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CALIFORNIA
RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

AREA XI

 Mac McAnear's Poetry Collection 
Marion "Mac" McAnear's
Collection of Original Poetry
Poet Laureate of CRTA-AREA XI
Member - San Diego - Division 4

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LEWIS & CLARK

While Lewis and Clark were the first Americans to see much of what would become the western United States, those same lands had long been occupied by native peoples.

Over the course of the expedition, the Corps of Discovery would come into contact with nearly 50 Native American tribes. Quickly, the captains learned how many different definitions there really were for the word “Indian.” The Mandans lived in earth lodges, farmed corn and were amenable to trade with America. The Teton Sioux slept in tepees, hunted buffalo and guarded their territory fiercely against anyone who passed through, whether foreign or Indian. Some tribes had never seen a white or black man before Lewis and Clark. Others spoke bits of English and wore hats and coats they received from European sea captains.

Over the course of the expedition, Lewis and Clark developed a ritual that they used when meeting a tribe for the first time. The captains would explain to the tribal leaders that the their land now belonged to the United States, and that a man far in the east – President Thomas Jefferson – was their new “great father.” They would also give the Indians a peace medal with Jefferson on one side and two hands clasping on the other, as well as some form of presents (often trade goods). Moreover, the Corps members would perform a kind of parade, marching in uniform and shooting their guns.

THE MACS
CHAPTER EIGHT

THE MACS (8)

The decisive ingredient
Favoring the American side
Inhabitants of the town all French
And full of Gallic pride!

The on-going clash between these powers
Though French flag no longer hoist
Caused the debt of the British to soar
Their parliament attempt to foist!

Loaded arguments used to show
That Colonials had to pay
Step-children dominated by a cynical parent
Whose opinion the only way!

Maligned and abused this sensitive folk
Major sin to be born
In a land far away from a king at bay
Now become a festered thorn!

Lashing out the English lion
Long used to its sovereign state
Moved arbitrarily to show its will
Realized the error too late!

English officers in the Old Northwest
Riled Indians to a fever pitch
Against thin settlements on the frontier
Promising they’d soon be rich!

Tragic pawns these primitive people
Manipulated by either side
Doomed from the time the white man came
Relentless as the moving tide!

Little emotion about what’s gone by
Two hundred years and more
However then their loved ones scalped
In bitterness evened the score!

Readily understood why rebels killed
English and Indians as well
Themselves ambushed at every turn
Making frontier life pure hell!


 
THE MACS
CHAPTER NINE

THE MACS (9)

Telling outright lies the English
Made Virginians ogres in life
Horrible things they’d do to their women
This backfired increasing strife!

Astute Clark used these lies
And turned the wavering tide
Played on their fears cleverly
The French joined the rebels side!

These rough and ready Virginians
Tenacious for the American cause
Prided themselves on decency
Obedience to Christian laws!

They slipped into Kaskaskia unsuspect
Indians gone away from the fort
Explained their mission the best they knew
America could use support!

A few ran in panic shouting
Everything French was lost
The “Bostonnais” were there in force
To exact a terrible cost!

Red headed Clark calmed their fears
His men at considerable pains
To assure a permanent change of heart
Consolidate these sudden gains!

Malcolm’s stint then over
As well as for the other scouts
They awaited word from the Major
On next day’s whereabouts!

Kaskaskia the linchpin
Cahokia next in line
French settlers swore allegiance
Everything working just fine!

One more place on this wild frontier
Crucial to success of the plan
Vincennes in later Indiana
Must surrender to a man!

 
THE MACS
CHAPTER TEN

THE MACS (10)

Malcolm now an express rider
A dangerous spot to fill
Delivering messages through enemy country
Chances of survival nil!

By sheerest chance the Indians
Heard Malcolm’s horse about
Waylaid him in a shaded glen
Attacked with a gleeful shout!

His luck ran out in the forest that day
Paid with scalp and life
Left his brothers still with Clark
And at home a childless wife!

In dead of winter the huddling troop
Waited for their express
The tragic end unknown to them
Though they could only guess!

Through rain and sleet, ice-filled rivers,
They moved through bitter cold
But took Vincennes from the English
Persistence and being bold!

The wrenching sight of Malcolm’s scalp
Fresh on an Indian’s belt
Inflamed his brothers to a killing rage
They screamed as behooved a Celt!

With one swift blow Sean tomahawked
Other Indians suffered this fate
Eye for an eye on the harsh frontier
Inevitable soon or late!

Word spread to show the dread
That Indians had of Clark
The Big Knives’ relentless leader
Kentucky’s crucial spark!

Sean never looked back
For Malcolm no tears shed
A bloody fight to the bitter end
The vengeful thought in his head!





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  Mac McAnear - Author 
Mac McAnear
"Poet - Author"

Copyright © 2000-2001   Mac McAnear Inc.   All rights reserved.

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