Goyathlay And The Boy Reader Poem by Bryan Sefton

Goyathlay And The Boy Reader

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He rides with one, Goyathlay
The one they call Geronimo
They roam the High Sierra's
Searching for the white man
Fighting for their birthright
Fighting to keep the old ways
And to keep their tribe-land
Theirs from the very first days
Of the Sun's great rising
Into the empty heavens

When game and food was plenty
When life teamed in abundance
Ere the white man came to change it
By killing off the buffalo
So the plains stood large and empty
As empty as the bellies
Within the starving children

He hunts with Goyathlay
The one they call Geronimo
For elk and deer and bear
Up in the High Sierra's
For meat to fill the bellies
And skins to warm the bodies
Of the Chirachawhui
'We the people'
The Apache

He stalks with Goyathlay
To track the hungry cougar
Around the mountain meadow
Up to the mountain rim-rock
And there they find her spitting
Back up and eyes a blazing
Protecting of her young ones
The frightened keening kittens

They fire as one together
Their arrows flying deadly
Both hit their marks together
And she falls snapping at them
To free her body of them
But no sooner is she free than
Two more are biting at her
Tearing through her insides
To still the frantic heartbeat
And her frightened crying children
Become quivers for their arrows

Beneath the blazing sunset
With the mares-tail cloud bleeding
Across the western heavens
They eat the deer with hunger
And they drink the cool spring water
And he listens to the stories
From the wise mind of Goyathlay
Of the white man's greed and hunger
For the metals gold and silver
How they rip the ground asunder
And they make the rivers blacken
Till the fish are choked and dying

See! The birds fly from the coming cold
Chawn-Chissy comes a creeping
He fills the air with his icy breath
As everyone lies sleeping
Old 'Ghostface' with his snowy dress
Comes slowly surely creeping
'Come and find us now oh Pind-o-lick-o- ye!
Come and seek us now oh white eyes
You, who would take everything
Come and take this cold!
Come and take this winter that ties us
To the wiki-up like foxes in a trap

Oh Usen? See your once proud children reduced to wearing rags
Oh Usen, see us shiver in the night as we go the little death
Oh Usen, we are hungry. See? your children starve
The white eyes kept us on the move the summer through
So that no crops could be planted
Do the ones who gave in fare any better?
We hear of tribes dying diseased and starved
On land that is sick with fever
Given to them by the white eyes
The ever benevolent white eyes
Land we would not cross in better days
Has now become their home

He listens to Goyathlay
At the tribal council meeting
As he rises to speak his thinking
As they try to understand them
These ever hungry white men
With no respect for boundaries
Leaving nought for he that follows
Wanting but to sate his hunger
For the metals white and yellow

He hides beside Goyathlay
From the white man's searching soldiers
Who search the High Sierra's
For the rogue they call Geronimo
The renegade Apache
The untamable. The bad one
They lead them skipping dancing
Around the Sierra Madre
With the Sun's bright burning eye
Ever watchful, ever blazing
And the soldiers bitter angry
As they chase the fleeting shadows
Who stand mocking in the distance

But no one can run forever
As many tribes have testified
Ere spiralling into obscurity
Now their day is done
Silent drums
Battles, won and lost
Disappear amongst the fiction

The Shaman's incantations are empty whispers upon the wind
Will it begin again? Will they return to begin again?
Do we sink but to rise again at some future date?
Like the sun's circling?
Like the rains cycling?
Like the moon-tides, faithful and true
Are we lost but to be found?
And found but to lose again?
Greatness, falling into oblivion
Rising big and blazing in some future time?

Round and round?
Round and round
And who's turn next?

Hi dicho! (It is finished)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: history

Bryan Sefton

Farnsworth near Bolton, England, UK
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