Skip to main content

A poem from Frederick Michaels

Sing It, Buffy Sainte-Marie
by Frederick Michaels

Crimson flesh and onyx flies—
a vicious scar across the plains.
Breath stealing rotted air
chokes off slaughtered vision.

Wagons heaped of black hides
snake away in morning haze
to rail heads and all points east,
into seamstresses' tiny hands.

Feathered men with teared eyes
knew the truth foretold by stars—
bloody knives will change lives,
gone nature's gift of food, clothes.

Arisen such time unwilled, lament
dead bison naked to your gaze.
Now governments become beasts,
a whole world the land despoiled.

Bio: Frederick Michaels draws a good deal of his poetic inspiration from the land and history. A retired engineer, living in Indiana for nearly 40 years now, this expatriate New Yorker once thought the land was in parks, and history was in books. He knows now that both are in the mind and heart of the poet.

Editor’s note: “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,” a song by Buffy Sainte-Marie: