poetry Weelaunee

Eco poetry: California poet Dee Allen looks back and forward to the fight to save the South Atlanta forests.


By Dee Allen



Muscogee/Tsalagi land,

Then seized

Colonisers' war spoils,

Then slave

Plantation where planter's family's wealth was made,

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Then city

Prison farm, sharecropping as a penalty,

Slowly reverted

To healthy green

Forest as it was in years of yore—

Forces of entertainment

And law enforcement

Have alternate visions

For 350 wooded acres—

Amuse the public

With films of white knuckle action.

Train the new recruits

For our repression.

High-speed car chases,

Late-night drug raids,

House-to-house searches,

Combative crow control,

More explosions

Than a Hollywood Summer box office hit,

Bullets fly replacing birds

Inside an artificial city—

To the woods and

Their human guests,

Tragedy strikes

Both ways—

Chainsaws ready to cut.

Bulldozers move to clear.

The vision of 98%

Conflicts with this frightening future—

Person of conscience

Was shot defending

The forest of South Atlanta.

State troopers' guns

Made that certain.

Take out one forest protector

And many more will take their place.

The forest belongs not to the movie industry.

The forest belongs not to the police.

Weelaunee belongs to itself.

Weelaunee: Muscogee: “Green/brown/yellow river.”

Muscogee: What the Creek Indians call themselves.

Tsalagi: What the Cherokee Indians call themselves. Pronounced: “Chah-lah-gee.”

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books--Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ], Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]--and 68 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far. Currently seeking a new publisher to transform his finished manuscript into a finished, printed 8th book.