Read Poem: Dance of Tears, Chief Nobody (V5), by Michael Lee Johnson

I’m old Indian chief story
plastered on white scattered sheets,
Caucasian paper blowing in yesterday’s winds.

I feel white man’s presence
in my blindness-
cross over my ego my borders
urinates over my pride, my boundaries-
I cooperated with him until
death, my blindness.

I’m Blackfoot proud, mountain Chief.

I roam southern Alberta,
toenails stretch to Montana,
born on Old Man River−
prairie horse’s leftover
buffalo meat in my dreams.
Eighty-seven I lived in a cardboard shack.
My native dress lost, autistic babbling.
I pile up worthless treaties, paper burn white man.

Now 94, I prepare myself an ancient pilgrimage,
back to papoose, landscapes turned over.

I walk through this death baby steps,
no rush, no fire, nor wind, hair tangled−
earth possessions strapped to my back rawhide−
sun going down, moon going up,
witch hour moonlight.

I’m old man slow dying, Chief nobody.

An empty bottle of fire-water whiskey
lies on homespun rug,
cut excess from life,
partially smoked homemade cigar-
barely burning,
that dance of tears.

—-

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018. 198 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089. Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings: the Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

Do not forget to consider me for Best of the Net or Pushcart nomination!

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