What were our brown souls saying against the timbre of their foreign voice?
While being hacked to pieces to their deaths,
What were the hymns that Willie's friends intoned?
Ours were aghast at their betrayal:
Twenty Millionthe going dollar rate!
A treaty echoed what their headlines blared:
Benevolence Now Begins!
Stay down (Benevolent Men insist), stay down!
We need your corpses (not freemen) to serve as stepping plates!
"Hurry! Before the darkness combs the hills!
"Before the Mountains waken!
"We'll wipe their barren culture out!
"Then seal our graven claim!"
Now see the self-crowned heroes pose
(before the whirring photo reels),
While battle-weary boys unpack their plundered souvenirs.
("Christ, were they little, were they brown! Some were Sambo-black!
"We burned them out of bushes, and most could not fight back!")
"Go! Dig 'em shallow! Dig 'em deep!
"And if you please, just dump the heap!
"Now, sing ye, Lads! Strike down your spades upon this curséd
No somber ritesnot even sticks were there to mark our hallowed bones.
Not even graves, but trenches stacked with nameless
Our widows scream and search beyond the fading shadow-light.
They tarry . . . pass . . . they linger where beneath the piles we're lain,
Abandoned by the memory-callers,
Abandoned for a hundred thousand years!
We brought you here . . . we brought you here . . .
Your hopes are silt now slaked upon our souls.
Three-million-immigrant strong, we standwe are your
For justly here you canyou dead brown souls!bestir your
To fan your ashen history; to chant and search and roam
Here to meet your resurrection among your very own.
artworks copyright © Carl Angel