Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Honoring Our Bison Friends
A Native American Tribute
By Don Iannone

We have forgotten
our bison friends
who for thousands of years
roamed the prairies
honoring their Maker and ours.

We have forgotten the millions
who were slaughtered
for no good reason
by savage white men with rifles
on fleet-footed horses.

We have forgotten those
who leaned out train windows
needlessly shooting the great beasts
whose calves now must find their own way.

We have forsaken
the one given to us all
by the ever wise Great Spirit
as food, clothing, tools, and shelter.

For their tongues
millions were slaughtered
and their maimed carcasses
left to lie and rot.

Many of our thundering friends
died for nothing
save the momentary joy
of seeing the Great Ones fall
to the hard earth beneath their feet.

Such savage folly
by all those taking
what belongs to everyone
but no one
and for taking far more
than they need.

May we all learn
and remember
when men were at their worst
and when they took
what belongs to everyone
but no one.


floots said...

was it buffy st marie who sang "now that the buffalo's gone"
the relationship between native americans and the bison had gone on for years
while the animals were a source of food and clothing etc
they were also respected
so sad that the incomers could not understand this
thanks for this thoughtful piece don

gautami tripathy said...

So hard hitting.We humans have no respect for other creatures.

Borut said...

A great tribute. The white man has forgotten the sacredness and symbolic value of things created. The problem is I’m a white man!?:(

Kai C. said...


Margie said...

Amazing poem Don!
It made me very sad, but it was a wonderful tribute!
Thank you!
So glad you liked my tribute to dogs...they are such wonderful creatures!
Have a lovely day, Don!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

This fits so well here at my town, on the Oklahoma bourder.

Rob said...

...and today we are plundering the earth's resources at the expense of future generations.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Imagine when there were so many buffaloes roaming the plains...

Yes Floots, that was a great Buffy St. Marie song. We're both old enough to rememeber that one!

polona said...

native american culture and buffaloes as an integral part of it have a special place in my heart.
thank you for this wonderful poem, don.

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