When the cavalry came to fight the Navajo,
they did not fight the Navajo.
The cavalry fought their crop-fields and livestock.

Starvation is an uncivilized weapon
and should be against the Geneva Convention.
Or designate hunger as a weapon of terror.

Kit Carson’s treatment in history
depends on who writes the history,
apologies appear in print one-hundred and fifty years late.

Which historians attack Carlton, Dole, and Stanton?
We destroy the plan’s executioner posthumously,
not the absentee policy makers.

The Bosque Redondo death camp reservation,
ends with Sherman’s visit and dictation—
a solution by a white man named Tecumseh at birth.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Wikipedia on the Navajo Wars. This poem deals with the part of the wars fought in the 1860s.

Wikipedia on Kit Carson.

Wikipedia on James Henry Carleton. Carlton believed very strongly in the Reservation system for Native Americans as a means to protect the Native Americans from white people, based on his experiences as a soldier in California. As often happens, his plans failed.

There is no Wikipedia entry on William P. Dole who was the head of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs under President Lincoln.

Wikipedia on Edwin McMasters Stanton.

Wikipedia on William Tecumseh Sherman. He was known as Cump to his friends.

Wikipedia on Bosque Redondo / Fort Sumner.

This poem came out of my reading Blood and Thunder, by Hampton Sides. The book is the story of Kit Carson and the conquest of the American West that Carson was involved with. I wrote this poem about the time I finished reading the book which was in early March.

Love & Light


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