Tears Remembered

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Today, in the US, we are celebrating Columbus Day. To me, a conflict arises, as I think of the Indigenous People who were affected by this event. The arrival of white Europeans meant the beginning of the end of the lives of the Native American people. In North Carolina, the Cherokee people were force off their land and driven to the Oklahoma desert land to live. It became known as the Trail of Tears. Many died on the long march west. Some hid in the North Carolina mountains and a refused to leave. There is still a Cherokee presence in the Great Smokie Mountains.
When we visited Banner Elk a couple of years ago, we saw symbols of Indian heritage in the stone walls erected in the center of town. This was very interesting to me, since I read that there are numerous gated communities in the Banner Elk area. I would guess that very few, if any, of those residents are Cherokee.

Banner Elk stone walls
Remind us of tears shed
Fall brings bright colors

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone, at d’Verse asked us to write a poem for Haibun Monday using the word indigenous. I decided to take the viewpoint of the displaced Cherokee people who once lived in the NC mountains.

In 1977 participants at the United Nations International Conference on Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas proposed that Indigenous Peoples’ Day replace Columbus Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that Native people are the first inhabitants of the Americas, including the lands that later became the United States of America. And it urges Americans to rethink history.  While Columbus day remains the Federal Holiday, many communities in the US celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Flow

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In the beautiful Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina we find Looking Glass Falls. It is a beautiful sight to behold, flowing under the large outcrop of limestone rock. The layers tell the tale of having formed in a large shallow sea. All of that changed as the earth groaned and plates shifted in rebirth. Now it is a mystery for all to view in wonder.

Beneath a thousand years of Sedimentary Rock
The flow continues, as it has since these mountains
heaved and broke forth from an ancient  seabed;
Stories thought to be sealed in stone for eternity
Cracked // twisted // and came forth as the earth convulsed.
Shuffled like a deck of playing cards they rose
in the hands of the creator;
Separating land and water;
Forever changed  // as the flow began

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Old Man of the Mountain

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Grandfather Mountain

The Blue Ridge Parkway yields panoramic views

Rising and falling through majestic hues

Turnoffs, overlooks, tunnels, and bridges

Orchards of apples and long gorgeous ridges

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Grandfather Mountain towers ahead

Drawing us up to its jaw-dropping ledge

Serpentine backbone a scoliated spine

Split Rock lay open and wrapped in vines

The bald rocks the twisted trees

Bask carefree in the summer breeze

Hurricane-force winds cannot rip them loose

Deformed over time by Nature’s abuse

Excited to be at the top of the world

Here where branches and trunks are curled

Blooming flowers defy the wind

Smiling sweetly until the very end

Feeling the sway of the long steel bridge

Looking up in the distance at the neighboring ridge

A rocky pathway draws some to his face

The old man of the mountain stays fixed in his place

Undaunted by storms or gray fog rolling in

He’ll still be there when our vision grows dim

Creating the mystique that continues to draw

Young and old from near and far

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

No Words Needed

The following includes a few of the beautiful photos from our trip to North Carolina mountains last month. The flowers along the serpentine rock wall at Banner Elk were breathtakingly gorgeous. Words can only detract from their beauty, so this post is poems with no words. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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