Night of moons and long ago

before the knee was wounded

the heart was torn in two

drum beat rhythm  silent

The body danced until it died

A blood red river flowed unrestrained into the white sea of trouble

thirst was everywhere and parched souls entertained the demon

who brought the drink of ruin from a great abyss

misery lingered

hatred loitered

memories died and were buried among the rotting corpses of pride

ancestors fleeing the great divide

Elders cried

snakes lied

coyote chuckled inside out at the flames of white hot madness

wrong was right

right was wrong

hey a ho

Day of shadowed daylight now

after the knee was wounded

all night long

Naked innocents  freezing in the dark

noxious black gold inhaler babies

siphoned until they are numb

sponge brains on a speeding train

to hell

where the river is dry

the sea is high

the two halves of heart

lay exposed to the angry sun

an inviting feast for the vultures of culture


Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!

17 thoughts on “”

  1. I got the wounded knee reference too. I read this a few times. Your poetry is beautiful and there is a strong spirit speaking out from between the words. I’ve seen your name here and there, and I’m glad I came by and visited. You poem really moved me. I think humanity has done some pretty ugly things to each other (‘a few hundred years ago’ really isn’t an excuse, is it?)and still continues to do so, sadly.

    1. Hi harmonie22, it’s good to have you visit me and read my work. I hope people walk away from what I write about my experiences on the rez, with a feeling of renewal and respect for those who put up a good fight against ignorance and evil. It takes immense courage and love to gracefully climb out of a pit of filth and despair and I’ve been blessed to have known a few individuals who shared my vision of how things could be. Sadly, events take their time to unfold and my part in certain things came to an end so I could do this, inform and share. Please come back and visit, I appreciate your point of view. 🙂

  2. “coyote chuckled inside out at the flames of white hot madness”

    Reads like cliff notes.
    Generates intensity and holds attention like cliff notes being consumed in last minute desperation.

    I really love the subject and the presentation.


    1. Cliff notes, I like that Mark. I think when coyote stops laughing, we will be all return to a better world. Peace to you too wonderful poet friend. 🙂

  3. love how you worked in so much into this poem! when i got to the wounded knee reference i had to go back and read again!

    1. Thank you Jessie 🙂 I was feeling all sour sentimental about this stuff and this was the result. Sometimes I think there are two Vals: Val before the rez and Val after the rez. I hope one day I’ll be able to write a last verse with a triumphant ending. Time and history will have to pass first I feel.

  4. I’ll vlog it Bryan dahling. 🙂 This week when I have a little time, most likely before the weekend. Thank you for your praise, it means a great deal to me. V-dawg eh? The last person to call me dawg was a beautiful sista from Georgia lol LOVE IT. 🙂

    1. Hi Dean, it’s very good to have you visit my blog and read my work, especially this poem. Pieces of my heart and soul remained behind when I left those brooding mountains and mammoth trees. The rez sits on the vanishing point of the road behind me, but every so often, a tear rolls down my cheek and lands on this page leaving a permanent stain. Thank you for appreciating the stain and the ache behind it. I hope you come back again.

  5. Fascinating piece of writing, Val. It begins with a certain rhythm that I found myself determined to maintain in the reading. Can’t quite put my finger on the why I want to read this piece into my pulse.

    1. Hey Brad! It’s exceptional to see you hear again. Tell you what, I’ll do a vlog this week and I’ll read this poem along with a short piece of flash fiction about the rez. Hugs and thank you for reading and liking this.

    1. The rez Dhyan, such an indescribable place…what I carry with me, the very thing that I keep telling my daughter, is that the collective spirit isn’t broken and in that cultural pride, in the dark humour that can only be found in native communities, you will see the uncorrupted beauty of the people. I was going to be done with this but because of the interest you guys have shown, I will write some other poems about my life there and the people I knew. 🙂 hugs

  6. I will return the favor, Val. This is moving and stirring and it reminds me of the Chippewa writer, Louise Erdrich, and especially of her poem, Captivity. You have struck HER vein! Bravo to you!!!!

    1. Hi Tel, I know about Louise, she is well known on every rez. Indian country is pretty small and the moccasin line very active. She is a wonderful writer and the horrible situation she found herself in was tragic. 😦 I am going to write more verse about my five years on the rez, what I experienced and witnessed. I think about it now, eight years after the fact and when I separate the suffering endured by my daughter and myself, what I recall there of the suicides, murders, alcoholism and abuse, it breaks my heart. That community will always affect me deeply and in some ways, a part of me can never really leave there. Thank you Tel, for seeing what I was trying to say with my heart. HUGS

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