Transparent Words - Poetry


Gary Blankenship



Song of Myself #29 - Servent

Song of Myself #30 - Beadwork



Song of Myself #29 – Servent


29.    29. the darkey brings up the rear and bears the well-riddled target


I will disappear

vanish as if I never existed

as ethereal as an invisible man


no one will know my linage –

whether I am from a crib

or a scion of the big house –

though many will speculate


and most will be wrong


if sometime in the future

you find me sunk in the bayou

chained like Emmett Till

for some imagined slight

to the Bosses’ boys

seek my revenge


those who concealed me so

will be old and frail

toothless and without power

easy- pickings for justice delayed


no matter what is named for their family



Song of Myself #30 – Beadwork


30. The squaw wrapt in her yellow-hemmed cloth is offering moccasins and beadbags for sale,

The tourists rush by

in their flip-flops,


Wal-Mart sandals


Few pay attention

to what  I have for salel -

uncaring or all too aware

the same beaded leather bags

can be bought at Ye Old Curiosity Shop

for far less than my prices

and you might get a free key-chain

as a bonus


The guy with the table by Ivar’s

takes in more than I peddling

T’s with fake Salish totems

though once in a while

someone drops a few coins

in one of my moccasins


Time for me to pack up

and catch the bus to the transfer station.

I either need to move south

or get my goods from China –

Here, who would know the difference?


There will be time enough left in the day

to finish the pine-needle basket

for my tÍnÍs kluchmÍn*

to give to hers


There will time be enough

to honor the old ways

and remember when the rivers

ran red with Sockeye



*Chinook jargon for daughter or girl.


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