Updated: Sep 2, 2022
By Dee Allen.:
Flapper Press is proud to feature the poems by Dee Allen.
It took a silversmith A Tsalagi silversmith To give seven clans, His tribe, a unique voice.
In the early 19th Century, the silversmith
The Tsalagi silversmith Had found, scattered by the wind,
Snow white leaves Not seen on any bushes he knew.
Curiosity drew the silversmith
The Tsalagi silversmith
To closely examine Snow white leaves Bearing unusual marks he couldn’t read.
Inspiration stirred the silversmith
The Tsalagi silversmith To avoid using the Hammer, anvil, sheetmetal, flame In forging new items his tribe needed.
Imitation drove the silversmith
The Tsalagi silversmith To pick up a feather dipped In ink and copy 26 English letters, designed 60 more behind them.
It took a silversmith A Tsalagi silversmith
To give seven clans, His tribe, a unique voice
Written on Crisp, flat Snow white leaves
That talked back
To the eyes.
(From the new book Elohi Unitsi: Poems [ 2013–2018 ], Conviction 2 Change Publishing, 2020.)
Every Spring as Trees sprout new leaves,
Aboriginal nation Reflects and grieves Long after Justice
Failed them—one more slight—
They remember a beloved sister’s
Departure from her family’s sight:
At close range, muzzle flash From a policeman’s gun Panic from a petite Dineh* woman
Dissipated—her life was done.
Street-bound transition From flesh to spirit Hoofbeats pound, a steady gallop
And only she could hear it.
Sky-blue eyes, grey spotted body,
Stray horse drew near with a neigh.
Instinctively, she knew It came to carry her away
From a White man’s world that shown her
Nothing but disrespect— She climbed onto the steed’s bare back,
Wrapped her arms around its massive neck
And finally rode off
On a distant course
To her peaceful, eternal repose
On the Spirit Horse. (For Loreal Tsingine—1989 – 2016.)
*What the Navajo Indians call themselves.
Dee Allen. is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books (Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and his newest from Conviction 2 Change Publishing, Elohi Unitsi) and 24 anthology appearances (including Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Rise, Extreme, The Land Lives Forever and Civil Liberties United, edited by Shizué Seigel) under his figurative belt so far.
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