My Father name is First Cloud, he died a few years back, he didn’t know i was born, my Mother never told him, but, i meet him after her passing, he said, he always wanted a child and that all my children would have made my Mother proud! The lowest clouds, the ones closet to the earth, nearest to us, is my Dad, he hugs and advices me daily, he floats by and tells me, don’t worry, about their bad thoughts, don’t concern yourself with others emotions and actions, that you cannot control. Take care of what you can. Look see, all those who love you, all those who care about you, I am up here, guiding you, forever will provide for your needs. I will enter your heart, to guide your feelings, take care of your heart, so that you will have goodness in you and your soul is full of the clouds, i give you change, i give you courage to change, to go on, each day, cloudy days are you and your love ones, see us all we bring you rain, snow, wind and sunshine join us daily for we are related, yes, we are the first clouds, love and happiness lives in us…i love you, Son!
Strong Buffalo the Dakota Poet talks to the Society, tells them of his recent imprisonment, informs them all that he wanted to go, he needed to meet the Fat Man personally, for to the Dakota, face to face is the real connection of spirits, that life is circular, that death is part of the circle of life, that, now, the Society knows the who and why of whom oppose them, for staunch environmental and forever native traditionalist, were the large obstacle to the natural resource push, that this administration was going to go all out to get as much as they could, develop and process more than ever before, to maximize the profit, by dropping regulatory limitations and taxes fees. That, over the holiday, they had the grand council and ceremonies, that the Quiet Turtle had awoken, that it was moving loud and clear, that it was now to called, Oyate Hotanin or Voice of the People, that no matter what they were to be peaceful and strong in the resistance to the destruction of Mother Earth, no matter who, what or where to stay strong and true. So, it will grow and grow, that we will save this world, yes, or, we will or die in the process…The End
As, Thomas ate his quarter pounder, he kept thinking, it ain’t healthy, but, so hungry! The FBI agents who took him out of the cuban confinement, told him, that a plane was waiting, that he was to fly into MSP airport and they would take him home, they were ordered to take him and release him to his relatives, they had given him some paperwork, it said, that it was all a mistake, that the FBI does not have racial departments or units to investigate Indian domestic terroristic individuals, they had a check for him, for his time and discomfort. He gave them back the check and said, he did not have department to accept their funds. As, he met his relatives and friends, they told him that yesterday 210,000 gallons of oil and spilled in Marshall County, South Dakota, where is home tribal district of ‘Heipa’ (Beginning of the Hills) partly lies in, that it was possible that there was or could be damage to the water supply, most of it coming from aquifer way below. They didn’t know if it was just a accident or intentional released. The camp and homes of many of the society were immediately affected, and construction was halted, he called his friend, who told him that he would send 100 portable housing units with a generator complex with attached water system, all solar and wind energy sourced, on it’s way as they spoke, he hung up the phone and told his son, lets go, we must get out there, that pipelines to north and south were okayed that increased oil transportation was going on, that they were stockpiling oil in the depots of Superior and Illinois. That there were several individuals who had to be separated from the Society, they were undercover. The letter said, cointelpro was not a part of the federal government anymore, since the 70’s, but he knew different, they just changed the title and shifted personnel to other agencies. He made another call, to one of the twins, she said, “Yes, they were checking on the wild rice, berries and plants in the area, they were so glad he was back, and that as soon as he got back to the rez to call her, she laughed as he said, he wanted some commidity cheese, that he dreamt of it, she just laughed…He realized that they all were under watch because of their connection to the land and that they had alternative opinions and ways of dealing with the earth and it’s resources, like his electric car, it was charged and had just enough to get back the 200 miles west. From all the world, people were returning to begin the ceremonies of the Quiet Turtle Society, that there had not been a full and complete services in over 40 years…the anticipation grew each mile he travel, ah, home, i miss it so much, my Mothers land, the hills, the coulees and the lakes of northeastern South Dakota, home is where the heart is, where it comes from, and Heipa is his home and he was going home!
