Monday, June 8, 2009

the firestorm of raging opulence

faded denim streaking through the night air
caresses the warm fingertips of somnolent
violins' mourning phrases for ancient cultures
caught in the firestorm of raging opulence

native bows drawn no more, their quivers
emptied by gunpowder tea leaves rolled
into balls and stuffed into peace pipes
with purple Scottish thistle a smokey poultice

father sky cradles brother sun and sister moon,
illuminating mother earth through a succulent
expanse as the four winds carry the seeds
of tomorrow across a vast forest silence

as the repetition of seasoned cycles cavort
between the hewn blades of merriment
trampled by the heavy steps of leather boots;
marching concoctions cover happenstance

This piece is inspired by the bloodshed in Peru, by the 40,000 brave indigenous Peruvian natives standing up to their government's corruption and desire to land lucrative contracts with US businesses for oil rights and commercial farms. The government seeks to force these people off their land, destroy their way of life, and put an end to a whole culture. The people are trying to keep their sacred lands and preserve their heritage.

"The indigenous community says at least forty people, including three children, were killed by the police this weekend. On Friday morning, some 600 Peruvian riot police and helicopters attacked a peaceful indigenous blockade outside of Bagua, killing twenty-five and injuring more than 150. Eyewitness accounts indicate the police fired live ammunition and tear gas into the crowd. Over the weekend, Peruvian President Alan Garcia said 40,000 natives did not have the right to tell 28 million Peruvians not to come to their lands. Since April, indigenous groups have opposed new laws that would allow an unprecedented wave of logging, oil drilling, mining and agriculture in the Amazon rainforest by blocking roads, waterways and oil pipelines. President Garcia’s government passed these laws under “fast track” authority he had received from the Peruvian congress to facilitate implementation of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement."

"Alberto Pizango, the leader of the national indigenous organization, the Peruvian Jungle Interethnic Development Association, or AIDESEP, said, "They’ve said that we indigenous peoples are against the system, but, no, we want development, but from our perspective, development that adheres to legal conventions, such as the United Nations International Labour Organization’s Convention 169, that says we, the indigenous peoples, have to be consulted. The government has not consulted us. Not only am I being persecuted, but I feel that my life is in danger, because I am defending the rights of the peoples, the legitimate rights that the indigenous people have. I feel I am being persecuted, and the situation can get much worse with my criminal prosecution."

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