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Sunday, November 18, 2007


by Katherine West

Who were the Minoans?
        Dolphin queens
        Worshippers of the bee
        Sharing the honey

Who were the Old Europeans?
        Builders of Stonehenge
        Calendar of sun
        Circling the perfect

Who were the cave painters?
        Shaman artists
        Leading the village
        In prayer

Who were the Romans?
        Metal smiths of the perfect sword
        Metal smiths of the perfect slave
        Minters of the perfect coin
        Golden profiles

Who are the Americans?
        Children of slaves
        Blinded at birth
        A coin in one hand
        A sword in the other

No, who are the Americans?
        Daughters of dolphin queens
        Sons of shaman artists
        Apprentice to Stonehenge builders
        Blind tinkers patching the calendar
        Tapping out dents
        In the four directions

No, who are the Americans?
        Metal smiths of the perfect
        Minters of prayer
        Golden pain
        Crucible of slaves and
        Tempered mind
        The circle cast
        This time

Katherine West is a poet presently living in northern Colorado and teaching Creative Writing at the local community college, museum, and Naropa University, which is in nearby Boulder, Colorado.