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.]

Follow Your Heart

Grandfather
in the Warrior Clan
How do I conquer fear
in order to be brave
in battle?

Listen to what
West Wind tells you
then follow your heart

Grandmother
in the Bird Clan
How do I conquer fear
in order to be brave
in love?

Listen to what
South Wind tells you
then follow your heart

Uncle
in the Buffalo Clan
How do I conquer fear
in order to be brave
in thought?

Listen to what
North Wind tells you
then follow your heart

Brother
in the Otter Clan
How do I conquer fear
in order to be brave
in death?

Listen to what
East wind tells you
then follow your heart

Why have none of you
told me to follow the advice
of the four winds?

Do they know you
better than you know yourself?

 

[Another contribution by JW.]

180 Days

Rejected at birth
like the runt of a litter
but it was a solitary birth
No bonding
Never taken to breast
no lips to nips
never tasted Mother’s milk
I still wonder why
How does an hour-old child
earn ostracism from his mother?
An aunt
thirteen
asked to play house
Surrogate mother
six-month sentence
till alpha mom returns
to her senses
or heart leak is dammed
Child
finally gets a homecoming

It is hard to feel connected
when you’re rejected
the first half-year of life
The bond that was made
with the aunt in eighth-grade
is severed
Familiar touch is gone
The unfamiliar
at times abrupt
at times timid
Silence
is profitable
when left alone
Solitude
seems better
than uncomfortable bonding
No affection
no rejection
Child wisdom
or wishful thinking
It’s hard to be a sage
wearing throwaways
at the ripe old age
of 180 days

 

[Another contribution from JW.]

Ghosts of lives lived

My father’s father survived a war torn land as a child but could not survive the war that raged within him.

My father’s mother carried the weight of a broken generation on frail shoulders and fed it with pockets full of imitation love.

My father perpetually relived the death of his dreams till Death finally came for him.

My maternal grandfather built the Interstate of Integrity through the Badlands of prejudicial injustice.

My mother’s mother was born to please Earth with her scent – like Night Blooming Jasmine – only to be gone by morning.

My mother lived her life for others except for a momentary lapse that left her a lone wolf without a pack.

I live as a ghost in a life of lies built on the expectations of others.

 

[Another contribution by JW: art and words.]

[For those who may be curious, Kat is doing much better, but is still dealing with some issues. But I’ve got months of medical issues still ahead in the near future. So we are grateful to JW for all he’s done and continues to do for us here.]