Monday, November 9, 2009

Poem: Indigenous Is

A short poem I started writing last week and finished it this week. Sometimes poems percolate and then come into form. Enjoy!

Indigenous Is


Indigenous is not a skin color,
Indigenous is not my nose,
Indigenous is not my eye color,
Indigenous is not my lips,
Indigenous is not romanticizing ancient teachings,
To appropriate,
To disseminate,
To cut to pieces,
And abbreviate in a research document,
Indigenous is removing layers of shame from your ancestors trail,
Indigenous is stepping up to the plate,
Healing and creating a new way for future generations,
Indigenous is standing tall,
Indigenous is standing beautifully,
Indigenous is an honor.


K.C. Jones said...

I love it!

Anishinaabekwe said...

Thanks K.C.!

scalesoflibra said...

I like that this poem is short, yet says everything that needs to be said.

I think your poem has helped me reach a conclusion to a problem I'm having, namely, how to introduce my students (I'm working in Japan as an English teacher) to the modern tradition of Thanksgiving without ignoring the truth about it.

At least two of Japan's prime ministers have made the blunder of stating publicly that all the different "races" that live in the US are its greatest weakness because there is conflict among them. While there is obviously conflict, I think that view ignores all the people that work to stop the conflict, and those that seek to heal the wounds of the past and present. While I'm not entirely sure how to proceed, I think it will be important to end on a note of healing, as your poem does.

Anishinaabekwe said...

Scalesoflibra - When I was writing this poem I was going to keep going and list other ways that "Indigenous Is." But, I felt the shorter this poem was the better.

I don't think it is a weakness. I think that lived in a society with different peoples has its challenges. But how I see it is that we are being given and opportunity to face old wounds and heal them by being together. As challenging as this can be to do this there is some beautiful work being done by a lot of people out there.

Lisa ~ Urban Native Girl said...

beautiful. may i repost on my blog (with props)?

Anishinaabekwe said...

Lisa - Sure, go right ahead!

Michael Lujan Bevacqua said...

A beautiful poem, I reposted it on my blog and just wanted to thank you for writing it.

Anishinaabekwe said...

Michael - Thank you for your comment!

bjdoan said...

this poem is very well said. i like it becaause i'am also a Native

Anishinaabekwe said...

bjdoan - Glad you like it!