metis’

I am of two peoples
I am mixed-blood
One people call me Metis’
One people call me Half-Breed
But all my blood is red
I am told I’m Welsh
I have never lived in Wales
I have never even seen Wales
except those in the sea
I am told I’m Indian
I have reservations regarding many things
I have visited many reservations
I have even made reservations
But I have never lived on one
Am I Welsh without seeing Wales?
Am I Indian without residing on a reservation?
Heritage is inherited
so I am told
My father’s blood
My mother’s blood
They have intercourse within me

 

[Another contribution from JW.]

Little Tommy Hawk

I remember Crazy Horse, Cochise, and Sitting Bull;
the Apache Nation, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Sioux.
I respect each of them surviving how it used to be,
living through their “trail of tears,”
staying proud in their misery.

They say, “Little Tommy Hawk beat the tom-tom drum.”
But I tell them I don’t know how.
Smokin’ peace pipe and drinkin’ fire-water,
I’m not invited to the council pow-wow.
They know I’ll paint my face and pick up a gun
before anybody gets my soul.
Don’t want me around to bring the profits down.
They say, “Geronimo, you’ve got to go.”

I was forced to learn their rules
through their form of education.
Attended many of their schools,
but I lived on the reservation.
They gave me a number
to go with my name.
But I’m not a store front Indian,
I will not bear their shame.

It is true I talk their talk,
it’s a tool to help stay free.
I don’t get sore because I’m proud
when someone calls me a “breed.”
I’m also proud of the white man’s blood
that courses through my veins.
I’m not angry at the misinformed,
just those who pull the reins.

It’s not just white but red man too,
and yellow, black, and brown,
who scream about injustice
while they slap their own brother around.
It’s not the color of their skin
that makes them right or wrong;
it’s the fact that they want it all
for the price of just a song.

It’s a fool who believes
only white men dish out hell.
Use your eyes and ears,
all history tells the tale.
Each culture breeds a few
who make up their own rules;
who pacify then spit in the eyes
of those they consider fools.

They say, “Little Tommy Hawk beat the tom-tom drum.”
But I tell them I don’t know how.
Smokin’ peace pipe and drinkin’ fire-water,
I’m not invited to the council pow-wow.
They know I’ll paint my face and pick up a gun
before anybody gets my soul.
Don’t want me around to bring the profits down.

They say, “Geronimo, you’ve got to go.”

“Geronimo, you’ve got to go.”

 

[Another contribution from JW, while I continue to endure medical issues.]

King of Fools

The King of Fools is a fisherman

of that there is no doubt

because he fishes not for fish

but compliments to brag about.

 

No compliment ever caught

could satisfy an insecure guy

so he might as will fish for fish

at least then he can have a fish fry.

 

[Another contribution from JW.]

I have lived another day

I have drawn the world in dots and lines and created Society’s Storyboards.

I have danced with dreams in the pale moon light while Moon and Stars turned not away.

I have crossed the seven seas with Big Blue Whale surfing rogue and tidal waves.

I have flown with Eagle, Hawk, and Owl with Sky Father’s gift of condor wings.

I have conversed with Mr. Lady Bug, who has learned to love the name.

I have shared my den with two bear cubs when empty tummies made mama go fishing.

I have drunk a thousand kegs of beer and pissed a river of wine.

I have smiled to win a woman and sparked a war instead.

I have run with Wolf in the Great North Woods, and rode atop Turtle’s shell.

I have shot an arrow from cloud-to-cloud to sew a bridal veil.

I have painted face and beat the drum in the world of skin and bones.

I have ridden Pegasus to the land of sand where Wealth weds Poverty.

I have lived another day in the place of my birth: born in the Imagi-Nation.

 

[Another contribution from JW, as I continue to endure medical issues.]