Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tecumseh - March 14, 2010


I went down not long ago

to the Mad River, under the willows

I knelt and drank from that crumpled flow, call it

what madness you will, there's a sickness

worse than the risk of death and that's

forgetting what we should never forget.

Tecumseh lived here.

The wounds of the past

are ignored, but hang on...

Sometimes

I would like to paint my body red and go out into

the glittering snow

to die.

His name meant Shooting Star.

From Mad River country north to the border

he gathered the tribes

and armed them one more time. He vowed

to keep Ohio and it took him

over twenty years to fail...

his body could not be found.

It was never found...

if we ever meet him, we'll know it,

he will still be

so angry.

The Buddhists have a saying, "if you ever meet Buddha on the road, kill him." They mean it to say that growing our hearts and compassion goes beyond Buddhist teachings and writings. The way is instead being open to what is before us on the road, and behind us, what is up river, and from whence flows the rivers, no matter the pollution or blood flowing within them. The thing is, we have already killed Tecumseh. So if we meet him, what shall we do to him? What shall he do to us? Maybe we can grow out of our sickness, and remember what should not be forgotten, who has died and why, and what we have lost and why, so that we can grow our hearts and compassion. So if we come upon one another, it shall not be with anger, but first with a mourning wail that open hearts, minds, and hands, and perhaps after a night of stories beside a fire, laughter to greet the sun.

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