Poem: Ode to the Conservative Woman Who Helped to Heal Me

The dim lights behind the curtain near the factories,
You are closer to the low hum and rumbles,
Closer to working class struggle of sounds that snuff out your dreams,
Sounds that silence your screams,
Sounds that perpetuate division,
Across the small town – rez town,

The door opened,
I greeted her and sat down,
She said she should couldn’t stop crying,
She showed me the book that she was reading,
The Verbally Abusive Relationship,
Expanded Third Edition,
How to recognize it and how to respond,

The dim light,
Curtains drawn,
Low hum working class sounds,
Mold and mildew smells,
How to respond? 

I too was frozen

She cried in her bedroom,
She said she couldn’t stop crying,
The love she felt,
It never went away,

I too was frozen

How to respond?
But to close the door,
To listen to the low hum,
Watch the steam rise from the factories at night,
The food bank corn,
The Kmart shoes,
The tears soiling sheets, 

She too was frozen

The conservative woman in Manistee, Michigan,
Aninshinaabe Aki,
Was this woman,
Was me,

The book I emphasized as resources to others,
I sat gazing out the window,
Crunched up in a ball,
Sipping tea,
Laying my asema on the snow,
Dim lights flickering,
Bad wiring for the working poor,
The factory smoke,
The low hum on the land, 

The door I shut numerous times,
The pinnacle of this moment,
I couldn’t stop crying,
She couldn’t stop crying,                                                

I was frozen,
She was frozen,
We were frozen,
But we were healing together.

Poem: Decolonization of Industrialized Islands

The decolonization of urban spaces,
Urban islands fenced off and monitored,
The water flows,
Street signs and town lines are a distraction,
This will not be here in 100 years,
This metropolitan area,
City and town,
Is a creation,

The feeling of "settling" is unreal,
When your family toiled in the factories,
Union organizer who assisted in the building and founding of the UAW,
Zug Island,
Environmental injustice of the soul of the people,

What is the name of the island before the state-county-city?
Owner-occupied all the way to the core,
What happens when we de-develop?

When will we foreclose on the mindset of "history starts here?"
Settler colonialism "starts here" and it is all that matters,
There are more stories not yet written but they are there in the soil,

The sound stirs in your heart and soul,
The ancestors dance,

The river runs clear at a point,
Can we get there?

Do we remember the land as it was before?
What are these sounds that we hear?
The Windsor hum?

Is your hand not the workers hand?
Did your ancestors not toil as mine did to create unions?
Work for industrialists and sacrifice for their families?

Is your body not the workers body?
Assembly line mind-set to be decolonized,
 
The steels and rust topples our ancestors bodies and stories,
The sound is heard in the soul,
Can you hear them?

We are walking this river,
The river runs clear at a point,
We need to remember this.

Article: Michigan Sells Treaty-Protected, Pristine Public Land for Limestone Mine


A group of American Indians in Michigan have lost their bid to block a land transfer of nearly 9,000 acres to a company proposing a limestone mine—the “largest single public land deal in Michigan history,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

The attempted injunction was the last legal line of defense against the mine, which would cover as many as 13,000 acres, according to the Detroit Free Press. In the deal, which was approved in March, the state will sell 8,810 acres of “surface land or underground mineral rights” to Graymont, a Canadian mining company, for $4.53 million so it can build the limestone mine in the Upper Peninsula, the Detroit Free Press said.

The group—comprised of members of several tribes—had filed suit in Grand Rapids trying to stop the Michigan Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh from transferring land to Graymont Mining Co., based on treaty rights. The mine would be built on about 10,360 acres in the northern peninsula, the  Associated Press reported.

"The land subject to transfer is wholly within the 1836 Treaty of Washington Ceded Territory and subject to the conditions laid out in the 2007 Inland Consent Decree,” said lead plaintiff Phil Bellfy in a statement. “It would be unconstitutional for the MDNR Director to transfer those lands as we—American Indians—have Treaty rights to "the usual privileges of occupancy" on those 11,000 acres. We are asking the Court to step in and preserve our Treaty rights and enjoin Mr. Craegh from transferring that land."

Bellfy said that the land transfer is unconstitutional under treaty provisions. The Michigan Department of Resources announced on Tuesday March 10 that it would recommend Creagh approve the deal at the agency’s March 19 meeting.

Besides Bellfy, members of several area tribes are plaintiffs in the lawsuit—the Bay Mills Indian Community, 
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, 
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, 
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. They are also backed by the Sierra Club and numerous residents who oppose the project, but the prospect of jobs in the economically beleaguered town won out.

Though the tribes were unsuccessful in their bid to get an injunction against the company, the judge did refer the matter to the Court’s Magistrate to see whether or not it should be assigned to the judge who is overseeing the consent decree, Bellfy said in the group’s statement.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/04/14/michigan-sells-treaty-protected-pristine-public-land-limestone-mine-159996

Poem: River Ancestors Crossing

Our ancestors crossed this river,
As a little girl you ran along the path that lead back to your ancestors,

The traffic went north and south,
But you were connecting amongst it,

There was a sound,
A sound in the soul,

The point led to a direction.
That led to a meeting,

The heart was divided among treaty territories,
Grieving,
Silently,
Painfully,

Policies divide the soul,
Identity on the cross,
Nail in arm,
Nail in foot,

You are tied to this,
This persecution,

Light on,
Light off,

Sorrowful tunes,
Up and down the corridor,
The Woodward Corridor,
The Grand River Corridor,

Asleep,
Chords abound,
The notes fall on trees,
Laying tobacco down,

The heart is not a distribution,
Not an industrial production,
Not a futile design,
Not an assembling of a broken-ness,
But a manufacturing of constellations,

The heart cannot be distributed,
Packaged,
Ignored.

Poem: I am the Un-Feeling Man

I am the manufactured heart unfeeling man,
Let me be the un-feeling man,

In brown boots,
With hairy legs,
With a mustache,

My heart is closed accordingly,
Un-tender,
Un-dainty,
Your judging it,
Saying I need to open it,
Feel it,
Open up to this idea of "romantic love,"
What about platonic love?
Aromantic love?

"Sweetness" sidetracked,
I've got everything together,
Everything is in perfect order,
Do not move that plate or napkin out of place,
As a woman should,
Have everything in order,
If not then discard me,
Discard my heart,
Discard my belongings,

I am the un-feeling man,
Running fingers over my mustache,
Let me not feel,
My emotions,
Or heart.