The old man remained so calm, so relaxed, thought the army guard, he hasn’t eaten in days, has no one, been interrogated for hours on end, that fat guy, he is the worst, wow, what kind of questions he asked, like are you angry that Leonard Peltier in prison this long? Did you order the execution of Anna Mae Aquash? Weren’t you at Alcratraz, Wounded Knee, Standing Rock Dapl and talking bad about the government all over the world for the last fifty years? He would say, yes, and was proud to be there. The fat one would get excited, damnit, we know your violent, don’t give us this spiritual stuff, peaceful elder, yeah, right, he answered, 210,000 gallons just spilled in South Dakota, how did you know that? Did you sabatoage that? That money you got from Yemeni was from militant group of terrorists, underneath Save the Children guise, you ain’t fooling us, they sent you money to due harm here, didn’t they. No, I am not a terrorist, my Dakota ways will not allow me to do these things you accuse me of, i follow our traditional way, we are related to all that is living, i work for peace in this world, for peaceful love for our Mother Earth, I am not what you say, Mr. Durham, are you not the agent who is head of anti Indian/Environmental unit of the FBI? We know what you have did, we know the ones you send to us to listen, to do bad things that will get us in trouble, but, it will not work, soon, they come to take me away from here, away from you, Sir, I pray for you, that you have good health and happiness…So, you think, you can use that indian voodoo crap on me, curse me or get me sick by some devious trick of your redskin devil ways, your not holy, not christian, not american, not a good man…i pray for you, Jimmie, your so lost, in your mind, in your work, inside your miserable with no one, you don’t even have a dog to love or that will love you, that TV, that computer, they will not love you, your so alone, you need a ceremony, wiping to the tears, you cannot see the cloud around you, it is like a shadow on your flesh. The guard was told that people were coming, who just landed at the helicopter pad, two people with papers, just said release him, Durham, were taking him back to his people, now! The old Dakota, just prayed and sang, and as they took off his restraints, he said, think, we could make a stop @ the drive thru of McDonalds?
The Fat Man, ends the phone call, lear jet is ready, thinks, “So glad, that i had that money transferred through Norway from Yemen for that guy, we got him good, now!” Three days had expired, sitting in the solitary cell reserved for federal needs at Pelican Bay super prison in California, Strong Buffalo was hungry, tired and cold, being naked for this long and in this small concrete and metal room had taken it’s toll on this 71 year old Dakota. His mind kept thinking of his family and the society, of the prayers that Richard Moves Camp had spoken to him, “In the face of blizzard the buffalo goes straight into it!” “Yes, I must be strong, what is going on here? Or, WHY is this happening?” Then the door open a the guards came in and put a cotton robe like a hospital gown on him and belly and leg chains tied to handcuffs, so, he said, “Taking me to dinner?” They ignored him with a grunt and shove him, so far down, there was nobody else in this part of the prison. It took twenty minutes to walk the stairs and get to a room with four suits, the female and male suits and one uniform plus a fat old man, with a laptop in front of him. The female said, “Mr. Strong Buffalo, you are charged and deemed a ‘domestic terrorist’, we have had you under investigation for over four years, why are you receiving so much money?” ” I am one of the financial officers for the Quiet Turtle Society, people are donating to our capital investment to build a facility in South Dakota, approximately 4,000 people are returning and will relocate there, it is for that.” The Fat man looks at him, stares, well, more of a glare, this $5,000 from Norway, who sent it to you? Shows him a paper with names and numbers, Thomas looks and doesn’t know, shrugs his shoulders, “Don’t know.” These are known anti USA terrorists, it proves that your group is unlawful and carrying on illegal activities for enemies of the state.” “What, are you nuts! I am a marine veteran from vietnam and we are a spiritual society, committed to the traditional Dakota way, we are not terrorists, our weapon is the canupa, the peace pipe, you have wrong information, this is totally wrong, absolutely!” That is your cover story, we have positive information and evidence that your up to no good!” “Bullshit!” Photos are produced that show weapons and explosives, “These were seized three days ago in South Dakota on your property. Your going away for a long time, we don’t believe you, we also have personal testimony that has observed and listen to you speak against this country.” Here is the transcript, shoves paper across the table, with much blacked out, the uniform begins to eat a sandwich and drink some coffee, Strong Buffalo smells it and wishes, but will not let them know, he is hungry. “You, think your fooling us, we have arrested six others, some are talking…were you in Standing