Reflections on -A hundred masterworks of photographer Edward S.Curtis
Exhibit at the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa
Faces alive, shine with determination
They knew who they were. unlike us
Upholding traditions as precious as their breath
Feathers, beads, fur, bark and hides
Shells, paint, piercings worn with pride.
Two emotions stand out so clear
Men with pointed pride.
Women with dabs of fear.
In the background I hear their chants
Soft yet ominous to me, they sounded.
A warning to us, that in the air,
Unheard by us, their cries and songs still remain.
Pointing a finger, they seem to ask
" Whither will you go, conquerors of our land ?
Nowhere, even with the best of intentions.
For you have wrenched the soul
From the body of this sacred Turtle Island.
When thou shall replace it and house it with love and compassion,
Stroked with tones of true regret,
A march forward thou shall see,
The kind never seen before."
Curtis, your legacy will live forever and ever.
Your art was your salvation.
Your gift, a blessing for all to see.