Honour Song for the Arapahoe Nation

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Freckle Face, Arapahoe woman.

Freckle Face, Arapahoe woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traffic roars down Arapahoe Avenue

Past Conoco, Whole Foods, Mustard's Last Stand,

And my thoughts turn to you, Inunai-ee.

Have you given us just a name

Whose meaning most forget?

You left no monuments,

Only arrowheads,

Raised your dead on a scaffold tree.

The gold in these hills meant nothing to you,

You counted your wealth in ponies,

Abundance in buffalo.

You took no plough to the soil,

Though you fired the prairie,

So fresh grass would grow.

You built no roads or bridges,

Constructed no fences or walls,

Made your way without map or compass,

For you knew this land

Like your mother's face.

Settler's Park was your winter camp,

Sheltered from blizzards and gales,

On Haystack peak you watched for bison,

Raced your mustangs

Where now golf carts cruise.

Living lightly in the place of prairie dog and beaver,

You marked it only with your spirit.

Wisdom of fox and coyote,

Of jumping mouse, eagle and buffalo,

Unfolded in your stories and your songs.

On the forked sun dance tree

You pierced and hung,

Blessing this land,

With your selfless sacrifice.

Long and bitter was your road

From Sand Creek Massacre to Oklahoma,

Yet the Flatirons and the mesa do not forget you.

Firstborn among the nations--

For so do your myths call you--

May we, your younger siblings, learn from you

That a land cannot be bought with gold

Or won with cannon.

It belongs to those who know its ways,

Who heed its spirits,

Who walk on it with softly moccasined feet

And dance into its heart,

 Forever.

 

 

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on August 11, 2009 6:10 PM.

Honour Song for Arodene was the previous entry in this blog.

Ma's New Year's Letter is the next entry in this blog.

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