Daniel Northcutt

Rookie (May 12,1984 / Riverside, California)

The White Man And His Imperialism - Poem by Daniel Northcutt

Think you that there is no savagery amongst our kind
We are born of the snows
We sprang like wraiths from the coldest north
And made our fires to keep warm
But the cold grew and spread
Like an icy plague from our very souls
Only the fires warmed us
So, as that cold plague spread, so too did our fires
Until all the world was aflame
Aflame with wickedly ignorant beautiful Narcissus
Like us our fires burned white
Our Gods lived in our hands
Hands that held steel
And so our metal gods whitely razed peaceable gods wherever the ices spread
We lit our fires to warm our cold
When the morning came we doused them in blood and salt
Salt from sweat and from tears of those born in warmth
So, as the azul expanse, whereupon no fires can burn, sent us to new ices
We froze and burnt and salty doused
Until nothing was left but blood on ice made chunky with salt ash
Not because we were beasts or devils
Beasts are ignorant and devils obligated
We were simply cold
Cold from the beginning
Our mother was never Gaia, mother of all warm men
Who leaves that warmth and great green in the hearts of her children
Our mother was always those damnable ices
Who left only cold in her children's heart's and emptiness when that birthcurse melted
Never were we masters of war
We simply never learned to dance in the glory of the green and the stone and the sand
Because our ice mother never taught us how
Without the song dances of creation
We knew only how to warm ourselves by the spreading fires
Doused each morning in the blood and salts of the dancers
While all Olympia sang and merry made
We held only metal Hephaestus and his ugliness
A flaming forge upon a mound of snow
With troughs of salt and blood to make the metals in our hands hiss
We did not shape the world out of clay
We burnt the clay shapes and painted them
The cold never dies
O that our warmer cousins could teach us how to dance
No more fires
No more salt douses
Nevermore that ice progenitor
We burned you
We burned you to keep warm from that icy plague
Teach us how to let go of the metal gods in our hands
Teach us how to warm ourselves
Not by fireside, that we know all to well
But by dancing the dances and singing the songs
Let us lose our salts
Not from fiery theft
But from joy and goodly effort
Teach us your phoenix ways
Even if that immolation was ours
We were born cold and had to find warmth
Now, if you will teach us
We can keep warm by dancing the dances of your gods
We will fill in our void made by the melting heart ice
Fill it in with the green and the stone and the sands
Yes we burned you and in so doing kept warm
But we will no longer keep warm by our contrivances
You will lead us to warmer latitudes
And together we might rejoice in eternal warmth
Yes, there is savagery still, amongst our kind
We will leave it in the cold though
When you teach us to dance in warmer climes


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 20, 2012

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 21, 2012


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