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Rotten History 2


Frank E Gibbard
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Frank E Gibbard

If there is an eternal shame

in that rotten history that is

his story and Man the name

one is whiteman's genocide

of the Native American tribe.

Blame like a terrible typhoon

blows blindingly and unkindly

an indelible stain across that

age bloodied in malevolence

on page after page of a past

whose relevance can never

be erased or else otherwise

appraised. They were crimes

of the unprepossessing times

possessing lack of humanity,

processes smacking of near

insanity to be so blind in fear

and hate of their fellow kind.

Dispossession by force has

been the way of brutish Man

since a stoneage bully stole

a bone, the first weapon for

mass destruction ever known

predecessor of deadly guns

Rifles' full mastery of the bow

brought the warrior braves so

low, whittled down the buffalo.

A great big shame, a stain of

blame, an open sore remains,

abiding legacy of frontier war.

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Dispossession by force has

been the way of brutish Man

since a stoneage bully stole

a bone,

 

Forceful poem. More thoughtful than most peoples' (re: Americans') "knowledge" of history.........

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Australian aborigines? And what about the Tasman people, who were completely wiped out? Your lot tried to do the same to the Irish in the 16th century, and again in the wake of O'Neill's nearly successful rebellion (1594-1603) but your hands grew tired, we survived, and now we live in a Republic.

 

Water under the bridge, old friend, but we came within an ace of being destroyed as an ancient, separate European culture.

 

Cheers.

Bren 

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Frank E Gibbard

Australian aborigines? And what about the Tasman people, who were completely wiped out? Your lot tried to do the same to the Irish in the 16th century, and again in the wake of O'Neill's nearly successful rebellion (1594-1603) but your hands grew tired, we survived, and now we live in a Republic.

Cheers.

Bren

 

I do not consider myself part of a "lot" Bren, whatever I am my Mother of beloved memory was originally Irish emigrated with Nan Doyle to your benighted London (sans streets paved with gold) married a man who was only half English, he doted on Eire as he called it having been brought up there as a Flynn descendant.

 

I am certainly not proud of English or British history through slavery imperialism and so much more but have found my nationality only by accident of birth. My poem was provoked by thinking of the particular instance of unfairness by one group on another, could have chosen your examples and of course so many more. I am no patriot at all except where my sports' enthusiasms are concerned. Frank 

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Fair enough, Frank. Apologies if needed! Trouble is, I'm a raging patriot myself, which is probably easier when one comes from a small place that hasn't been gallivanting around smiting enemies and enslaving natives for quite some time. Although we HAVE done so under foreign colours, generally British but also French, Spanish and Austrian. Roughly a third of Wellington's army was Irish ....

 

All the best,

Bren

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 4 weeks later...

... Trouble is, I'm a raging patriot myself, which is probably easier when one comes from a small place that hasn't been gallivanting around smiting enemies and enslaving natives for quite some time ...

 

I wonder why that is. I was watching a television special about a convicted attorney in New York, on home confinement awaiting his sentencing, who stole hundreds of millions of dollars with various schemes. He was likened to a mini-Madoff. Not that I agree with him, but he said something to the effect of, "What makes me any different from the petty thief? There are some people who won't commit crime as a matter of principle, and I respect that, but most people probably don't steal larger sums simply because they don't have the opportunity. I had the opportunity." I wonder how this theory would apply to nation-states. Would the oppressed become oppressors given the opportunity?

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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