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Ya'at'eeh (Hello, in Navajo)

Poems

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My Life
Poems
That was me then....this is me now
Its not all about me
Poems of the broken hearted
A new birth...redefining me
Friends and family

I never enjoyed to read or write. I never agreed in English classes that a subject and verb needed to go together to make sense. It was until I took a course in college, that I was taught to write from my heart, to explore my emotions, and from that everything that is written can be understood. From then on, writing has been my addiction. I write about being Native, I write about being gay, I write erotic poems, and I write about things that I feel strongly about. I learn from reading Maya Angelou, Chrystos, Langston Hughes, E. Lynn Harris, Zane, and the list can go on and on. I even like lyrics & rhymes, some are by India Arie, Erykah Badu, Common, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Shania Twain, and Norah Jones. My poems are a part of me that I want to share with you.

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The Navajo Rez- wide open spaces

A Different World

Sam Dailey

 

Cars honking

People running and walking

Buses stopping at every corner

 

I sit puzzled

Quiet like a mourner

The city lights are bright

Flashy and exciting at night

Loud and dirty every hour

 

Everything seems so close in proximity

But far in relation

Compared to life on the reservation

 

The radio plays hip-hop and rap

To grandpa that’s nothing but crap

He learned through stories

Not Eminem saying how he hates his mother

And wishes she were dead

“Your mom is your teacher, respect her”

Was what grandpa last said

 

In the city, the mall is a church

People spending more time on clothes that will run out of style

At home, there’s no mall for miles

Fashion is a laughter

Ceremonies and sweats are the church

Stories shared amongst us

They survive many years to get passed along

Never running out of fashion

 

In city galleries,

I see “authentic” Native jewelry

But it’s not hand crafted

Just a how-to-make Indian jewelry project rip-off

Selling for hundreds more than the real ones

My uncle spent hours making

Selling at the flea market

 

Ain’t it weird

How this world is one to the white men

But to some Indians

It’s divided into two

URBAN INDIAN- was what my auntie called me

She laughed when I returned from school

 

I may have to survive in two different worlds

But I’ll remember

Looking out of dad’s ’79 pick-up truck

 

Miles of deserted land

A two lane state highway

Basketball was all we knew to play

Resting in grandma’s Hogan

Butchering sheep and eating

Fatty mutton sandwiches

Not like Subway’s less than 5 g. of fat

 

One car goes by every now and then

Never a Lexus maybe a Toyota

Always a F O R D

Found On Reservation Dump cars

The only bus is from the casino

The people don’t run from place to place

They stop and visit to share with me

Some of life’s stories

Because we’re all related

In some way

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"Meet me where the sun and earth collide, and you feel the spirit of an Eagle."

A Warrior’s Cry

Sam Dailey

 

It is quiet and boring

Nothing to say when someone asks about our history

 

They know from one chapter in high school history

That Custer removed the Cherokees

That Kit Carson trespassed into Navajoland (Dine’tah)

That there was a place called Little Big Horn

 

The Long Walk was what the Navajos suffered

Exiled from Canyon De Chelly to Bosque Redondo in 1864

Indians captured and their spirits not set free

Acres of land left destroyed

 

Bilagaanas, White Men

Stole the land from us

Beat us and tortured my ancestors

Dug up the land with their greedy ass white lies

We gave them food, water, and a place to stay

 

In return, some died of starvation

Some died of smallpox

Others held prisoner and locked up

Poor Leonard Peltier

 

They know of Black Hills Gold

But that land never was sold

 

In high school history class

I learned that it began this way

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

My response, “Motherfucker who?”

The Indians were savages

They killed settlers with their bow and arrow

They can’t speak English

They have long hair and talk in tongues when they sing

 

I never read that

White settlers were Indian Killers

They took the people from their villages

Shot and killed them

They hurt my mother- Earth

By digging her up and leaving her dry

 

 

Indians speak a language of their own

White men talk in twang

Whenever they sang

They have blond hair, blue eyes

Their language is foreign

 

My question- Is your hair always so short?

Cause mine ain’t always long

 

Indians aren’t savages

We’re proud when we need be

Can be humble to those who are ignorant

I may be Navajo

But there are hundreds of other tribes

From Cheyenne, Seminole, Sioux, Lakota, Hopi, and

 Apache to name a few

Funny how all they seem to know

Is that their grandmother’s a Cherokee princess

 

Your leaders were Presidents

Washington and Jackson

Mine taught me to listen and learn

Manuelito and Canoncito

 

You crazy white men were wrong

You never listened to our song

 

We sing of Life

Spirit, Beauty, and Harmony

Practice our traditional religion

 through stories and ceremonies

Listen to the winds and stones

Hearing all those warrior’s cry

Who once lived in this place and died

Why Play God?

Sam Dailey

 

Why do we think we know another person’s destiny

We are quick to judge based on their material possession

Why do we take away from their integrity

When we look at them on the surface not what’s skin deep

Is it because we’re afraid that they’re better than us

Are we more intimidated by their kindness

Than we are hateful for their lost pride

 

Sometimes I wonder why was I born to be a poor soul

My ancestral lines came from a sandy Hogan out in the deserted Reservation lands

Grandma always said to believe in the medicine

To pray with the pollen and burn the cedar

 

My parents never said to me

“Go to college, be a lawyer or a doctor”

They never said, “don’t ever come home, again” when I told them I was gay

My mom said to be happy and remember the people

Never forget to pray to the creator

 

When I left the protective barriers of the Reservation borders

I saw different color skin tones from cherry vanilla to mocha double dutch chocolate

All them races had their own different color eyes looking at me

I saw their rich honey eyes look at me with disgust when I told them I wasn’t wealthy

I saw the poor soul’s of baby blues cry to me for sympathy because they felt my giving heart

I saw the looks of awe and admiration in the hazel and greens when I shared my life’s story

 

I sat in my room one night

Views of violence and gunshot wounds flashed on the 5 o’clock news

Out of the windows, little children play

They smile with innocence left in their delicate glass souls

Its nice to see them all get along

 

Why did God make me brown?

Why did he not make me a trailer trash redneck from the back neck of the woods in Kentucky

Or make me a freed black slave inheriting my master’s mansion that lies on a plantation in Southern Alabama

Why couldn’t he make me a peanut colored Latino so I could be more attractive to those admiring Antonio or Oscar De LaHoya

But no he made me Indian

He made me reddish-brown

 

He made me a poor selfish gay Native American male

He didn’t bless me with the long hair or the strong masculine features

He didn’t mold me after Manuelito or clone me to look like Geronimo

He left me to play a role in life that I can’t understand at times

 

I wonder why I find only black men attractive

Why do I long to be something I’m not proud of at times?

Maybe it’s cause my eyes and ears only see what God has sent to me

Messages from people criticizing or laughing

Because they can’t look at me beyond the superficial surface

Why do they have to try and play God

When in the end, they could be the one who’s played

On their judgment day

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