Stacks Image 42

Karmic Revenge

Somewhere native spirits are smiling
as their ghosts watch can openers stare
at empty grocery shelves
stripped bare by urban looters
Empty of goods, the blank shelves wait
for just in time deliveries in cities
where no one can eat bar codes

How ironic: massacred Eastern Shore natives
knew nature’s abundance and puzzled at immigrant
whites neglecting nature’s rich larder

Even today a short walk to the river Neuse
can produce a meal of wood sorrel, dandelions,
wild onions, purslane and crunchy cattail stalks
Complemented by bread from white oak acorns
relieved of their acidic tannin by days of soaking
in water that becomes transformed
into a milky brown antiseptic

Fishing in the river Neuse
yields crabs clamped tight to
meaty bits of animal flesh.
Woven weirs on river creeks
can snag delectable striped rock bass,
shad, mullet and spotted river trout.

Mint and pine needle teas quenched thirsts
and on celebrations of successful hunts
roasted and boiled Yaupon holly leaves
unified the neighboring tribes
White willow bark, the precursor to aspirin,
quells the celebratory hangover

Hovering along the river banks
the brave spirits of massacred Carolina tribes,
Tuscarora, Croatan and Catawba
must be enjoying the chaos of white tribes
fighting among themselves for survival.
Paying the price for naming nature’s bounty
nuisance weeds. Weeds a word the natives
translated to mean “ignorance of nature”.
Lost knowledge is the true karmic revenge