NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art ~ Poems & Stories

For Those Who Cried


T.W. Martindale
Sagwu Usdi

Listen to the lulling sounds of the flute as it softly plays.
Hear it and imagine the tranquility of life that our loved ones once knew.
It was a land with a calm serenity.
Come with me÷.Come to a land where each new day warmly embraces your soul.
A land kissed by the morning dew, and streams sparkling with ripples stirred by the finger of God.
Close your eyes and hear the sounds of silence÷÷.
A babbling brook÷the rustling of leaves÷the cry of the eagle, and soft beat of the drum.

As the sun kisses the night farewell, the younger men arise to greet the new day.
Joining them are the older boys÷.For today they will learn how to hunt÷.and how to survive.
They master their skills and learn to coexist with the untamed land they call home.
This is not a time used for hunting and survival alone, but also a lesson to sharpen the senses.
They acquire the prowess of the wolf and the keen sight of the eagle and hawk.
Feel it as they savor a unique awareness and oneness with all creatures great and small.
Close your eyes and feel the soft caress of the wind÷.FEEL the presence of the wolf, eagle, and hawk!

As we turn our focus toward the camp, we see the children as they laugh and play.
Mothers look up from their work and the young to which they tend÷÷.
They softly smile as they watch them frolic happily across the tender meadows.
Speaking of family, and recounting stories once told them, the elders sit and tell of days gone by.
As records are kept in diaries, they keep alive their memories and truths in the minds of their descendants.
This is their past÷Their present÷. AND their future.
Passed down from generation to generation, It is their life!

Theirs is a life not unlike the one we all desire.
It is a full life filled with happiness, loving, laughter and contentment.
They enjoy the soft, cool spring breeze÷.and feel the soothing warmth of the sun on their skin.
Although the life they live is not entirely idyllic, it is their home.
Yes÷.Look around and see÷.Even then, as now, they too dealt with sickness and pain.
They too have loved ones that are ill and do what they must to restore health to the weak and frail.
Just like you and I, they stay by the deathbeds of ones they love and mourn death when it comes.

They were and ARE just like all others, yet÷.Treated unlike ALL others.
Strangers have come to their Native Land and to strip them of their homes, family, and dignity.
They are so covetous of these wind kissed plains, cool flowing streams, and abundant wildlife.
Having done everything÷.ANYTHING within their power to take what rightfully belongs to another.
Sit and watch÷.Feel the pain as their families are torn apart÷even murdered!
They are forced into the harsh elements of nature as their homes are ruthlessly stolen from them.
Yes÷÷All these things we sat and watched, yet did nothing to end this insanity.

All of these things happened in a land where we proudly boast of freedom and dignity of life for all.
No one cared as these suffered and died cruel and unnecessary deaths as they tried to defend their homes.
These are OUR families and the hurt they endured should deeply seer our souls!
I do not hate. But I will always remember life as it should be÷÷÷ Remember the sounds of silence÷÷.
A babbling brook÷rustling leaves÷ the cry of the eagle, and the soft beat of the drum.
And I will listen÷Listen to the lulling sounds of the flute as it still softly plays÷÷.
For those who cried.

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