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When Pigs Fly
by Michael R. Burch

On the Trail of Tears,
my Cherokee brothers,
why hang your heads?
Why shame your mothers?
Laugh wildly instead!
We will soon be dead.

When we lie in our graves,
let the white-eyes take
the woodlands we loved
for the *** and the rake.
It is better to die
than to live out a lie
in so narrow a sty.

In October 1838 the Cherokees began to walk the "Trail of Tears." Most of them made the thousand mile journey west to Oklahoma on foot. An estimated 4, 000 people, or a quarter of the tribe, died en route. The soldiers "escorting" the Cherokees at bayonet point refused permission for the dead to be buried, threatening to shoot anyone who disobeyed. So the living were forced to carry the corpses of the dead until camp was made for the night. Years after the Cherokees had been rounded up and driven down the Trail of Tears, John G. Burnett reflected on what he and his fellow soldiers had done, saying, "Schoolchildren of today do not know that we are living on lands that were taken from a helpless race at the bayonet point, to satisfy the white man's greed... ****** is ****** and somebody must answer, somebody must explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian country... Somebody must explain the four thousand silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to their exile." Keywords/Tags: Cherokee, Native American, Trail of Tears, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, ******, Evil, Death, March, Death March, Infanticide, Matricide, Racism, Racist, Discrimination, Violence, Fascism, White Supremacists, Horror, Terror, Terrorism, Greed, Gluttony, Avarice, Lust, ****

###

Cherokee Prayer
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As I walk life's trails
imperiled by the raging wind and rain,
grant, O Great Spirit,
that yet I may always
walk like a man.

This prayer makes me think of Native Americans walking the Trail of Tears with far more courage and dignity than their “civilized” abusers.

###

Native American Prayer
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Help us learn the lessons you have left us
in every leaf and rock.

###

Native American Travelers' Blessing
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let us walk together here
with earth's creatures great and small,
remembering, our footsteps light,
that one wise God created all.

###

Sioux Vision Quest
by Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux, circa 1840-1877
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A man must pursue his Vision
as the eagle explores
the sky's deepest blues.

###

Cherokee Travelers' Blessing I
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I will extract the thorns from your feet.
For yet a little while, we will walk life's sunlit paths together.
I will love you like my own brother, my own blood.
When you are disconsolate, I will wipe the tears from your eyes.
And when you are too sad to live, I will put your aching heart to rest.

Published by Better Than Starbucks and Cherokee Native Americans

###

Cherokee Travelers' Blessing II
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Happily may you walk
in the paths of the Rainbow.
                  Oh,
and may it always be beautiful before you,
beautiful behind you,
beautiful below you,
beautiful above you,
and beautiful all around you
where in Perfection beauty is finished.

Published by Better Than Starbucks

###

Cherokee Travelers' Blessing III
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

May Heaven’s warming winds blow gently there,
where you reside,
and may the Great Spirit bless all those you love,
this side of the farthest tide.
And wherever you go,
whether the journey is fast or slow,
may your moccasins leave many cunning footprints in the snow.
And when you look over your shoulder, may you always find the Rainbow.

Published by Better Than Starbucks

###

Warrior's Confession
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh my love, how fair you are—
far brighter than the fairest star!

###

Cherokee Proverb
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Before you judge
a man for his sins
be sure to trudge
many moons in his moccasins.

###

Cherokee Prayer
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As I walk life's trails
imperiled by the raging wind and rain,
grant, O Great Spirit,
that yet I may always
walk like a man.

When I think of this prayer, I think of Native Americans walking the Trail of Tears.

###

The Receiving of the Flower
excerpt from a Mayan love poem
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let us sing overflowing with joy
as we observe the Receiving of the Flower.
The lovely maidens beam;
their hearts leap in their *******.

Why?

Because they will soon yield their virginity to the men they love!

###

The Deflowering
excerpt from a Mayan love poem
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Remove your clothes;
let down your hair;
become as naked as the day you were born—

virgins!

###

Prelude to *******
excerpt from a Mayan love poem
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lay out your most beautiful clothes,
maidens!
The day of happiness has arrived!