Rock No Dapl camp last year, weren’t you living in a tipi there and lead numerous confrontations with the police?” “Yes, I was there, but they were peaceful demonstrations at the site, praying for the ancestors and the disruptions of the pipeline was causing to the sacred remains and sites there!” The fat man laughs,” We have you on tape, advocating violence.” “No, that cannot be!”, reply Thomas, as a recording is turned up, “remain strong, pray and be determined to defeat these forces of violence, we will stop them, our bodies and wills, will change the worlds’ thinking, our resistance is righteous, pay no mind to them, pray”…”See, your guilty, your the agent of the devil, you don’t believe in God, your a savage, your a evil agent that is out to destroy our way of life, says the fat man, with sweat running down his brow…”No, I am not, I am a Dakota, a pipe carrier, a sundance chief, a headsman, a chief, I am not violent and I am not evil, you, sir, are the evil one, we know YOU, you think your safe in your office in Washington, behind your official position, we know, your the one who masterminded the assassination that you are the one leading this assault on us, Mr. James Durham, we know you, born in Keane, New Hampshire”…”Shut up, you dumb redskin, piece of shit, I know your guilty of so much harm, cause so much damage to property and are advocating treason and mayhem!” “Take him back to his cell, hit him a few times on the way, smart ass, how did he know my name? Let’s book him for Cuban vacation!” The uniform slaps the Dakota, hits him in the back, “trash deserves to burnt!” Off they go, jerking him and dragging the Dakota away, the violence can be heard from far away, there just isn’t anyone near to hear this assault. Strong Buffalo sees his daughter in his mind, her face behind the scarf as she avoids the mustard gas and hears her praying…he knows the Society, wonders where he is, but, that no matter what, he is not what they say, that they are lying, that money from Norway must be a plant…”hmm, a quarter pounder taste good, now!” he chuckles as he is hit again, “fucking redskin!” (To be Continued)
“Wat r dem injuns up to?” The fat man thinks to himself, he sees the caravan split from two in South Dakota to two more in Sioux Falls, one up I-29 and another into Minnesota. Strong Buffalo has two performances in Minneapolis, one at the American Indian Center for Indigenous Day and another at his monthly ‘Buffalo Show at Bryant Lake Bowl on Lake Street the third Tuesday of each month, this month is the Night of Blues with Corey Medina & Brothers. Strong Buffalo is performing with Dakota Blue & the Kodas’. The show goes well with a full house and he leaves tired, but excited that this show is getting better and he is looking so forward to next month show with Native American Music Award winner of Entertainer of 2017, Josh Halverson, Dakota from Lower Sioux Rez and the NBC Voice fame. He heads to his condo in St. Paul, as he closes his door, there is knock on his door, he didn’t even take off his coat, and in rushes six FBI agents, throw him to the floor and handcuff him. Read the warrant after miranda rights, wiretap fraud or something or another..”.what?”, he thinks to himself. In walks two suits, one female and one male, the lead is the woman, she informs Strong Buffalo, “Homeland Security…blah, bla, bla…” take him to the airport, plane waiting, on her cellphone, “Yes, Sir, we got him, Thomas Strong Buffalo heading to airport, now” “Thomas, we arresting you under the ‘Patriots Act’, you understand that?” “No, what isn’t that for terrorists?” “Yes!” Silence, his breathing is labored, he breaks the impasse, “I ain’t ISIS or one of them! And, I’m a Vet, but that ain’t why you arresting me, is it?” “That is not up to you, your caught and ours, now!”, says the lead agent. “What? Yours?” Strong Buffalo shouts out! “Just shut up and everything be okay. ” “No, way can this be happening to me, excuse my french, but what the f–k! One of the agents hits him with a club, he hollers and is hit again, by two others, one is kicking him…his little white dog, a little bijon barks and barks, and he too is kicked, screams and hides, call someone to take that mutt to impound, probably got rabies or lice, damn this redskins, anyway, look at all this indian stuff, looks like a trading post. Gather it all up, might be something in there, investigation includes everything, papers, clothes, trinkets, “damn, indian got so much shit, pack rat, throw it in the boxes, take it down to headquarters, they will sort through it all. Only one old Indian and all this crap, we be here till morning packing all this stuff. A cell phone starts to buzz, should we answer it, thinks one of the agents, no, they said, no one is to know, check it, he thinks, oh, it’s from someone named ‘Fatz’,
