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Friday, February 10, 2017


by Brian Glaser

Levi Snyder-Allen dressed as a wolf when he joined his mother Diana at a North Dakota oil pipeline protest. The wolf is an endangered species in North Dakota. About 30 protestors gathered for a "Stand With Standing Rock" demonstration against the North Dakota Access Pipeline in Santa Ana on Saturday. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG Nov. 27, 2016)

By ordering construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to resume, the President is participating in one of this country’s oldest traditions—repressing Native Americans.
—Bill McKibben, The New Yorker online, February 8, 2017

Dakota Access protesters vow 'mass resistance.' 
They will be hard to stop. 
CNBC, February 8, 2017

“No trespass, no peace.”
That’s the chant as my son heard it when we stood
with thirty others
at a Santa Ana intersection
to show solidarity with the water protectors of Standing Rock.
As a beginner, I was impressed by the preparation of the young woman
who had organized the gathering:
not only summoning us all,
but the extra signs, bilingual informative flyers, a whistle to acknowledge
the gestures of agreement from passing cars.
And the chants, begun across the street from where we stood,
connecting us like impalpable thread.
Just today, the Army announced that it will shut down
the encampment blocking the black snake
in December.
Kurt Vonnegut said of the afterlife that one might have to choose
an age to remain for eternity.
I might choose sixty-five or so,
I think, but forced to commit to one I would miss
the overtones and undertones and ironies
with which the chant describes the changing years
of my already forty-three:
no trespass, no peace.

Brian Glaser has worked as a grant writer, a dramaturge, and a professor, and he has created six environmentally themed courses at his current school, Chapman University. Glaser has published more than thirty poems, translations, essays and reviews.