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"Stone sharpens stone.    

Fire breeds fire.   

So was it that our anger ignited.    

Layer after layer it rose up

and burned us all."   

-Apache elder



   From the plains to the hilltop cliffs    

where the ruins are extended    

you no longer see that wooden fence    

that kept order in the mission.      

All that remains are coyote dreams    

appearing through plumes of sage    

where faces of catastrophe     

come to take their place.    



Many claim to hear 

a whisper in the smoke 

speaking of the ways 

their peaceful hearts were turned.



As soon as their dogs started barking     

they could hear burning tents,

and there was no time for talking  

to the men making their decent.      

Some were too surprised for anger    

but many knew the risk    

of trusting a greedy stranger    

whose promise was a trick.    


Many claim to hear 

a refrain soft and low 

rising from the fields 

their trusting hearts were burned.  


  For many years they learned to fly.

For many years they raided.

Some poor fools even turned to spy    

for the men whom they hated.        

You can see phantoms of those days   

in shadows spun like smoke   

from the rocky cliffs and sedge   

to the mines of agate stone.   


Many claim to see,

layered in the rock,

where coolness turned to heat

and heat turned to stone.

Photograph by Ashwin Samuel © 2016

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