Crazy Horse Calls on the Navajo

by Brian Steel

His cry came in your drunken days, when red invaded your morning eyes and attacked the brown mesa pupils that had once stood calm; before lies were told and lands taken, before treaties were torn and lit with a fire that burned beneath a bottle. It was the cry of a warrior, carved in stone, emerging from the Dakota mountains with the righteous anger of thunderstorms at dusk; boulders erupting like furious clouds against the sky. He called for the use of your desert hands, cracked and worn like leather and covered in the dust of your ancestors. He whispered with the sands that swept through the New Mexico nights, and washed away the cracked veins in your eyes. But the fire behind them remained, burning fiercely like the rattlebone ghosts of your heart. So you said goodbye to Gallup and headed slowly north, to the camp of a Polish sculptor that finally understood your rage, your impotence, your pride; and the history of a hidden people bursting from two granite eyes.


Brian Steel is the author of The Girl with Two Blocks of Cheese. He resides in the weird wilds of Baltimore, Maryland, but wrote the above piece in a hotel bar in Gallup, New Mexico.


Linda said...

Beautiful, evocative, and heart-rending. Peace...

Harry said...

Crazy Horse has never been known to have signed a treaty or touched a pen.

Crazy Horse is to be carved not so much as a lineal likeness, but more as a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse -- to his people. With his left hand thrown out pointing in answer to the derisive question asked by a white man, "Where are your lands now?" he replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried."

May 29, 1949
Korczak Ziolkowski, Sc.

Jp said...

Ornately woven, highly evocative. Well done.

Stephanie said...

This is gorgeous.