SECTION FIVE 

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COLUMN NINETY-THREE, JUNE 15, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

BOOK REVIEWS


(Copyright 2002 Joyce Metzger)

SLAVES  OF THE HARVEST
B
y Doug Draime,
Indian Heritage
Publishing, 2002 (s/s 38pp)Original Limited Edition

Doug Draime must have a raging inferno fire within his mind and soul   And, he evidently has no desire to throw water on this combustion, nor will his passion ever be dampened down.  He is like volatile, quicksilver mercury, eager to escape, agile enough to evade capture.  His words sever and slash, as would a scimitar sword, with verse waiting like oil of vitriol to be thrown.

He has seen the whites of their eyes, and Doug knows the heart well, which belongs to "white eye eyes."  Draime has read the caustic bitterness of catharsis, and has dipped into fey scented tea meant to expunge poisonous substances from the body and mind.  He has swallowed some of that vituperative callousness which his ancestors have been subjected to for centuries.  Broken promises and treaties.  Deception meant to castigate. Starvation intended for annihilation.

Doug Draime is part Mohawk Indian, but did not know of his heritage for many years.  As a poet, Doug has written in more than a few styles, and about a widely varied subject matter---?My outward and inner life over the past 40 years, and I continue to do so.  I think Slaves of the Harvest is a solid little chunk of that life.  Enjoy!"

Doug tells us: "My great-grandfather, a French priest, was sent to a parish in Canada, and very shortly thereafter met a Mohawk women, who he took as his wife, and was defrocked from the church.  My grandfather never admitted to being half injun, at least not in my presence. But if there was a shotgun in my mouth and some crazy-ass white man, or woman, was demanding I deny my Indian blood, or die, I'd have to say, "Pull the trigger."  That's how ingrained, fact or not, the story is with me."

I did enjoy Doug's words within this book.  I understand about the futilitarian aspects of what has been taught and the confusion caused by his mixed heritage. Perhaps, we all have esoteric secrets locked inside.  If we were visionaries, perhaps more would be explained about inner conflicts. Perhaps, it is no more than a longing desire for our wilder, more savage, less civilized, therefore, natural selves.

I relished some of these scathing comments with rapid-fire delivery.  I have long advocated delving into social issues by the poets.  Who could adjust more to that thought process than the poets who are sensitive about the injustices heaped like ash upon the heads of others, because of circumstance, religion, or skin color?

            --Slaves of the Harvest?

            The captivity is as true as leather
            straps sun soaked
            to the bone.  But the
            eventual slaughter is gradual
            like the aging of a bird, as
            subtle as death in a coma. Always
            hidden behind the scent of reward, the
            global intoxication of greed, the
            praise of vain glory in a brief
            day.  How unlike ourselves we truly are!  

The keen perception awarded to the quiet, lucid, acuity of true discrimination in practicality belongs to Doug Draime.  His thoughts refuse to be fooled, nor will they allow others to force moral and ethical judgments upon his mind.  Doug's acumen will not wear the salve of white education, which can effectively brain wash immature minds.

Barracudas swim the heated seas of humanity.  They feed voraciously upon weaker, non-thinking entities.  Barracoons once held, in temporary confinement, slaves, convicts, and captured Indians. One of the last great Seminole Chiefs, Billy Bowlegs, refused to sign a peace treaty with his Spanish and American oppressors in Florida.  White soldiers tricked Billy, by trapping his wife and children while slaughtering many from his tribe.  The long Trail of Tears, which included Cherokee and Seminole, sent Billy Bowlegs, and many others, to the arid lands of Oklahoma.

White men introduced liquor to the Indians as a means of powerful control.  Even today, many are still addicted. Lately, another vice has ironically helped the Indian economy. That vice, one for the white man, is gambling and casinos.

Slaves of the Harvest is an eye-opening revelation.   Try to remember the words as you read to absorb.  Those living today are not responsible for what their great-grandfathers did, but history tends to repeat, and even today we are perched on the brink of another deadly genocide.

I have always advocated poetry with "meaning."  Doug's words are torch firebrands. They are the fourth of July rockets ignited inside the mind that will explode throughout the entire person.

Order the book from Indian Heritage Publishing.  Hopefully, you will discover answers to some of your perplexing questions.  ## 

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