Forever Proud

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His warrior image endures over the years

Witnessing a proud life, without any fears

 

His Native American culture continues to live on

Keeping rich and spiritual memories, never gone

 

Life’s simple ways will always shine bright

Displaying warrior bravery at every sight

 

Man and horse unite together as one

Riding his pony into the setting sun

 

Fierce in battle, defending his vast land

Adding to his legend, he does all he can

 

Younger men look up to him and follow in battle

Counting coup, his bravery becomes his mantel

 

This storied warrior transitions to an old man

Looking back proudly, honoring his last stand

 

His weathered face reveals a mighty, brave past

Lighting up eyes, with proud memories that last

 

The buffalo have disappeared for good

Ending a way of life, once proudly stood

 

Many of the old traditions are now gone

Reliving them through legend and song

 

The old warrior passes down past tribal history

Teaching a new generation, his ancient journey

 

The warrior no longer meets foes in battle today

Remembering his legacy, forever proud to say

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Montana is home to seven Native American reservations:  Flathead, Blackfeet, Crow, Cheyenne, Fort Peck, Rocky Boy, and Fort Belknap.  Across the United States, these proud people make up a “quiet” minority, often forgotten in the mainstream of the American way of life.  Here are two previously published poems about Native Americans:

Distant Beating Drum

One can hear a distant drum beating as Native American culture faces an neverending onslaught upon their way of life.  It all begins in 1607 with the settlement of the Jamestown colony.  Listen closely, do you hear . . .

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A distant beating drum . . .

 

Europeans sail to a pristine land

Fixated with ways of the Red Man

Ignoring these Native Americans

They push inland because they can

 

A distant beating drum . . .

 

Wealth and greed motivate the White Man

Appropriating riches found by his hands

Native Americans outnumber these men

Unaware of the many more to be sent

 

A distant beating drum . . .

 

Native Americans trade land for peace

Hoping the greed and violence will cease

A new American culture lusts for more

Their hunger for more continues to soar

 

A distant beating drum . . .

 

Slowly Native Americans sadly retreat

Heartbroken, their culture faces defeat

Maintaining their language and traditions

Now experiencing life with new conditions

 

Where has the silent beating drum gone?

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Native American culture struggles to hold on to its footprint of life in today’s world.  In Maryland, the Choptank nation long ago assimilated into the European-based culture.  Out West, a system of reservations have failed to provide a stable way of life.  The lands set aside in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Oklahoma have created a setting for poverty and a lack of sufficient opportunities for the Native people.

If you enjoyed reading this poem and hunger for more about Native American history and the life out West, feel free to check out these previously published poems.

 

 

 

What’s in a Name?

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“What’s in a name” people frequently ask

Let’s explore some just for fun, as our task

Their names represent fame and success

Bringing inspiration to people, nothing less

 

The Belle of Amherst crafts amazing prose

Emily Dickinson pens magnificent poems

With beauty as exquisite as a painted rose

 

The Little Corporal conquers many, from his view

Napoleon leads armies across the continent

Only to sustain decisive humiliation at Waterloo

 

The Yankee Clipper glides across center field

Joe DiMaggio calmly leads the baseball Yankees

Winning nine World Series, never one to yield

 

The Little Tramp generates many laughs

Charlie Chaplin affixes his comic genius

To a motherlode of silent films that last

 

The Wizard of Menlo Park perfects light

Thomas Edison invents much to enhance life

With amazing innovations, forever bright

 

The King of Rock ‘n Roll carries us into a new age

Elvis Presley flips the music world upside down

With singing and dancing from a jailhouse cage

 

The Lady with the Lamp takes up her cause

Florence Nightingale demonstrates her resolve

To improve nursing and health without pause

 

The Chairman of the Board conquers Hollywood

Frank Sinatra sings, dances, and acts his way to fame

Entertaining as few other performers ever could

 

The Wizard of Westwood toils at his craft for many years

John Wooden finishes his coaching career with a flourish

Winning ten basketball championships, incredible to hear

 

The Maid of Orleans becomes a French heroine

Joan of Arc, during a time of extreme conflict

Restores hope and boosts morale for all within

 

Nicknames bring admiration to people of fame

But even ordinary folks enjoy their nicknames

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Do you know other famous people (past or present) with nicknames?  Feel free to write a comment.

Here are some links to previously published writings that relate in some way to this poem.  All of these are non-poetry posts.

