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Seven Years


Seven years ago

I left in winter

Came home in spring

And the land was scalped.


Bare skin, dermal cells now dust blowing in gale-force winds.

No grama, no sage, not even chamisa



Dry as the ash of bones ground and burnt.

The wind is the broom that sweeps it high into the sky

But we are the ones who wield it.

We do it at a remove, of course;

Humanity has never been one to clean up its own mess.

But now, seven years on, we see

Earth’s scars extend far beyond the loss of her long locks.

It is sixty in the dead of winter

No snow, no rain to slake the land’s great thirst

There will be no thaw, either, no melt, no runoff

If the land starves in summer, so shall we.

And now, the mayor wants to bring back logging

(Because he owns a sawmill)

The feds are selling off Chaco to drilling

(Because their friends covet the oil and gas of the ancestors’ bones).

Our neighbors to the west, the ancient canyondwellers,
They await the arrival of the rapine tools that will bring the poison up out of the ground

And north, to my own,

The mines have already turned the water to wormwood.

There is money in maiming

Profit in poison

And while they drill and extract and taint

Breed hellspawn born of a windigo spirit

They heat the earth to birth the wind that scalps the land again.

Seven years, the old ones say, and all is reborn again.

Born this year upon the warm dry wind

To sweep the dust into the air once more

And let it fall like rain

Upon an Earth crying for her children

Because they are not.







All content copyright Aji Wings, 2018; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may be used for any purpose whatsoever without the express written permission of the owner.

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