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 Contemporary poetry by Dan Donlan


Most likely the first, or near first, of poems written.
I was standing with Mom honoring what I considered
the part of me that was Indian born. It was pouring
down rain. I had no pen or paper, poem written on tissue
and Mom's eyeliner. The ink was running from the rain
as each tissue I gave to Mom to put in her purse.
I later heard it was probably my first poem honored
as a hanging or framed on a mantle. Each of the son's
were given a copy and someone had great hand writing.Mantle
framed for each of the boys.

CHIEF CHOOCH

A dismal day shall it rain into the night?
No Tribe Chief should be buried least it be in sunlight
Drip Drip Drip--! Our umbrellas held up high!
The tears keep falling from the darkened sky
Above in flight came the Eagles cry
A cadaver lays proud so many there to mourne
This Indian Chief's pride for the son's he had bourne

No longer papooses men now fully grown
Douglas the eldest, intelligently scholarly known!
Jim, his second born, has his father's rebellious pride
Somewhere in the world there are adventures to be tried!

Muggs the youngest took up his Father's trade;
And in the deepest oceans this fisherman would wade.
Chooch in his perch next to Eagles high in the skies,
The proudest of the tribe no tears falling from his eyes.
HIs sons now fully raised leaving from the nest
His job finished he could finally rest.
The job is done lay carefully the lid upon his chest,
And the Eagle sitting beside him disappears in the West.

**It was years after the funeral I was coming home, With my new
bride we decided to revisit along the coast South Bend Indian tribe The
reservation that had once invited me as one of their own.
Douglas was in Chicago, a professor of Science, and well known.
Jim had been several times in fortune to loose and regain
As a deep sea diver a master of the trade. Another fortune made.
Muggs the youngest fishing for the restaurant trade.
I just left a message on the dock center,
saying I had dropped by. The reply coming
ship to ship I should have expected, "You stay right
there I am pulling up and coming in!" There was no arguing
like with Dad I would never win. Soon the house came alive.
All the feast of the Ocean were arriving house by house.
No more hospitable than the American Indian as a host and
I knew it all came from the spirt of Chooch or his ghost
Now if only the Indian Casinos were as generous--Think
I can be serious forever? God bless this fourth of July
The natives the American born and raised Indians
And as I have said the blonde white haired brother am I.
A little editing from the original poem

 







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