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The Fate of our Lands

Written by Ann LeFlore in memory of my Grandfather who is Sioux Indian.

Standing here so proud and fear
Staring at the lands before my eyes
The freedom was once mine
Today trapped inside
This compound space

Roaming lands freedom at hand
Making our homes under the stars
The moon shone down upon
Our lands and stars danced
Above our heads

Our forefather’s came before
Protecting the lands for all to come
Hunting what was needed
To feed the tribes and children
Thanking the God’s
For the food of the lands

The medicine man told
Of the great white boats
To invade our lands
And we would loose all hope

They came in tribes
White as could be
Forked tongs for all to see
Promising the peace
From some God above

Striping our lands
Killing all before our eyes
Trapping us in a barren space
No where to escape

The massacre came
Without a trace
The white man rode up
To take our space

 They shot and killed
All before our eyes
Leaving us to bury
Our family and wives

 Taking our lands
Stripping our freedom
Leaving in its place
Cold and hunger
For all to embrace

 Our sacred lands no more
Shed with blood and disease
Leaving all to beg and plead
Giving us the spirits to fill our souls

 Drunk in this toxic state
Without having a fate
Nowhere to run
Our lands no more

 The white man came
As the legend was told
They stole our lands
Our food and freedom

 Leaving us broken
Our pride to hide
Deep inside waiting
For the chance to
Take back our lands

 But the white man is here
To leave no more
They stole our lands
And invaded our shores

 The freedom they spoke of
Was not for us to see
We are prisoners in our lands
Where we were meant to be free

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Comments on: "The Fate of our Lands" (55)

  1. A sad moment in history….your last lines are very meaningful:

    We are prisoners in our lands
    Where we were meant to be free

    Thanks for sharing this~

  2. what a sad tale the native americans have to tell…what was done to them was not right…in many many ways…

  3. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and enthusiastic comment tonight. And the link to this work, it is stark and heartbreaking and true, as are the prisons all people find themselves locked into. Peace.

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful comment I am very sad this happened and I am not sure but I thought it was a good idea to write a poem in honor of my grandfather and all the people who were wronged

  4. I am part Cherokee, and I always wonder what it was like for my great, great grandparents. You make me want to learn more about my history 🙂

    • This is a great idea to learn more about your history. It is very interesting and you might find some really good information about your family that you never knew before. I wish you luck in doing this and hope you will look into your family histroy.

  5. this is the true history of how this land came to be as it is today.

  6. (I am part Cherokee, too, Lori!) I think this is a tragedy that will never be ammended and that makes me feel very sad. Your poem is beautiful in its telling. thank you for sharing it with us.

    • You are so welcome Sheila and I am so happy that you stopped by to read this poem. I think if we can think and remember the tragic 911 event we should try and remember the Indians too at this time of year.

  7. Truly one of the saddest moments in this country’s history… stealing the hope of those before us, like thieves in the night, raping the land and leaving it to die.

    • Yes it is I think that we should never forget what happened. We just remembered the 911 10 year Anniv. we should also think of the poor Indians and what happened tot hem this time of year.

  8. A real insight into our history and how the simplicity of life has been taken away. Very much enjoyed

  9. Great poem — I read it and hear the hard history of your tribe once the big money showed up and devoured what it could. The same song could be sung by so many these days in what was once called the Land of Opportunity. – Brendan

    • Yes it was sad and something that should never of happened. The Indians at the Grand Canyon finally got back part of their lands not so long back but the battle with the US Gov took years too long to do this one. The Indians know how to protrect and keep the canyon and it is a shame they took this away from them for money and profit. I was happy when this battle was won and hope more will win their land battles but I do not think this will ever happen. So sad.

  10. The white man has always been arrogant. Always explored and thought that they could claim what they had found, despite who actually lived there being the true peoples.
    This was so wrong as is every other injustice by peoples through the centuries. Australia and it’s Native aborigines, New Zealand and its Maoris, Africa and its black peoples, the list, world wide is never ending.
    The Native Americans were a proud race and they truly did know how to live off the land and respect Mother Nature. They could have taught the white man so much, instead they were used, abused and treated like vermin.
    Heartfelt, lovely piece.

    • I agree with you on this one. I see them coming from Europe and in doing so they invaded more lands around the world and took lands from these poor people leaving them no place to live and raise their families. It is sad this has happened but now it is way too late to try and change it. They are here to stay and the lands are gone and others live on them now and have their houses built on them. So this is sad and how can we go back and change what has happened.

  11. A heartbreaking story well expressed. Stories of indigenous peoples being ruthlessly supplanted by invaders must always be told and retold. That sad conflict is in part what makes movies like “Dances With Wolves” and “Avatar” so accessible and so necessary.

    • I agree I know that we morn for the 911 victims but we seem to forget all the other victms of the killing here on this land. We should never forget these people and what happened to them and how they were killed for no reason at all. It was a shame they even killed all the buffalo for what reason. Geed seems to be the reason behind all this. One thing makes me happy on the Island the Tahitian people still own almost all their lands. They still split their lands between the families so they can build houses on them and raise thier children. This one is good but the French Gov is trying to claim some of the lands but the Tahitian people do not allow this one to happen. So this one is nice to see they will not allow thier lands to be taken from them.

  12. Yeah they truly did get the crappy end of the stick, so many promises and so little actions actually came from them. Truly is a sad tale, great write.

  13. Laurie Kolp said:

    A tender touch into the harsh reality of our history.

    • Yes Laurie this is a harsh reality of our history and one that they never wanted to change and fix they just kept taking more and more and killing more and more of the Indians until finally it did stop but then it was almost too late.