Grab your combs, detangle your hair,
adorn your earlobes with gaudy pendants.
Dress in white as becomes maidens ...

Then go, give your lovers the happiness of your laughter!
And all the village will rejoice with you,
for the day of happiness has arrived!

###

The Flower-Strewn Pool
excerpt from a Mayan love poem
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You have arrived at last in the woods
where no one can see what you do
at the flower-strewn pool ...
Remove your clothes,
unbraid your hair,
become as you were
when you first arrived here
naked and shameless,
virgins, maidens!

###

Native American Proverbs

The soul would see no Rainbows if not for the eyes’ tears.
—loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A woman’s highest calling is to help her man unite with the Source.
A man’s highest calling is to help his woman walk the earth unharmed.
—loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
—White Elk, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

###

Earthbound
an original poem by Michael R. Burch

Tashunka Witko, better known as Crazy Horse, had a vision of a red-tailed hawk at Sylvan Lake, South Dakota. In his vision he saw himself riding a spirit horse, flying through a storm, as the hawk flew above him, shrieking. When he awoke, a red-tailed hawk was perched near his horse.

Earthbound,
and yet I now fly
through the clouds that are aimlessly drifting ...
so high
that no sound
echoing by
below where the mountains are lifting
the sky
can be heard.

Like a bird,
but not meek,
like a hawk from a distance regarding its prey,
I will shriek,
not a word,
but a screech,
and my terrible clamor will turn them to clay—
the sheep,
the earthbound.

###

Years after the Cherokees had been rounded up and driven down the Trail of Tears, John G. Burnett reflected on what he and his fellow soldiers had done, saying, "Schoolchildren of today do not know that we are living on lands that were taken from a helpless race at the bayonet point, to satisfy the white man's greed ... ****** is ****** and somebody must answer, somebody must explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian country ... Somebody must explain the four thousand silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to their exile."

In the same year, 1830, that Stonewall Jackson consigned Native Americans to the ash-heap of history, Georgia Governor George Gilmer said, "Treaties are expedients by which ignorant, intractable, and savage people are induced ... to yield up what civilized people have the right to possess." By "civilized" he apparently meant people willing to brutally dispossess and **** women and children in order to derive economic benefits for themselves.

These nights bring dreams of Cherokee shamans
whose names are bright verbs and impacted dark nouns,
whose memories are indictments of my pallid flesh . . .
and I hear, as from a great distance,
the cries tortured from their guileless lips, proclaiming
the nature of my mutation.
―Michael R. Burch, from "Mongrel Dreams" (my family is part Cherokee, English and Scottish)

After Jackson was re-elected with an overwhelming majority in 1832, he strenuously pursued his policy of removing Native Americans, even refusing to accept a Supreme Court ruling which invalidated Georgia's planned annexation of Cherokee land. But in the double-dealing logic of the white supremacists, they had to make the illegal resettlement of the Indians appear to be "legal," so a small group of Cherokees were persuaded to sign the "Treaty of New Echota," which swapped Cherokee land for land in the Oklahoma territory. The Cherokee ringleaders of this infamous plot were later assassinated as traitors. (****** was similarly obsessed with the "legalities" of the **** Holocaust; isn't it strange how mass murderers of women and children can seek to justify their crimes?)

Native Americans understood the "circle of life" better than their white oppressors ...

When we sit in the Circle of the People,
we must be responsible because all Creation is related
and the suffering of one is the suffering of all
and the joy of one is the joy of all
and whatever we do affects everything in the universe.
—"Lakota Instructions for Living" by White Buffalo Calf Woman, translated by Michael R. Burch

###

Veiled
by Michael R. Burch

She has belief
without comprehension
and in her crutchwork shack
she is
much like us . . .

tamping the bread
into edible forms,
regarding her children
at play
with something akin to relief . . .

ignoring the towers ablaze
in the distance
because they are not revelations
but things of glass,
easily shattered . . .

and if you were to ask her,
she might say:
sometimes God visits his wrath
upon an impious nation
for its leaders’ sins,

and we might agree:
seeing her mutilations.