 

Engineering Marvels

 

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Built to carry a road or cross a ravine or river

Bridges are constructed to carry a load to deliver

Bridge designs range from very simple to complex

Some look very basic and scary from the rest

More primitive bridges make one’s legs tremble and shake

Crossing them looks like a trip, certainly not to make

Scaling Everest, the world’s tallest and best known peak

Climbers use a crevasse bridge for the thrills they seek

Enjoy a drive along one of America’s roads without despair

Cross a covered bridge that is unique and kept in good repair

More complex types are designed with beauty it seems

Trestle, arch, suspension, girder, drawbridge, and beam

Famous bridges are found nearly everywhere

Nearly all are built with a great deal of care 

Sadly, a small number of bridges fail and collapse

Due to flooding, earthquakes, or an engineering lapse

Pittsburgh claims to be the “City of Bridges” at last count

But New York City possesses more bridges, without a doubt

Some bridges are named after people of much fame

Benjamin Franklin and Andy Warhol are a couple to name

Other bridges are found in legends, films, and books

Golden Gate, Mackinac, and Brooklyn—take a look!

European designers have been busy in many places

Hamburg and Amsterdam’s bridges fill their spaces

Bridges are some of man’s greatest monuments of all

Designing impressive engineering marvels that shouldn’t fall

As some plan to demolish an old, downtrodden bridge

Expect others to stand and cry out, “Save Our Bridge”

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The Great River Bridge spans the Mississippi River at the Iowa-Illinois border.

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Entering Burlington, Iowa, a closer view of the Great River Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey to America

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Images of immigrants arriving at America’s shores

Families hope the United States offers much more

Huddled and crowded together on ships bound for another land

Dreaming of moving forward and receiving an outstretched hand

Most Americans trace immigrants back to their family roots

Their ancestors arrived ready to energize lives with a boost

 

Singer Neil Sedaka proclaims the immigrants anxious arrival

“The Immigrant” sings of harbors open for their survival

Coming to America is immortalized as Neil Diamond sings

“America” tells a fascinating story that only his lyrics bring

Both Sedaka and Diamond write beautiful and appropriate text

America can do better than people shouting, “You are not next”

 

Imagine the excitement felt upon seeing Lady Liberty

She has welcomed people to America for an eternity

Her torch offers a bright beacon of light, assurance, and hope

America stretches out its welcoming hand much like a rope

This openhearted Lady, gifted from France, stands solemn

She invites the less fortunate to arrive in long columns

 

Emma Lazarus, an offspring of immigrants, expresses it best

Her poetic words in “The New Colossus” surely pass the test

Her inspiring words paint a rich and emotional image for all

To see how a mighty Lady and America will forever stand tall

 

America’s melting pot overflows with a rich, sweet taste

Tales from immigrants deserve to be heard without haste

Immigration has recently become a heated, national debate

America’s history shows patience in opening its welcome gate

The lyrics of “The Immigrant” can be found at Neil Sedaka.

The lyrics of “America” can be found at Neil Diamond.

The verses of “The New Colossus” can be found at Emma Lazarus.

Spirits Haunt the Land

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Their spirit soars across the brilliant Big Sky

Like an eagle spreading wings, ready to fly

 

Enriching man’s dreams in this last best, special place

Montana spirits continue to haunt the Treasure State

Following the sacred buffalo across the vast land

Native Americans roam the plains in small bands

Setting traps in beaver-rich streams during wintertime

Fur trappers pursue thick pelts for men’s hats very fine

Panning for gold along streams such as Alder Gulch

Miners rush to another strike on Last Chance Gulch

Building tracks for iron horses that seem to go forever

Railroads build mighty empires for men rich and clever

Pushing the unselfish Native Americans brutally aside

Their culture slowly fades away, but never their pride

Riding the cattle range from dawn until dusk

Cowboys work tirelessly in a life they trust

Toiling in an arid, unforgiving land that feels hostile

Homesteaders struggle and sometimes feel futile

Digging around the clock in copper mines deep underground

Miners work where safety is not much and accidents abound

Cutting the western forests’ tall pines down to size

Loggers harvest miles of timber as their final prize

Looking back at Montana’s past with much to relive and say

Many memories of the past fade, but a few remain today

 

Their spirit soars across the brilliant Big Sky

Like an eagle spreading wings, ready to fly

 

Montana uses two nicknames, Big Sky Country and Treasure State.  Montana became the 41st state admitted to the Union in 1889.