Hintsa’s ghost: a murder poem in three parts

realisation

let us start at the beginning

let us correct what we all know

 

let us admit the myth

 

let us concede:

 

good people seldom change the world

 

it is the narrow

it is the shallow

it is the cold hearted

who rape

who steal

who push countries across boundaries

products into arms

brandy into mouths

with a bible

 

let us start at the beginning…

 

maybe it will help

 

con

having shot the man

hands high in the river

the escape failed

they pulled at his teeth

they tried to cut off his ear

they were digging for the souvenir

they were digging for the totem

 

but of course the best was not from the body

 

today the family run a farm and lodge

and

on the bed a pamphlet

– family ancestry

but on the bed nothing

nothing at all

of hintsa

 

or his ghost

 

memory

the story is left behind

the autobiographies are written

the mythology is nearly set

the brushing

is

very nearly

complete

 

the con is forgotten

or

the con is ignored:

 

the murder of a king.

 

sir harry smith

sir benjamin durban

 

the men who swept clean

the men who could see

the day the cattle would die.

 

after all of this

after hundreds

and hundreds

of years

they are,

almost,

all we have left

 

what a strange

and terrible

thing

 

 

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4 comments

  1. powerful, sir.

  2. And sad.

  3. I was gifted with your works by a precious friend a long while ago… and I devoured this particular piece… love your oftentimes brutal truths crafted into word strings.

    Our collective history is such a deeply emotional tale, and to have it captured with heart, is a beautiful thing. I am currently following the reburial process for the concentration camp fatalities, and find myself haunted by a comment about the rusted safety pins, frail bones wrapped in rags. Maybe, when I know enough, I will have enough to string together a verti, although I doubt that I will even come close to what you have crafted here.

  4. Reblogged this on WorkingClassCelebrity and commented:
    All love

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