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Passions in Poetry

Oklahoma's Red Soil (revised)

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Mike
Member Elite
since 06-19-99
Posts 2528


0 posted 12-29-1999 06:58 PM       View Profile for Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Mike

O' Trail of Tears, thou cast a cloud of shame,
In Choctaw blood, upon the white man's name,
Eighteen-thirty, in the year of our Lord,
The proud Choctaw people died not by the sword,
But greed and deception, the white man's way,
Led to destruction, no words can convey,
Loss of a nation, once mighty and proud,
Forced in a death march, no mercy allowed,
Women and children, fell dead by the side,
The year of our Lord? How many hath died?

Little Dancing Rabbit Creek; forever
Shall history revile thee, as was there,
The Chiefs of the Choctaw Nation had came,
Were promised lush forests, lands full of game,
As long as grass grows and water doth flow,
So Jackson promised to force them to go.
The Chiefs and their warriors, leading their tribe,
On paper that talked, their marks did inscribe,
Five Civilized Nations, all had became,
Civilization, what horror thy name.

System of government, codified law,
Merchants and businessmen were the Choctaw,
Many were Christian and owned their own land,
And aided the white man with helping hand.
"Conveyances" promised, money to start,
A life in new land as Choctaw depart,
Ten million acres traded for ten,
Property sold by "honorable" men.
"Papered" Indians, the Senate's solution,
"Peaceful Progress," white man's absolution.

Seminole, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek,
Joined Choctaw brethern, a new home to seek,
Commenced "Tear's Trail," toward setting sun,
To land called "Red Man," the shame had begun.
Manifest Destiny, God doth decree,
Onward and westward, the land of the free.
To Oklahoma, the Choctaw were led,
Alkali pits, land barren and dead.
The Choctaws they mourned, as the earth turned red,
By tears of their blood, they wept for their dead.


© Copyright 1999 Mike - All Rights Reserved
Nan
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Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


1 posted 12-29-1999 07:52 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

These facts are incredible and astounding - Mike - You really know how to bring a staunch reality to the history of our "Land of the free and Home of the BRAVE"....you know that, don't you?
Denise
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since 08-22-99
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2 posted 12-29-1999 08:13 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Wonderful poem, Mike. What a tragedy this all was. I laugh to myself when I hear preachers say let's return this nation to its Christian roots. Perhaps I am blind...I don't see any Christian roots to this country. Just a look at our past should put that misconception forever to rest. Again, Mike, great poem.

 Denise


Mike
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since 06-19-99
Posts 2528


3 posted 12-29-1999 10:15 PM       View Profile for Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mike

Thank you Denise and Nan...
a little of my history degree showing through on this one...
Nan
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since 05-20-99
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Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


4 posted 12-30-1999 12:10 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

...putting that degree to work - going back for another round......
hoot_owl_rn
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since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


5 posted 12-30-1999 01:33 AM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Mike...this is incrediably told. A piece of American history most would rather forget about and you've brought it to light so wonderfully, yet tragicly in this piece. Your portrayal is vivid with your use of imagery. Well done!!!
highwayman
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since 12-29-1999
Posts 42
Cookeville, Tennessee, usa


6 posted 12-30-1999 04:03 AM       View Profile for highwayman   Email highwayman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for highwayman

I may not be true blood but my dad is.  I love the poem and the way that you bring the pain of an entire nation out for everyone to see.  It does my heart some good to see that people really do care what happond in our past as a nation itself.  It is something that all us white man should still feel ashamed of.  Well put and with your premission I would like to have a copy to put in my dads office for him.  

highwayman80@hotmail.com

 
Echo Rhayne
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since 09-17-99
Posts 1538
Canyon Country, CA


7 posted 12-30-1999 07:30 AM       View Profile for Echo Rhayne   Email Echo Rhayne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Echo Rhayne

Pulchritudinous Mike!  Absolutely wonderful!