Published by Poetry Super Highway and Modern War Poems.

###

evol-u-shun
by Michael R. Burch

does GOD adore the Tyger
while it’s ripping ur lamb apart?

does GOD applaud the Plague
while it’s eating u à la carte?

does GOD admire ur intelligence
while u pray that IT has a heart?

does GOD endorse the Bible
you blue-lighted at k-mart?

###

Enheduanna, the daughter of the famous King Saragon the Great of Akkad, is the first ancient writer whose name remains known today. She appears to be the first named poet in human history and the first known author of prayers and hymns. Enheduanna, who lived circa 2285-2250 BCE, is also one of the first women we know by name.

Lament to the Spirit of War
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

You hack down everything you see, War God!

Rising on fearsome wings
you rush to destroy the land,
descending like a raging storm,
howling like a hurricane,
screaming like a tempest,
thundering, raging, ranting, drumming,
whiplashing whirlwinds!

Men falter at your approaching footsteps.

Tortured dirges scream
on your lyre of despair.

Like a fiery Salamander you poison the land:
growling over the earth like thunder,
vegetation collapsing before you,
blood gushing down a mountainside.

Spirit of hatred, greed and vengeance!

******* of heaven and earth!

Your ferocious fire consumes our land.

Whipping your stallion
with furious commands,
you decide our fate.

You triumph over all human rites and prayers.

Who can explain your tirade,
why you go on so?

###

Temple Hymn 15
to the Gishbanda Temple of Ningishzida
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Most ancient and terrible shrine,
set deep in the mountain,
dark like a mother's womb...

Dark shrine,
like a mother's wounded breast,
blood-red and terrifying...

Though approaching through a safe-seeming field,
our hair stands on end as we near you!

Gishbanda,
like a neck-stock,
like a fine-eyed fish net,
like a foot-shackled prisoner's manacles...
your ramparts are massive,
like a trap!

But once we’re inside,
as the sun rises,
you yield widespread abundance!

Your prince
is the pure-handed priest of Inanna, heaven's Holy One,
Lord Ningishzida!

Oh, see how his thick, lustrous hair
cascades down his back!

Oh Gishbanda,
he has built this beautiful temple to house your radiance!
He has placed his throne upon your dais!

###

The Exaltation of Inanna: Opening Lines, an Excerpt
Nin-me-šara by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Lady of all divine powers,
Lady of the all-resplendent light,
Righteous Lady clothed in heavenly radiance,
Beloved Lady of An and Uraš,
Mistress of heaven with the holy diadem,
Who loves the beautiful headdress befitting the office of her high priestess,
Powerful Mistress who has seized all seven divine powers,
My lady, you are the guardian of the seven divine powers!
You have seized the divine powers,
You hold the divine powers in your hand,
You have gathered up the divine powers,
You have clasped the divine powers to your breast!
Like a dragon you have spewed venom on foreign lands that know you not!
When you roar like Iškur at the earth, nothing can withstand you!
Like a flood descending on alien lands, O Powerful One of heaven and earth, you will teach them to fear Inanna!

###

Temple Hymn 7: an Excerpt
to the Kesh Temple of Ninhursag
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

O, high-situated Kesh,
form-shifting summit,
inspiring fear like a venomous viper!

O, Lady of the Mountains,
Ninhursag’s house was constructed on a terrifying site!

O, Kesh, like holy Aratta: your womb dark and deep,
your walls high-towering and imposing!

O, great lion of the wildlands stalking the high plains!...

###

Temple Hymn 17: an Excerpt
to the Badtibira Temple of Dumuzi
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

O, house of jeweled lapis illuminating the radiant bed
in the peace-inducing palace of our Lady of the Steppe!

###

Temple Hymn 22: an Excerpt
to the Sirara Temple of Nanshe
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

O, house, you wild cow!
Made to conjure signs of the Divine!
You arise, beautiful to behold,
bedecked for your Mistress!

###

Temple Hymn 26: an Excerpt
to the Zabalam Temple of Inanna
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

O house illuminated by beams of bright light,
dressed in shimmering stone jewels,
awakening the world to awe!

