Archive for October, 2012

Hey Columbus…


You step out of your sport utility vehicle and
begin fueling on pump number three while I
finish up on pump number four.

You eye my braid, my old car, my flute bag
in the rear window, and that expression comes
onto your pale, clean-shaven face.

You seem upset that I don’t shuffle, step aside,
show embarrassment about my dark skin, and
why must I have feathers in plain view?

You are columbus, with your arrogance and
your privilege and your superior equipment,
you are that same murdering foreigner.

You wish I would go away, would not be
present right there with road dirt on my car,
would be somewhere else, doing menial work.

Hey columbus, nobody needs you here.  We
lived here for tens of thousands of years before
you came with your virulent diseases.

Hey, columbus, your arrogance wears thin, and
a cheap, pitiful little thief shows through — your
time has been already too long.

You are that same columbus who accepted
my Arawak cousins’ hospitality, there on Hispaniola,
then gathered folks up to sell as slaves in europe.

You are that same columbus who noticed
gold ornaments, who demanded tribute, who
cut off hands or feet for not bringing enough.

You are that same columbus whose own
spanish priest, Fray Bartolome de Las Casas,
wrote about your unimaginable cruelty.

You might say that was long ago, that I am
only showing my ignorance and paranoia,
that you have nothing to do with it.

You might be lying, too.  Your arrogance
gives you away, shows you out.  You are that
same columbus who thought himself better.

Hey, columbus, haven’t you stole enough,
aren’t you rich enough yet to get into that
exclusive little heaven you talk about?

Hey, columbus, if my honest half-breed presence
causes you discomfort — if you had rather your
wife and kids didn’t see me, why not leave?

You are that same columbus, yes it’s you
stepping from your sport utility vehicle onto
the flat pavement of a filling station.

You are that same columbus and you can’t hide,
even in the privacy of afternoon drinks at your
exclusive clubs — arrogant stink surrounds you.

You are that same old columbus who
dreams of empire, who pretends to own
this land, who is willing to kill for profit.

You are that same old columbus who brought us
cheap thrills, oil spills, insurance bills, close-order drills,
targeted kills and land fills with radioactive waste.

You are that same old columbus, and you
wish I would go away?  After all these years,
after your people have done these things?

Hey columbus, why don’t YOU go away?
Hey columbus, your scorn displeases me.
Hey columbus, your elections are phony.
Hey columbus, your time’s about up, enit?
Hey columbus, haven’t you made enough of a mess?
Hey columbus, gather up your trash and carry it away.
Hey columbus, go back where you came from.
Hey columbus, john wayne has no teeth.
Hey columbus, last call.
Hey columbus, keep moving, no stopping here, move right along.
Hey columbus, whooee up there, hoosh! soooie pig.
©2010 Thomas Hubbard


columbus day, columbus day


Columbus day, columbus day

(Jackson was the pres who
sold out the southeastern tribes,
setting up a lottery to “sell”
all that land for plantations.)

If only
the twenty dollar bill in my shoe
with jackson’s face to the ground
the twenty that I change out
for a new one whenever his
murderous face wears down a bit

If only
some denomination,
maybe a three dollar bill
or something else just as
phony could show

If only
columbus could be on a bill
or maybe on bathroom tissue
but there were no cameras
when he robbed, raped,
killed and enslaved so many
friendly indigenous people….

If only
our school books and teachers
would tell the real story about
cutting off hands of those who
couldn’t give enough gold, or
roasting people alive after
cutting their babies in two, or
spreading filth and disease, or
any of the other heinous sports
columbus and his crew enjoyed….

If only
Arawacks could have somehow
known, before they befriended
columbus and his merry men….

If only
those east-coast tribes had
known, before they befriended
boatloads of sick europeans….

If only
our ancestors had not been
caught unaware that folks
they kept from starving
would be so absolutely evil
would murder so many and
steal half the round world….

If only
we had jailed them,
every damn one of them
for trespassing
even though we had no jails….

If only
we had just let them die….

Then maybe
this would still be
a free country.

©2011 Thomas Hubbard