Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud


Sheila Williams: Battles WonInto the misty dawning, grandmother sun comes smiling – a burst of molten golden glory bringing joy to the hearts that are watching, and a song lifts to fill the valley.

Day after day the battle rages, dust choked air surrounds us, pain has become our constant companion as we watch our children dying, put up our heads and keep fighting.

Through the fog thick as cotton, floats a sound that makes our hearts go soaring, thin but strong voice of an Elder saying, remember why you are fighting.

Hope that one day we will find peace, prayers that these others leave, belief in what our ancients taught us, a way of life we have lived forever.

So hard, our peoples tried to teach them, to learn as well what they were saying, to understand the changes, but we will not accept them as our betters.

We are, a People strong and true, warriors born to lead and guide, gentle loving and filled with hope, keepers of our Mother Earth.

Once more the cannon thunders and we fall before it, once more their guns rain death and destruction; once more they claim our hearts to walk on.

This is a morning filled with wonders, as those who battle find their spirits renewed; the urging of those gentle voices, telling us to fight on children.

Dead and dying lay around us, mangled bodies torn by their weapons, brother, sister, father, cousin, these are our kin and we love them.

In the village that waits behind us, grandmothers gather the young for running, slipping away into the mountains, finding safe places to hide them.

The war we cannot win in one battle, the loss here will stagger minds forever: that we continue at all is due to the teachings of our ancestors.

As the face of Father Sky clears, a sight to freeze hearts appear, massed upon the valley floor are thousands, death waits here on this hillside, and we accept it.

Will they ever see the beauty that is our world, those who take what is not theirs; will they understand it is not for using, but for sharing?

Silence, Grandmother Sun is setting, blood red, swirled with rainbow colors, the days dust has finally settled, a ragged cheer is sent up, as the last of the People falls in death.

A day has passed, of freedom fighting, of the desperate cry of a defending People, watching, crying, fighting, as their lives, their future, their hearts, are stolen.

And do those who do the killing, understand or regret the slaughter, do they see the blood soaking, into the lands that birthed us, and know, they have in truth lost more than they gained?

That they shut one more door to their Creator, block one more path to truth and learning, that the voice they try so hard to silence is ancient beyond the knowing?

Those little ones and grandmothers hiding, they make to each other a blood promise, we will not forget, we will not forgive, but we will live, we will survive, and one day, we will no more cry, but will bring justice!