The time was set before the realm,
Nevertheless no one but we showed up.
But all the rest were too terrified
Of what they thought might come afterward.
The heavens were already bursting with electricity
As lightning flashed all around me.
The drums started their beat,
As the Medicine Man I started to dance,
Now the ghost dance had begun.
Around and around the circle
We would dance for the past.
Dancing for the return of the buffalo
When they roamed freely.
Dancing for the return of the great chiefs
And the brave warriors who would come back
To us to show us the way and save us
From our present and coming future.
The beginning of a new era of peace,
For that we ghost danced throughout the nights.
We continued our dance going across the plains
With our hopes of a return to our society,
The society that we all had known before.

The soldiers came one day and said no more,
No more dance, for you scare everyone.
We were on our own land,
We had hurt no one, we kept to ourselves.
Just four days after the King of Peace’s Birthday
In that mourning of 1890,
They took their Hotchkiss guns and shot us down,
To make sure that we dance no more.
Chief Big Foot was one of the first to die,
Already dying with tuberculosis.
There was no mercy, no kindness,
Neither for the women or children.

My people,
My people,
Now they are no more.
They lay spread across the bloodstained snow.

They have now gone to their ancestral home
Just like the great ones that have gone on before.
So now, please, just lay my lifeless body down
With my people in the mass grave
Here at Wounded Knee.

Mass grave at Wounded Knee

Additional information:
The Army awarded twenty Medals of Honor, its highest award, for the action.
Almost all of the troops on the battlefield were victims of friendly fire from their own Hotchkiss guns.

What's left of Big Foot's band

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About Randall

Welcome to my mind. From it come such writings that have been posted here. The blog Nightly Sky contains the poems that I have written. Sorry. I like writing and poetry.

45 responses »

  1. tmso says:

    Ah, yet another horrible page in history. I do hope that one day we’ll learn from these events.

  2. Lindy Lee says:

    Greed is the cause of misery…

  3. your poems are very atmospheric. Such a horrible topic but so movingly written
    Thank you

    • Randall says:

      I know, it is horrible. But I like to get things out so maybe we can learn from horrible mistakes made in the past. I would love to write so that one thinks they are there, that is also a goal of mine. Thank you ever so much for coming by and comming. Please come back and visit me again.

  4. Texasjune says:

    The stories must be told. Your words are concise and true. The message will reach more to experience the past, and hopefully use that new knowledge that reaches their soul to fight against it ever happening again. You did good, Randall.

  5. Aurora, HSP says:

    Glad to know there is another voice among us who is not afraid to “tell.” In telling there is sharing, in sharing, understanding and in understanding, the final answer. Your poetry takes me wherever you lead. Thanks for another well written journey, Randall.
    PS
    Thanks also for your technical help with my Gravatar and for your comments on my piece, it’s funny you mention the Raven because I was actually thinking Native Medicine of Crow (magic) and then come to your pages to find this magical poem of rememberance. Must be the star alignment, moon position or air we are breathing as artists for so many coincidences in our thoughts/writing, LOL

  6. ceciliag says:

    I am new to your pages, randall and you really are writing up a storm over there! This is wonderful work, well researched and heartfelt.. great.. c

    • Randall says:

      Thank you for your kind comment. And I want to thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I sure hope you will come back. I don’t write too many, so it should not be hard to keep uo with.

  7. Caddo Veil says:

    Exceptional, absolutely exceptional.

  8. rumpydog says:

    It’s amazing the damage we can do when we believe we have God on our side.

    Keep writing dude!

  9. redplace says:

    Wow… I am really amazed by this! It’s very powerful and beautifully written! Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing~

  10. Randall, you took an embarrassing time in our country’s history; then created a beautiful portrait of words; and turned it into a wonderful piece of art. Thank you.

  11. kadja1 says:

    I am part Comanche. This poem reveals a truth people have long chosen to overlook. I am putting a link to this on my blog because it should be widely shared! Thank you!

    • Randall says:

      Thank you so much for liking it. I truly appreciate you linking the poem. I do research on my poems before I release them, so the story is accurate if anyone should doubt. Thank you for stopping by.

  12. King Jaz says:

    Totally amazing!! I’m really in love with this blog right now!!

  13. Betty says:

    Randall, thank you for this post on such a painful subject. I have a special interest in Native American culture, history and philosophy – it’s in my blood, literally and spiritually. Blessings to you for educational posts such as this one.
    (P.S. I thought I was already “following” you but have missed many of your posts, so have re-subscribed.)

    • Randall says:

      Thank you so very much for coming back and re-subscribing. Sometimes things act funning at WordPress. I appreciate your comment. I think it would have been easy to have written a book poem on this horrible subject and the treatment they received.

  14. willowdot21 says:

    No body listened, no body learned, those terrible pictures can be found in every war since man first picked up a rock in anger right up to today. We are a sad breed. You have a powerful way with words! XX

  15. Yotta says:

    A true inspiration, I applaud you for taking such a heart wrenching, painful subject and gracefully wrote about it. Strong images and the images just made me ache !

    Keep writing.

    • Randall says:

      Thank you. I believe it helps us become better people to recognize our past mistakes so maybe we can keep them from ever happening again. Thank you so much for your stopping by and your important feedback. I always appreciate such.

  16. Thomas Davis says:

    The past is terrible for Indian people, but the present is in a renaissance. Indian people are beginning to stir and make themselves felt in writing, art, business, and in so many other ways. I appreciate this poem, especially some of the chanting elements, but please remember that there is more to Indian people in the past than just terrible injustice, and there is certainly achievement to be proud of in today’s world.

  17. terri0729 says:

    Wow Randall!!!! Fabulous job. I really liked this one a lot! – On a side note, did you see the picture it & write e-mail? I wrote the poem and when I went back to give the link, the post was gone 😦 I am confused. Peace, love and blessings, Terri

  18. May the dancers within all of us dance on….the ghostkeepers dance is a gift to all. Your writing I treasure in a special place. Thank you for your talent.

  19. You are gifted, talented and while reading this …..I danced back in time to this sacred moment. Bless you for reminding us that love and love only will heal.

  20. gigoid says:

    Very good treatment of a disturbing event. Your work shows a lot of empathy and insight; thanks for sharing this one. I’m not surprised it got a lot of comments; the subject hooks right in to people’s emotions. Good job….

  21. Randall, this is a very touching telling of a dark and terrible story–one that, as Willlow says above, is repeated endlessly in human history because we fail to learn and refuse to give up our fears of Other-ness. Only when we confront each other and ourselves with such gently compassionate remembrances can we begin to learn. Well done.

  22. willowdot21 says:

    I had to drop by again because this story, well I know it is history , draws me back again . I haunts me , why do the originals of every land the white man has conquered been so oppressed?

    • Randall says:

      That is such a good question. The English were mainly in control of the United States. But they were in Canada also, but they did not seem to wipe out tribes as much as the United States did. There were the Spanish and Portuguese who wiped out the South American civilizations, English again with Australia, the French in Indonesia, and the British in India. There was once the colonization doctrine that the European countries all practice. Indigenous people were considered as inferior. So they had to be subjected to or destroyed out of the new land. Such a horrible and sad history of conquering. The United States government though did have a policy in effect at one time to genocide the entire Native American population.

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