 ~*~ Hell is not a place of fire and a devil with a tail and horns. But a place of torment because the light of God is gone. To escape this, accept the blood of Jesus Christ! ~*~

wayoutwalt
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since 06-22-99
Posts 5106
TEXAS (it's all big)


8 posted 12-30-1999 08:45 AM       View Profile for wayoutwalt   Email wayoutwalt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wayoutwalt

i tiz remember this one on the first go around revised revised you say well i say even better!
Meadowmuse
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since 12-27-1999
Posts 3317


9 posted 12-30-1999 09:24 AM       View Profile for Meadowmuse   Email Meadowmuse   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Meadowmuse's Home Page   View IP for Meadowmuse


Wish I'd seen this last night before I posted my "Auburn Tears"...though I might have changed my mind about sharing it after reading yours. This is superb work, Mike. I love the somber drama of your ending:

"The Choctaws they mourned, as the earth turned red,
By tears of their blood, they wept for their dead."


Mike
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since 06-19-99
Posts 2528


10 posted 12-30-1999 11:51 AM       View Profile for Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mike

thank you all for your gracious comments...
and I would be honored Highwayman to have you give the poem to your father....
RSEvans
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since 10-23-1999
Posts 1187
Tulsa, OK, USA


11 posted 12-30-1999 12:25 PM       View Profile for RSEvans   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSEvans

Living in Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, I see quite a bit of what has become of the "great hunting lands" of Oklahoma.  The reservations, which used to spread North to South across half of Oklahoma are now scattered and even smaller than before.  Few, if any, full-blooded Cherokee and Creek exist, and most of those in Talequah and Okmulgee counties, taking the few Indian Bureau jobs and working in Casinos and Bingo Halls to make money for the Tribal Council to dispurse among the poor and needy tribal members.  This is what has happened to our once proud nations of Creek and Cherokee.  As a descendant of indian blood, it makes me ashamed of what this Land of the Free has done to our braves.
Martie
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since 09-21-1999
Posts 28608
California


12 posted 12-30-1999 09:10 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

This is wonderful work Mike, a history lesson that we all need to remember and it needs to go back to the top again.

 In the dew of little things,
the heart finds its morning
and is refreshed.
(ee cummings)
Mike
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since 06-19-99
Posts 2528


13 posted 12-30-1999 11:15 PM       View Profile for Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mike

Thank you for the comments RS and Martie.  The importance of history is if we learn from past mistakes or repeat them.
highwayman
Junior Member
since 12-29-1999
Posts 42
Cookeville, Tennessee, usa


14 posted 01-04-2000 08:09 PM       View Profile for highwayman   Email highwayman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for highwayman

Mike,

The poem is poignant - I'm Highwayman's father.  I'm mixed Choctaw and Cherokee - my adopted sister is full Choctaw.  I am Presbyterian minister, ordained by Choctaw Presbytery in southeast Oklahoma (home of the Red Man).  Keep up the conscience awarness.  We got screwed, man!

Grace and Peace,

Charles McCaskey

 
highwayman
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since 12-29-1999
Posts 42
Cookeville, Tennessee, usa


15 posted 01-08-2000 02:49 AM       View Profile for highwayman   Email highwayman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for highwayman

Mike I hope that my dads reply makes some kind of since.  good luck in understainding what he ment by all that
Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


16 posted 01-08-2000 07:16 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

I was struck by this poem and by the responses. This is painful subject matter, always good to remember and talk about. Thank you all for the wonderful dialogue
Liz
Mike
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since 06-19-99
Posts 2528


17 posted 01-08-2000 12:15 PM       View Profile for Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mike

Highwayman,  yes, I know what your father was saying.  Can I understand it?  No, because it is an understanding only those involved could possibly totally comprehend. The only thing I can do is to say I recognize what happened and in some way attempt to acknowledge the terrible mistakes made, and to let those who suffered and continue to suffer know that it is recognized the wrongs that were committed in the so-called name of civilization.
 
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