###

Temple Hymn 42: an Excerpt
to the Eresh Temple of Nisaba
by Enheduanna
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

O, house of brilliant stars
bright with lapis stones,
you illuminate all lands!

...

The person who put this tablet together
is Enheduanna.
My king: something never created before,
did she not give birth to it?



Published as the collection "When Pigs Fly"
like salty ocean waves, a chill floods the heart
the screaming, earth-shattering, ears fail to start
the mumbling, so troubling it's nearly divine
the mother just stares and states, 'i'll deal with what's mine'
it falls to the ground, solid as stone
but it leaks deep roses and bares broken bones
the salt fills her eyes, starting a fire within
for when amber blows, another begins
the screaming was silent, the anger was cold
for the baring of child tore a hole in the soul
Brent Kincaid Nov 2017
Baby cries
Don’t know why
There’s got to be a reason.
By and by
We’ll know why
It can’t be just the season.
Pick them up
When babies cry
And let the know you love them.
Never beat
Never shout
Never push and shove them.

What could a little kid do
That merited a hard fist?
Go ahead, take your time
Write us out a long list.
Did it cry because hungry,
Lonely in it’s own crib?
Did it need frequent changing,
Spit up on it’s tiny bib?

Baby cries
Don’t know why
There’s got to be a reason.
By and by
We’ll know why
It can’t be just the season.

Was there a rash hurting
Or maybe a sour belly.
Did you feed it liver pate
When it wanted cherry jelly?
Did it say no to your orders
When treated like a slave?
What was the crime you felt
Should send them to the grave?

Pick them up
When babies cry
And let the know you love them.
Never beat
Never shout
Never push and shove them.

Something went very wrong with you
That you feel right to hit children;
To starve and cut and burn them
With a kind of joyous abandon.
Is part of it that you get to do
Whatever outrage you want
As long as you keep it hidden,
As long as you don’t flaunt?

Baby cries
Don’t know why
There’s got to be a reason.
By and by
We’ll know why
It can’t be just the season.
Pick them up
When babies cry
And let the know you love them.
Never beat
Never shout
Never push and shove them.
ConnectHook Sep 2015
A hymn to paired planethood: Venus hits Pluto
as death, in cold orbit, collides with biology
smashing to fragments: demonic astrology
(more a black hole than a love-star, it’s true though).
Cynical cure for Eve’s womanly grievance
Concupiscent consequence: lust’s bitter fruit –
ah the thought… changing Sin into mere inconvenience.

Margaret sang her seductive refrain
about weeding the garden and progress and light.
Her sisters should view her with scornful disdain
but instead have adopted her murderous rite.
With sang-froid she promoted her racist eugenics
(as if she had never herself been a fetus),
condemning her heirs to postmodern polemics
while nurturing ardent desires to defeat us.

Suppressing the lives that she flushed down the drain
she would liberate Death – and resistance was vain.
As a midwife to modern life (though on the “anti” side)
Old Matron Margie racked up quite a legacy
singing the praises of sanctioned infanticide
calling the shots for the coming sick century.
Planning, quite calmly, to “cleanse” certain races
her zeal was empowered by murderous graces.
She labored to bring us such pearls of subduction:
“dilation and curettage”, “women’s autonomy”
“viable fetus”, “procedure”, a “suction”
Hippocrates retches to hear the taxonomy;
words that turn Life into mere reproduction.

She enters the realms of the ****** and the motherless
roundly condemned by her feminine otherness.
Man’s first protection: the God-given womb
which no infant should have to regard as their tomb.

Dismembered dark cherubs, assembling, greet her
as demons (in scrubs) holding baby-parts meet her.
Long may she burn with the medical cynics
this mother of Moloch, this founder of clinics.
Convenience is king when abortion’s the Queen
and the profits swell big with each nubile teen…
yet the fruit of such carnage remains to be seen.