“Can you believe one person can have this much stuff? It is going to take a truck to haul all this stuff! F–king crap, damn savage. In the back of unmarked car, with no lights on and the two suits from Homeland Security slowly driving to the airport, a short five minute drive from the Summit Hill district of Strong Buffalos’ home, there is a private leer jet waiting. “007 says, get him out to California right away. Nobody treats the bloody buffalo guy, or notices his face and head are bleeding, that he has a limp from the kicking, they just drag him and throw him around him, and put a bag over his head as they leave the tamrack heading to the airplane. Strong Buffalo is reminded of the Mass Execution of the 38 Dakota in 1862, all had their heads covered and tied together, they sang their death chants, said each others names, he began to sing, a dakota prayer song, low at first, then louder as tears near, as his breath was difficult, with his mild case of emphyemsa which, was beginning to bother him, he sang and sang, he knew the sun was rising that they had flew west, over South Dakota, over the black hills, over the badlands where he sun danced at MovesCamp, over the Rocky Mountains, he sang and sang, the female told him to shut up, he kept singing and singing, he could hear them laughing, he was handcuffed to seat and belly chained to both ankles, he just sang and sang, “tunkashila, wakan tanka…
MovesCamp prayed for the caravan, and watch from his house as the large group of cars, trucks, rv’s and people taking off, going on to Sioux Falls then up north on Interstate 29 to Sisseton, South Dakota. Up above flew a helicopter, keeping tabs on them, thought Strong Buffalo, ha, ha, let’s make it interesting, so half went south and the other half went down in Rosebud to visit Crowdog’s, his old friend Leonard Peltier had just sent a painting of Henry Crowdog, Leonard Crowdogs’ father. “yes, what a great man he was, thought Buffalo, he use to ride his horse and patrol the entry gate with his willow stick in hand, he knew who should not come in, and would stop them there. He remembered how he thought the old man was going to stop him, because he use to smoke the peji a lot back in the 70’s, but he never did, just would stare at him, smile, and point his nose up to the sundance arbor. Crowdogs’ Paradise on the White River in the Rosebud reservation, was like stepping back in time, looked so good to him, the houses and junked cars only things that gave it away that it was way before. Oh, those dogs, sure was a few of them, but never during sundance times. He could hear Leonard Crowdogs pretty voice singing, every time he went there, he had to add up the years he sun danced, four times four and a couple more for good luck, his chest was full of scars and memories. Looking at the painting, wow, Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned for so long and he worried that he would never see his friend again, just one visit with bars and iron doors be nice, he knew that he was innocent. That the FBI wanted him to stay in federal prison until he died. So, they would have some ceremonies there, take a few days, people still coming in and getting ready to head to the Quiet Turtle Society camp, no one had lived there in over 16 years. He was the one who fell on the old man, covered him up, they all thought he was the main target, but I think they must have figured he was so old that he go quickly, but, no, he lived way beyond what anyone would have thought. Him and Henry were good friends, they use to hold ceremonies and all thought they were devoted catholics, underground pagans, they laugh and joke with each other. Yuwipi is ceremony to heal and find out, they all sat wall to wall, cramped in that log cabin like sardines, dakota sardines, one mindness, he almost fell to sleep, they the sparks began to fly, the singing got louder, he prayed and prayed, he saw this little old lady flying around the room, scarf and shawl, she stopped in front of him, he closed his eyes, he saw her, he open his eyes he saw her, she began talking to him, in Dakota, fast and high pitched, she whirled around him, prayed over him, said a lot, he remembered, Henry said to say hi to you…
The caravan grew to be over a mile long, from Denver, CO., they were stopped at the South Dakota border, each and every vehicle was searched, every person was id’d, they were over 10 Hiway Patrol cars. They asked everyone where were they headed and for what reason. Sitting in a carload of aimsters, Strong Buffalo grumpled, “Did we need a parade permit too, are we heading into a foreign country, need our passports?” He laughed and the officers, said, “You got a big mouth on you!” Strong Buffalo chuckled, “Better to speak to you with. “What did you say?” the officer said. “Oh, the mouth is connected to the mind, better to communicate if used properly. Why are you searching every vehicle? “This is very unusual, so many Injuns, might have some illegals with you and drugs or something dangerous!” We have to do our due dillgence.” Anyway, we got our orders.” As, he open a cardboard box, what is in this bag?” It is a chunupa, a pipe, I pray with it, like your bible”, answered Strong Buffalo. Hmm, orders, he wondered from whom?” Then the officer went to his cellphone, “Yes”, 117 and 58 vehicles, nothing, no warrants, all with ID’s, one is mouthy, Thomas Strong Buffalo, what kind of name is that, anyway, he from Minnesota, wonder what he is doing over here with all these folks, strange, huh, yes, sir, oh, ah, sure…” Go on nobody will stop you till you get to