Category Archives: Poetry & Songs

To the Indigenous Woman

A Poem written, performed and directed by Ryan Red Corn.

Native women are murdered at 10 times the national rate; 1 out 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and 3 out of 5 physically assaulted.  Even worse, 88% of the perpetrators are non-Indian and cannot be prosecuted by tribal governments.

Finally, while I don’t agree with the idea that we need to work with colonial power to produce change (these are the people and power structures who 519 years have tried to exterminate us and steal our land), this is still a powerful statement about just how fucked our people have become as we have internalized colonial society’s social values and colonialism’s brutal violence.

The Revolutionary Spirit

Reposted with permission from Fields of Concrete, the personal website a local Kitchener-Waterloo sister from the ummah, Timaj Garad. Timaj is a poet, spoken word performer and activist. Her site is brand new, so be sure to check it out!

The revolutionary spirit is comprised of a selfless relentlessness to create positive change. Many of us never develop this. Where we lack is not in the rigor with which we chase this pursuit, but in our perception of the starting point of this journey. The problem is that we want revolutions we fail to start within ourselves. It’s not a lack of wanting something enough, but of being and living what it is we want. When we want more than we are willing to work for, dreams become nothing but notions living vicariously in the mind.

I have learned through observation, experience, and conversation that many people want to contribute something positive to the world, many have a yearning for revolution; but many of those who have the capability never realize this potential. The reason for this outcome is one of the great obstacles of the human experience: “realism”. We fear what is uncertain, those intangible and tangible things that live outside our proximity. Realism acts as a blanket of comfort convincing us only that which has already occured is possible, ultimately destroying the imagination.

When we lose our capacity to imagine, our lives become redundant as we are found lost in the imaginings of others, trying hard to convince ourselves that the dreams we’ve stolen have always belonged to us. We want so much to believe that our borrowed ideas are original beacuse without them we are left with a graveyard of dreams, unvisited. We assasinate our own dreams, our own selves, and bury the evidence by cloaking ourselves in the ambitions of others to create the illusion that we are living the lives we’ve imagine–that we are free. Read the rest of this entry

The Poetry of Leonard Peltier

Below is a brief selection of what I feel is some of the more inspiring poems written by American Indian freedom fighter and political prisoner Leonard Peltier.

We are Not Separate

We are not separate beings, you and I
We are different strands of the same being

You are me and I am you
and we are they and they are us

This is how we’re meant to be,
each of us one
each of us all

You reach out across the void of Otherness to me
and you touch your own soul!


Let us love not only our sameness
but our unsameness

In our difference is our strength

Let us be not for ourselves alone
but also for that Other

who is our deepest Self

The Message

Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act

Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There’s no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.

What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.

You are the message.