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The Drum beat carries on. ( Poem )

Updated on July 31, 2013

Swift Fox

The Warrior

You were the first one they brought home dressed in blue,

never realizing you’d be the one to build a canoe.

You’d embrace your heritage as an elder in our tribe,

forever holding steady to your indian pride.

You started your journey at the pow wow’s at Lasalette,

the sounds of the drums you’d never forget.

You fashioned bows out of whittled sticks,

shot arrows at pigeons just for the kicks.

You carved arrowheads into pieces of stone,

perfecting your craft as you’ve grown.

You hung roadkill up in our tree’s,

our house resembled the likes of redneck hillbillies.

The neighbors would ring our bell during dinner,

announcing they had something for the talented skinner.

Out in the yard you’d carve at their flesh,

pulling and tugging, skin comes off easier when it’s fresh.

You’d make knife sheaths and satchels out of various critters,

to be quite honest it gave most of us the jitters.

Your fascination grew hard, fast and free,

you shocked us all when you erected a life size TP.

I was mortified of what my friends would say,

I begged mom and dad to make it go away.

They just rolled their eyes and flashed me a grin,

Well just great, we’re stuck with him!!!!!

For years I thought you were simply nuts,

erecting Tp’s, lean too’s and canvas huts.

Ordering weird things from a place called tandy,

salting and stretching the skin of poor little Bambi.

For the Love of God, why is he this way,

" He’s just an artist " my parents would say.

Now, I knew he could draw and sketch,

but skinning dead things for art, that was far fetched.

How could his obsession be considered art,

I learned it much later, so here’s the best part.

His spirit is of a warrior who once graced this land,

re-crafting old tools, he once held in his hand.

Bringing to life a time long since past,

rekindling old memories that were meant to last.

Of stories to be told of the brave and the bold,

ones you can’t find in history books of the old.

But the ones that true warriors will never forget,

reminding us all of the sacrifices they met.

Of woman who were stolen and land that was taken,

for their spirits were battered, broken, not forsaken.

For swift fox has honored their spirit for 50 years,

recreating their stories and shedding their tears.

Swift fox’s heart, beats a rythm all it’s own,

for the beauty of it, I am grateful to have known.

My Brother 'swift fox,' on his porcupine quill work

Elnu Singers Summer 2008

Re-Enacting vs Living History


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    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 4 years ago from County Durham

      This poem has a touching sense of lived experience. I think sometimes it takes years to fully understand the choices are ancestors and even close family members reached, but eventually we come to comprehend their viewpoints. Thanks for your insights.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Wildove, this is just beautiful.

      You said "The only thing I have learned is how to twine. Although I have never completed anything significant."

      But you have, you brought our Indian heritage and culture into our minds and hearts with it beautiful poem. I will book mark this so I can read it over and over again.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      A museum piece is even more of an accomplishment. I hope many people are enjoying your brother's works in the museum. It is encouraging.

    • wildove5 profile image

      wildove5 4 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thanks for stopping by Patty. My brothers reproductions are also on display at the American Museum of Natural History. He has been commissioned for several piece of his work, he is very talented and I am proud of all his accomplishments. The art of porcupine quill work is definitely impressive as is most of the Indigenous works. The only thing I have learned is how to twine. Although I have never completed anything significant, it is fun.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Swift Fox is a good name. Working with porcupine quills has always impressed me. I've never learned that skill, but I did make tents and tipis as a child. My first bow was produced by the band of Cherokee that are still in and around Cherokee, North Carolina (descendants of those that refused to leave). All this happened before I even discovered Mohawk ancestors.

      Thanks for the poem nnd the Hub!

    • wildove5 profile image

      wildove5 5 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you, I read it to him at his 50th b-day party, he loved it!

    • profile image

      JanikaLeeReyes 5 years ago

      This is just beautiful! I really loved the ending. Really tied it all in together, I felt happy and maybe a bit overwhelmed by the feeling!!! Wonderful poem, your brother is lucky to have such a sister. I can feel your love, eloquently delivered. Beautiful!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 5 years ago

      Sweet poem, wildove.

      It does seem that if we have only an ounce of Native American blood in us, it does have it's way of making itself known. I admire your brother

      for feeling that urging of his heritage and embracing his ancestry.

      Nice job, wildove!


    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for bringing this back to life with such style.

    • wildove5 profile image

      wildove5 5 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you Kitt, Without my brothers research and studying our ancestry it would have been lost. I'm proud of him now, even though I still wish my parents made him take down the TP, at least just for my graduation party! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      KittHill 5 years ago

      It is good to know where you come from and just amazing to embrace it and carry it on.