Sisseton.” “How he know where we going?” Strong Buffalo knew it must be connected to the orders. They drove off, and up above a drone flew over them and stayed with them, Strong Buffalo saw it up there, he was a old marine, war and military games were normal business for him. When you have nothing to hide or not doing anything wrong, why should one worry?” But, he was, he remembered the assasination, this must be connected. The Fat man watched the image on his screen, a lot of them, and coming in from three other directions, over 300 vehicles and at least 600 people, something big was happening, to create this much movement. They drove off Interstate 90 and headed for the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations, destinations was Wambli, South Dakota for Richard Movescamp place, he was going to have ceremonies for them, yuwipi and inipi’s , he greeted Strong Buffalo and the twins, lead them into the house, the drone circled and circled the house, it was almost sunset, getting dark and he had his people undercover with them, but not in the house, needed to tell them to go inside, find some reason, maybe cook something or get some special kind of medication, so, one off the undercover agents went in, to cook some unusual root, MovesCamp said, you cannot come in here, you have to prepare that in the trailer by the barn. The agent was all eyes and all he could hear was some singing, very good sounding voices, softly singing, yet, clear and commanding, a drum, maybe six men and several women voices, how did that medicine man know he was coming in and needed a hot stove? From his east coast office, ” I don’t like this,” thought the Fat Man, i better head to the Aberdeen office, got to figure this all out, before my bosses know, I don’t know nothing. Oh, I’m ordered to the White House, oh, shit, what am i gonna tell him, he don’t like them very much and believes that we gotta to get under control. Okay, i got the thumb drive of footage and list of the Denver caravan, i can give him, damn, that guy is fatter than me, he sure likes to talk, makes me talk more than anybody else, hope he lets me go out in the field. I will just wing it, feed him some bullshit and make him believe we got it under control. That Strong Buffalo looks shady, will tell him, he is the troublemaker and up to no good.”…
The fat man, loved his job, in fact, it was the only thing he truly loved, work. He told everyone that he was just a clerk, pencil-pusher for the government, boring work that civil service and good pension awaited his retirement, but, it was going to work as long as he could. It was true that he began as a clerk, he did not tell anyone that he moved up the ranks, that he was a senior top level manager with the highest grades required for intelligence work, his speciality was labelled IndoEnviro. Everybody just called him 007, because his badge number was that, behind his back, they all feared him, felt that he was obsessive and meticulous boss. One who never took the time to small talk, do parties or group events, in fact, nobody knew anything about him, just that he work six days a week and up to 16 hours a day and that he only would assign them tasks, nobody knew the whole of his work, he had no boss, he was the boss. But, really there were some who controlled and authorize his work, they were all in the national security and CIA. The fat man didn’t smoke, laugh, or get into fashion, just black ill-fitting suits, never seemed to have any interests, sports, music, never read, didn’t have any social media or hobbies, that anybody knew about. He walked to work, was the first there and the last to leave. He was stoic and rude, he rated a corner office, one with a door that required permission to enter. Very few ever entered it, it had four computers, one large screen equipped with earphones, and three phones, a stand up desk, couch, shelves and private restroom, everybody knew he was high up on the inside, just what he did they were not sure. Helen had did the most for him, and it was background and information gathering material on people of interest. Most she didn’t know, but most were indigenous native activists. The fat man had been working there since the late 1960’s, before most of the other employees were even born, he had a secret. In fact, secrets were his work, he loved to watch and find out about people, inside his files he had dossiers and information on and about, over 8,000 key people, anyone involved in native affairs, environmental of any type activists work anywhere in the north american and world indigenous communities, in fact, he knew them like family or good friends, he followed them, what they did, where they went, where they were, he had people everywhere checking on everybody. He lived alone, had a condo in Washington, DC, he did love to eat, no one knew he was gay, that he wore womens underwear, but, then, he was fooling himself. Everybody at work knew, his bosses, co workers, neighbors, but he was insular, introvert that keep private and never went back to Keene, New Hampshire where he was born and raised. Never married, never had any intimate contact or relationships, he felt so secure, like some sort of super spy.
