I stand alone.

I stand alone
Looking down from this stand
Hundreds of bodies lay within the sand
A woman weeps
I can touch her face
Arm and arm
We flee this place
Walking into the dawn
Her name is not given
I dare not request
But the image of a cat sits upon her left breast
Walking
We do this for days
Passing of minutes and hours
Determined
No play
-
Golden gates climbing so high
Two guards in satin of white
Holding trumpets
Standing upright
I thought we would die
Tell me your names and why are you here?
“We are only mere humans”
I call out in my tears
That is not what I asked!
Did you not hear?
What are your names and why are you here?
You traveled great roads to get to this place
Knowing by now the last of your race
It came just as said
Rivers of blood
Moon turning red
And now you come here looking for what?
Tell me man
Looking for what?
We have come to give
Having seen what we’ve done
The foolish
Selfish
Greedy and Dumb
So now we fall upon our knees
Begging for forgiveness
Oh God hear our pleas!
-
Just then the guards lifted their trumpets
Blasting sounds in unison
Then those great gates did slowly open
And thunders did roll
Then arm in arm
Alongside this women who has no name
We walked from the ruins of the old
And into the kingdom of the new.

I stand alone.

john blankenburg

Grafton, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

I knew this old Native American who sweared to me that he was a medicine man. One summer while we were sitting outside the motel that we both had rooms at, he began to tell me stories of his people. And there was one story and tradition that captured my fancy. When a Native American boy reaches a certain age he is given a seed that is ground into a powder. This powder is taken by mouth. Then the boy is set out alone to wander in the forest near the tribes community, if he returns before the dead make mental communication with the boy he shall stay a boy for another year. Then the ritual is repeated until the boy makes his mental communication. I was so intrested in the tradition that I asked if the medicine man would allow me to participate in the ritual. After about a week of me asking. And allowing the medicine man to ask his dead ancestors for the right to let me participate in this sacred right of passage, I was given the powdered seed and told to wander until I was contacted. And that I would know when to return. I was contacted and told to write. It was this poem that I wrote.

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