--for the spirits of Hoon’Naqvut, Shash Jáa, Kwiyagatu Nukavachi, Ansh An Lashokdiwe

Who controls the past
controls the future;
who controls the present
controls the past.

—Motto of the Ministry of Information, 1984, George Orwell


I saw what you did today.

I saw what you took away.

I saw what you did today.

Great White Fathers.

Great White Fathers.

 

There never seems to be enough for you

to fill that great hole inside of you.

Great White Fathers.

Great White Fathers.

 

I wonder what kind of deficit must lie beneath all that wealth.

Great White Fathers. Great White Fathers.

 

I wonder if all the gains you make

are worth all of the things you forsake

for your children's children and their grandchildren.

Great White Fathers. Great White Fathers.

 

Taking of land, again.

Beating The People down, again.

Even grandmothers, again.

Again? Great White Fathers.

 

How much is enough, Great White Fathers? 

How much of a buffer from life do you need, Great White Fathers?

How much power do you need to balance out your feelings of inferiority,

Great White Fathers, Great White Fathers?

 

Has your pecker shrunk? Are you not able to get it up?

Is this why you run around grabbing and groping

and fucking everything up, Great White Fathers?

 

Do you need more money for a wall, Great White Fathers?

Or can't you decide between that and another war

so you can build yet another wall with American names all over it,

Great White Fathers?

 

I'm trying to understand, Great White Fathers,

how you could stand in front of a portrait

of the one who ordered the Trail of Tears

while feigning homage to Navajo warriors, Great White Fathers.

Are you unable to connect the dots, Great White Fathers?

Or do you simply not care, Great White Fathers?

 

I'm trying to understand you, Great White Fathers,

but I don't;

and there doesn't seem to be enough sake' in this universe

for me ever to, Great White Fathers.

 

Strange that after all your relentless taking

you won't be here to witness the future of your offspring.

While you rest sweetly in your gold-plated graves, 

the same people who fed your ancestors when they got here

will feed your starving descendents in the end.


Liner Notes:

The true roots of the term "Great White Father" are unknown but is believed to be anchored to the "Great White Father Myth", a recurring archetypal theme in early American history. An image by political satirist Thomas Nast entitled "Great White Father" was first published in Harper's Weekly in 1830 and depicts President Andrew Jackson holding and sitting before a group of Native Americans. In the late 60s, the term was used again by a group of First Nations people who took over Alcatraz Island in active resistance to draw attention to the centuries of tyranny and active genocide by the United States government against North American native people. They drafted a document entitled Proclamation to the Great White Father and All His People


(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

image: The brilliant and timely artistry of Mark Bryan

sound: "Dronal," from Western Medicine by Ari Balouzian - all proceeds from the sales of this record goes to Doctors Without Borders in Aleppo, Syria.

 

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