He was observing a large caravan of the Quiet Turtle Society winding thru the country from the Bay Area, to Las Vegas, Denver, the twins finally had showed up, he didn’t know they had been saved and were adults, just knew they were heading to South Dakota. That the society was out in the open now, hmmm, he wondered, “What are they up to?” (To Be Continued)
She gathered all their things, her mind kept remembering her Grandfather, Sweet Grass, how when he named her, he would laugh, it was a deep chuckle from somewhere near the belly button, it was what made her happy, “Girl, your so sweet, like the water, that we all need, good clean water, worth more than gold and diamonds! Your my precious one!” The society was prepared, they had sent the gas and expense monies, there was a small caravan prepared and waiting for the twins. The place was clean and empty, it was as if they had never been there at all, so many years of memories, they use to live right off the Shattuck station of Bart, she use to walk down by the bay, all her friends, their adopted family, she was only bringing her little doggie, ‘Booda’, she laughed, when she recalled, she gave him the last name of ‘Sweet Grass’, her inside joke, they both were her big loves. They had to go south and thru Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the day they drove thru, there had been mass shooting the night before, they stopped to pray, it was overwhelming, the sorrow cut the air with a thick blanket of invisible horrific pain. Her Brother sang, she prayed, she cried, and made the offerings to insure healing could begin, by now, the caravan had grown to 15 cars, two trucks and one RV, more meet them there, no one knew how many members there were in the Society. They had disbanded since her parents shooting deaths, this reminded her of this, the senseless and deep hurt that occurs with deaths of this nature. The clouds formed a cover of gray and seemed to contain all the tears, all the hurt, the fear and terror, the aftermath lingers on, life goes on, people move on, things go on, but that moment in time remains, so vivid, so clear to those near and present at the shooting. She remembered her Grandfathers words, “Goodness will win over bad. That in the contemporary world monsters would be made from the evil, that lies would be accepted as the way to lead.” From his visions he told her, “One day rockets would fly over Japan, people would be senselessly killed all over the world, many would take their own lives, storms would tell her, show her and bring her what she needed, that she must always dance and pray, no matter what!”
They began to move north heading to Denver, another group would meet them there. Seemed that so many were waiting and preparing for the twins, she looked at her Brother, so handsome, so quiet, he didn’t drive, he told her, his job was to sing, so trouble would stay away from them, and it did. She stopped to gather some mountain sage and bear root, she loved the mountains, like the Rockies of Canada that her Grandfather spent his final days, they would have to walk for miles and pull up buckets of water and bring them back to his camp. He would see her coming carrying her buckets of water and holler out, “Sweetness walks with SweetWater!” And, he do this little dance even at his old age, he lived to past 115 years, one eye just sunk and gone, he explain, “Warranty ran out!” with a laugh when asked about it, he always had to look at you sideways, he turn when you moved, sometimes, with her, he would spin around and always say, “There you are, Sweet Water will always go around you!” And, told her to always turn clockwise as she prayed, that it would be like a magnet for the four directions, that much power was within and around her. Sometimes, she became anxious with this responsibility, but it was her destiny, she was the one, seemed everybody in the Society knew this, and those not, felt it, for when she entered a room, her presence and there was this unseen light. So many, would begin to look around trying to find what they were feeling and not know it was her, until she spoke. It was in her voice, upon her face, within the essence, one could see it in the walk and just know, she was not like anyone else. There just wasn’t anything or anybody like her, even though she was just a young native woman, how could one so young, have so much wisdom and power. She was Sweet Water walking with sweetness…(to be continued)