Poetry by Charles Boissoneau

A wonderful collection of poems by young renaissance man Charles Boissoneau from the Garden River First Nation.


Take Up the Red Man’s Burden

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
Send forth the Pukwana’s of your Pride,
Go Turn Your Guns on Your Masters,
And Liberate your Sons of the Forest,
To Struggle in many Hardships,
With Clansmen, Warrior and Brave,
For Your duty-bound, broken peoples,
Half-Cooper, and half-Twain!

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
Inspire the defeated Tribe,
Forgiveness and Virtue by example,
Is better than Hatred and Wine,
By Plain speech and honest dealing,
Is conducted the Peacemakers War,
On the enemies of self-reliance,
Trapped in their loss and past woes!

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
Giving no thought to Reward,
For blame is a spirits weakness,
Endure the hated throne above you,
Like Jacob blessing Pharaoh,
The Indian Priest holds back Dawn,
Wicked deeds on West Wind blown,
On Geronimo’s cold and final night!

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
Dare Be your brothers keeper,
A convenant with the Twice-born,
Need not be a defeat of shame,
In winter what is cold profit worth,
Before the landing Pilgrims Needs,
Rejuvinating the True North,
Keeping it Strong and Free!

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
The suffering of Ignorance and Want,
Bewaring the false and the dazzling,
Keeping traditions in your heart,
Not just for the wishful future,
Not just for chest-pounding boast,
But for the sea, the sky and the land,
Your nation and your grave!

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
Be a King without a crown,
Knowing you and yours are beautiful,
The grandest wampum girded round,
The Return of the Noble Savage,
And the loss of a gamblers dice,
Sharp discipline gaurds the eagle,
Soaring, Bad and Bold!

Take up the Red Man’s Burden,
Steadily prove your worthiness,
Though praiseless is your task,
The God above will judge you well,
When others bewildered only ask,
Why did he not tire, falling to his knee’s?
Answer: It was my nature,
A defiant brother unto thee!


The She-Wolf was our Mother

Abandoned by mankind,
She was at our cradle,
She will be at our grave,
She was our Beginning,
She will be our Ending,
Twice-born in wilderness,
Accepted, brother and I,
Stripped in our nakedness.

We learned to hate from her,
We learned to fight from her,
We learned to kill from her,
We learned to love from her,
Mortals make a happy chain,
Communal one to another,
We two had no such thing,
None then but each other.

No coddling for us now,
No struggle but the wild,
No music played for us,
No dance but the wolf-hunt,
No woman made for us,
Defiant but desiring,
Unknown but unbowed,
With hungry eyes prowling.

Upward goes our passion,
Upward goes our dreams,
Upward rises buildings,
Upward our misery,
Aroused the animal,
With alien eyes fated,
With firm immortal hands,
In man-tribe domesticated!
Who else but us brothers?
Who else could bring thunder?
Who else could be masters?
Only we could command,
These soft Italian hearts,
Only we wolf strained,
Could break the happy chain,
Our blood growls for the game.

Encircling the city,
She still remembers us,
She still plagues our minds,
She was at our cradle,
She will be at our grave,
She was our Beginning,
She will be our Ending,
The She-Wolf our Mother.


Faron Hall

I am Faron Hall,
I lived in Dank of the Bank,
I pass for the Gutter swept Trash,
I whisper to the Red River at Night,
I am the Cold and the Waves lapping up my thoughts!
My name is Faron Hall.

I am Faron Hall,
I hold the Spark in the Cave,
I dove in with the soul of the Nanabush,
I am with the Before and the After of Grace,
I am the Brave you’ll remember when Owl calls the dark!
My name is Faron Hall.


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