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Who Will Write For Tulalip?

No one writes for Tulalip.
Where will Tulalip get its words
If no one writes it;
If no one speaks it
In fluent words
Lushootseed or not.
Who will talk for it since
It cannot harbor words of its own?
Who will soothe its crashing waves of the bay?
Who will speak for the grey cloudy days?
Who will speak to Tulalip
When Tulalip is being destroyed
By roadwork and the cutting down of trees?
Natives, we live side by side with nature,
So why are we harming the trees?
Destroying the soil?
Upsetting Tulalip's natural ecosystem?
Am I the only one fearing this
Am I the only one willing to speak up,
Not afraid of the bruised looks
Of council members?
Soon, even the streetlights and city lights will be too much.
We'll look up, expecting to see solemn stars,
Flashing brilliance down upon us,
And see nothing but polluted sky.
The lights will block out the stars.
These are Tulalip's eyes, why they want to gouge them out?
No one speaks up for our reservation,
So fearful of being reprimanded. We use to help each other,
Not fear each other.
It's a lack of respect.
We were put here for being Indian,
Years and years ago,
Our people, our ancestors,
Wanted to preserve what was left
Of a dying culture,
But here comes generation X,
Gutting out the rez
And ruining beautiful scenery.
I use to be able to look outside
And see the sun peaking at me
Through a throng of trees and a bundle of bushes.
Now I see the sun…only.
They cut down MY trees.
If no one will claim them then I sure will!
MY blackberry bushes, salmonberry bushes,
Teas leaves my gramma use to pick,
It is all vanishing.
Slowly but surely…
Our people, our ancestors,
They cared about people,
Their wellbeing, their spirit.
Beauty was within,
Hate was considered ugly,
Love was deep but it all got twisted
Into an ugly form of greed.
Did our ancestors need money to be happy?
No, only people, love, and the land.
Have our animal totems and spirits taught
Us nothing? About how greed
Is an ugly, selfish thing?
Embezzlers, criminals, haters,
All in it for themselves.
A tribe doesn't look out for only one person,
We look out for each individual.
Now we are all so money hungry,
“Give us our bonus,
Give us our ten thousand,
Gimme gimme gimme!”
That's what the spirits hear.
That's what makes them
Hang their heads in shame.
Have we made them proud
By butchering their landscape?
No, they weren't for that, but
Perhaps our board members
Cannot see or heed
Our spirits' warnings.
What is the owl hooting for
If no one can interpret the danger?
What are the whales spouting for
If no one sees the sign?
The eagles and hawks,
We see them all the time now.
A good thing? No!
They fly for their homes have been cut down,
They soon will have no place to go.
In our stories, we all lived in peace,
We, the animals, we all asked each other
For advice. But
Did we ask the eagles if we could take their homes?
Did we ask the hawks if we could ruin their nests?
Did we ask the salmon and whales if we could pollute their waters?
We took none of this into consideration,
What kind of people are we?
I see the future, our reservation,
Far from beauty of nature.
Over modernized.
Give the tribe what we deserve;
A sapling, a seed, a cedar tree, some flowers,
Let's replant our traditions that were planted within us.
Let's replace the trees, plants, flowers and animals
We crudely displaced.
Let's make Tulalip a wonder of beauty.
Enough with developing
Before we have no place to:
Gaze at the stars, see visions;
Talk with the wind, swim with the whales;
Climb trees, run wild, have fun, be free.
Before we have no place
To practice our heritage/culture/traditions.
Our ancestors didn't need a Wal-Mart,
Makes ya think if we do…

February 4, 2004

*this is a poem I plan on turning into my tribal council because their decisions are causing the tribe to be cutting down WAY too many trees.

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