I send her this song as a funeral wreath
and a card inked in blood. You may read what is there:
“To the Matrix Supreme of our culture of death
from the souls of the infants you slew on the earth.
May your torment increase with the children you bear.”
http://tinyurl.com/ortqfvp

zero Jun 2015
As soon as I heard the rumble of my husbands car
fade into the distance,
I put down my Bible, stepping out of bed.
I smoothed out the covers, like always.
because I'm not one to leaves things messy
because cleanliness is close to Godliness,
that’s what they say.

I fiddled with the faucet
testing the water on my hands.
The kids don’t like it too warm.
I left the door open
so I could hear the faucet running
all the way down the hall.

I opened the bedroom door
and squinted as I flicked a switch.
Let there be light!
Three sleepy faces peeked out at me
from underneath their blankets.
Such precious eyes looked up at me.
Poor things,
Daddy had just put them to bed.
They yawned and blinked their shiny eyes
and we all held hands as we walked down the hall.

They told me
Mommy, Mommy, it’s not bathtime.

I answered,
No, it’s not bathtime, it’s time to go.

They asked and asked,
but I just smiled down at them.
What curious little miracles!

The boys went first.
I placed one hand on each of their heads,
my fingers in cornsilk hair.
Their confused wailing
bounced off of the tile walls.
I silenced them with shushing sounds.

I told them don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid, Mommy’s got you.
Mommy won’t let go.
Mommy won’t ever let go.

I smiled at their tiny, twitching hands
and laughed along with their gurgling voices.

I wish they wouldn’t have splashed so much.
That’s just like the boys;
they were always making trouble.
How inconsiderate of them
to leave less water for their sister!

I laid the boys down to rest
and gave each one a kiss
on their clammy foreheads.
They were side by side on Earth,
now side by side in Heaven.
I lined them up next to each other
Like sweet little packages.
Little packages sent up to God.

I left my princess to float.
She just looked so pretty I couldn’t move her.
I could see her so clearly
once the splashing had stopped
and the water settled.
She was so beautiful
with her hair swaying
just beneath the surface.
My perfect angel.
I left her to float
like Moses on the River Jordan.

With my little cherubs put to rest,
I return now to my Bible,
but this time it’s not for reading.  
I place it in the oven
and lay my head on it
like a tiny sacred pillow.
So that I can rest too.

and I'm not afraid
because it's time to go.
Brent Kincaid Apr 2015
I never feared the monster hiding
Sliding out from under my bed
To grab me by the head and drag me
Into some dark, dIngy vicinity.
I had the real thing to fear. We all did
And it only hid when other adults saw.
The fear would gnaw at me forever
And I felt it would never let up.
A couple of times I felt I would die
Because I tried to stop it; to cry
To beg, to wheedle, to quake.
But I could not shake her hold.
I wasn’t all that old, but I began
To plan. I did her household chores
But she wanted more; laundry,
Preparing the meals she completed.
Defeated, I knew it was no good.
I had done everything I could.

I remember it. Oh, yes. Clearly.
Nearly every scene resonates
Grates and whips me relentlessly
Just as hard, and painfully as she
Whipped us; me and my brothers
Not acting like a mother, but mad.
Not so much angry as insane.
She was the bane of our existence
With no diluting of that phrase.
And it was not a phase, it was there
When we were home, alone
With her when she indulged her rage.
To that stage when she could not stop;
Not turn back and be the caregiver.
I still shiver. I feel the belts or sticks
Stripe across my back or my legs
When, begging, I tried to stop her;
Threaten to call the cops or something
But nothing worked since Dad was a cop.

The cops or the county would come by
When a nearby neighbor called on her
But when they heard our name, they stopped
And since Dad was a cop, they dropped it
And would sit and ask us in front of her
Whether she was beating us or whatever.
Never would we rat her out because
The claws would come out when they left
And she’d heft whatever she used on us.
And fussing and crying only made it worse.
Once a nurse turned her in to the school
And some fool from the county dropped by
To write down Mom’s lies and ask us again
In front of the woman from the welfare
And we were too scared to tell the truth.
We were in the beginnings of our youth.
How could we defeat a monster that knew
Where and when we slept. What could we do?
she
threw
him
away
she
had
nothing to feed him

(10 words excl. spaces)

— The End —