  14. hobgoblin2011 said:

    Very powerful and meaningful reflective piece. Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed hearing the history through your words. thanks

    • You are so welcome and glad that you liked this so much thank you for stopping by and reading this poem. I love the history of the Indians and feel so sorry for all they had to go though and wish it never happened.

  15. This is a haunting poem Sarah – it is so sad that there are so many people over this world who have had such sadness inflicted on them – the Aboriginals in Australia are another race that have shared this horrible fate. it is great that you honour your race, and these souls with these beautiful words. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Jo I think you are right we should honor all races and not just the Indian race. All races in this world are important and we should never try to destroy one of them at all. It is so wrong.

  16. a sad part of history – this should’ve never happened…prisoners in their own land..touched my heart…and so beautiful you dedicated it to your grandfather – this is awesome sarah

    • Thank you so much Claudia and yes I think it is so much like this when at first they had all the lands to roam and be free in then were stipped of the lands and thrown into areas that were guarded and they could no longer leave. this is so sad and so wrong to do this to anyone.

  17. I’m sorry to say that very much the same happened here in Australia too.Tragic, in both countries!

    • You are right it happened in more places that we care to think about and now it is too late or it should never be too late to change this and make it right. But now will they that is the question will they ever make it right or just leave it like it is and go on like it never happened that one is so sad to think about.

  18. This topic/issue always makes me so angry and sad; I thank you for penning this tribute but also for bringing the issues up again. The world needs constantly reminding until at least some remedying/healing is offered up and accepted.

    Thank you

    • I agree with you so much but look at how much time has passed. It was not that many years back that the Indians of the Grand Canyon finally got back thier lands that were taken from them. They are the ones who know how to live the lands and take care of them and they should be the ones to take care of this natural wonder and keep it for all to see and enjoy. I hope one day they will get back their lands but from what it looks like now I do not think is will ever be possible. It is so sad and I really wish they could.

  19. What an epic tale from history told beautifully a worthy tribute to your grandfather and forbearer s …thank you for telling and highlighting this injustice x

    • You are welcome Kez and i think that we should never forget. They do not want us to forget 911 so why should we forget about what they did to the Indians. They did just the same to them and took away their freedom when all they were doing was helping them to understand the lands and how to plant and grow food so they could live. But instead of taking their help and learning they took their lands and tried to kill them all off. This was so sad and how can it be fixed now.

  20. This is the heartbreak of injustice, not only in America but here in Australia too!…Even today these injustices take place. If we had ever once stopped and thought what could we learn instead of what can we take…I don’t know, brings a tear, sorry is not a big enough word.

    • Yes I know and you are right. It is not only the Indians but all races that are affected and this is so sad. I wish that we could stop all this but how the Gov. control and we are almost powerless to fight them and stop what has taken place.

  21. Truly Sad Sarah…… the terrible things that happened on both sides during that period speak of the unimaginable, unspeakable atrocity that we, as men, are capable of. I learned that the Sioux were a very proud people and nation…. I think that you honor your Grandfather well with this wonderful expression in poetry. Although my family was not here in America to witness the fall of the Sioux and other great Indian nations, I still benefit from living in this great land that once shared itself with those great people, and so it is hard for me as a white man to swallow this shame, unintentional as it may be. And Sarah we still witness these devastating acts of violence in this world, a coldness that drives the hearts of men and war. Even as we speak together, reach across this expanse of wires and cables and ones and zeros, extending our hands to one another, embracing each others passions, we should know that men, women and children in this world are being killed and maimed by other men, women and children for the most senseless reasons. And it happens in places you would never even suspect. My mother was Australian so I know that “pandamoniumcat,” above is correct: the native Australians, if they are that, I’m not sure where the Aborigine’s originated, but the injustices there are no less. Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine….. it never ends. It never ends. I believe that part of the responsibility we have for receiving this incredible passion from God as poets is to keep these cultures alive, not just the beauty of them, but the atrocities that mar them as well. And with that said I want to repeat this: I think that you honor your Grandfather well with this wonderful expression in poetry. Well done……..

    • Thank you so much. This is really heart warming and says so much. I am so happy that this poem has touched you and you feel so strong about the in justice that has taken place across the world. I just wish there was a way to end all this and stop it this would be so much better. I really appreciate your comment and it really has some strong points inside that are all so true.

  22. Unfortunately, the white man doesn’t always treat others with respect. It’s still going on across the world and the Native Americans and many others are still suffering from the actions of the “white man”.

    A lovely tribute to your Grandfather–honorable and passionate.

    Peace,
    Gayle

    • Yes you are right about this but why this one is hard to understand. Just because your skin color is different does not make you any different from the next person. That is what makes it so sad to see this happen and what to do to stop all this killing for no reason at all.

  23. Janaki Nagaraj said:

    Such a sad and heartfelt story……glad to have visited.

  24. Sarah.. I feel the loss so tangibly.. this is a moving piece and an ever-needed tribute. It has universal appeal…so many peoples (and people) who have suffered oppression will hear the beat of your song…

  25. No tree has branches so foolish as to fight amongst themselves. -Ojibwa Indian saying
    Some day perhaps we will stop seeing ourselves as Natives or Whites, Christians or Pagans, Rich or Poor. Some day we will be as smart as trees… we have a long way to go.

  26. it is one of the saddest stories in history, the theft of land, and brutality to humans who only wanted to laugh and dance with their children and grandparents with brother bear and sister trees under the spell of stars.

  27. Sarah, powerful write, you leave the impact that is called for in our time. lovely ~ Rose

    • I think you are right it is so easy to put behind and forget what happened to the Indians of these lands and it is so sad that people do not want to correct these problems for them

  28. The freedom they spoke of
    Was not for us to see
    We are prisoners in our lands
    Where we were meant to be free

    This summed it up all… hugs xoxo

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