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We fail to see what the Indian saw;
goalposts moved, the feeling is raw.

God gave all peoples land, but fate
brought white Euros away from theirs,

Hope was in the “New World,” except
that for it’s old inhabitants, a grave

challenge emerged from the golden
ships on the Eastern horizon, the

Atlantic bringing bibles, armor, guns,
horses and a love for gold not seen

by the decorated native soldier, the
adorned native explorer—who roamed

a wild land with ease, the world a
welcome mat to sleep upon, gather

and hunt.  A river was sacred, a waterfall
the same; trees, even rocks worshipped

as gifts from the Great Spirit.  Instead
of human art, a reveling of God’s art

was the native way; instead of a written
history or spirituality, there was one

passed down with poignant, well-placed
words and teachings, songs and music,

Ones about the “L.A. River” before it
was called that I’m sure existed.

It would be full and running wild at
times, dry and trickling at others,

through trees, brush and local wildlife—
including bands of Indian tribes,
grateful for the flow.

Civilization is a double-edged mess.
I think I like it.  I hate it.  I’m sad
about it, but sure like the plumbing!

***

What of the river?

Concreted over now, we took away
its beauty.

A crime by any view, there is no
possible way to support killing
it and doing God’s will, we stopped

the wild flow, the thrill.

We placed our destructive flag on
its top, moved wildlife off their spot,

Came with horses, buggies, then
cars and our own urinated rain,

the plumbing’s good, but we are
not—

God’s Earth is full of things still
pristine, and those like the L.A.
River—

That dies every day civilization soars,
roars and choppers rot.

I dream of a day when time
forgot.

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