in the land of my birth (10,407 years of tidewater people)



I. aborigine
once, the permanent home of the people; the chesapeake walked on water here, thick with oyster-bed-skyscrapers underfoot

barefoot children covered in bear grease (insect repellent) ran through camps

ancient knowledge (wealth) passed down in nights spent, spearfishing from a dugout; fire-basket fish-magnet on a pole, reflecting off dark-water-wind; filling squall weary canoes

tribalization of natural resources — circular hoop socialism, insuring the tribe’s survival; harmony in the blue crab state, governed by custom

consuming only that which is necessary

II. war (wholesale murder)
all was not utopia, prior to first contact; the chesapeake were not here to greet the alien invasion; these lands rendered seasonal hunting grounds

the powhatan stood here with blood on their hands, their shaman had preached a vision

a disturbing vision of conquest and doom; to rise from the shores of the great estuary

preemption was preached at council, the die cast; the small band of chesapeake had to die; for they lived at the mouth of the bay, and would birth a conqueror

peaceful until, under cloak of darkness; death came screaming across the land; the chesapeake awakened to unspeakable terror — brutalizing, bludgeoning, and running through (every single man, woman, and child)

infant skulls caved in — blood soaking dirt; a nor’easter of wanton slaughter, perpetrated by hands with blood in their eyes

the shellfish people, wiped from the earth; hastened to join their oyster-shells-mounds in the dirt, hundreds of chesapeake murdered

a tragic miscalculation by the powhatan; for a few years later, the all too real nightmare arrived on their shore in fulfillment of the prophecy (supernatural belief)

III. contact
institutions touched the tidewater in wooden ships full of men dreaming treasures, spreading disease and hard sole shoes

laying claim to: pieces of earth, pieces of water, pieces of sky, pieces of human flesh with feelings of manifest destiny (supernatural belief) that god’s will be done

all the while seeking to free minerals from the earth, so to lock them up again in a strong box

a foothold in this land secured: muskets and sermons, iron pots and smallpox, forced relocation into wooden pews, broken skulls of saved-soul-savages forced into bondage for labor (exploitation) the swindle written on parchment, separating people from their birthplace

“the powhatan are kissed on the mouth by karma”

IV. civilization
the land where your placenta is buried behind the monolith of box-store, with the super-low prices and wages

around the corner from the mega-church where one size religion fits all

repeating rows of chain restaurants, line the parched streets of dehydration; salt to taste, of sky-high blood pressure; homogenized land of the suburbanite with a cul-de-sac in each hand, greedily filling greasy dumpsters with free enterprise pollution

“i don’t want your cancer!”

the land of my birth; pulling up roots and putting them on a train, an automobile, a plane — to take you away from the land and the hurricanes, that have begun to intensify

“how can you connect through asphalt and iron?” now just a place, like any other place

“what has happened to the people’s land?” it’s posted private, fenced in — access denied, divorced from the rich organic mud that permeates the soul at low tide “i can’t get to the water’s edge”

leaving the blue crab to contemplate broken heat pumps, and the oyster to invest in retirement funds; we have become lost on the land — heron’s heart is heavy with the loss of the chesapeake

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