Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud


Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud: The Children Fell!

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry
Awarded: May 9, 2008
Echo rolled across the valley
voice of the cannon harsh and deadly,
ripping into Mother Earth
sending death with every splinter,
and the children fell.

Air thick with gun powder,
smoke rolling with sounds of thunder,
village laid bare and bloody
there was no time to give a warning,
and the children fell.

Sounds of chaos fill the Nation:
sea to sea the lands are calling,
of the Peoples few are left standing,
just a memory a ghost who whispers,
and the children fell.

A way of life callously ended,
a better way than what they are bringing,
a deep respect for all that’s living
lost in the history of challenge,
and the children fell.

Told to change or face the barrel,
forced to leave their hearts behind them,
pushed and shoved lied and tied,
burned in the Phoenix ashes,
and the children fell.

Truth hidden from themselves,
so many lies they now live them,
so many words without meaning,
there is no base but clay on which their building
and the children fell.

Gold and land, furs and blankets,
beads rolled in their fingers,
mouths full of honeyed sweetness,
minds filled with greed and hatred,
and the children fell.

Sunrise bloody skies
match the lands of my ancestors:
mourning cries go unanswered,
howling pain: our hearts are battered,
and the children fell.

It is done and we are slaughtered,
too many dead for the counting,
still their blood thirst is unabated,
and they call it Freedoms Spirit,
and the children fell.

Marched into the West,
shipped to the East,
places changed Peoples displaced,
confusion reigns and they buy into it,
and the children fell.

Trail blazed with broken bodies,
old ones, men, women, it did not matter,
they needed someplace to hide their shame from sight,
and so they watched
as the children fell!