Poetry in Protest

This week, as EPA regulations are gouged and dangerous oil pipelines confirmed, I was drawn to a poem that looks at those who were here before, those who not only have/had a more respectful relationship with the land, but who in some cases, as in this poem, are the land.

Natalie Diaz is a fantastic poet whose work I’d been introduced to only recently. In “The Facts of Art,” she beautifully weaves a story that is part history, part reflection of America today, and part subtle warning for the future.

The Facts of Art
by Natalie Diaz
                                             woven plaque basket with sunflower design, Hopi,
                                             Arizona, before 1935
                                             from an American Indian basketry exhibit in
                                             Portsmouth, Virginia
The Arizona highway sailed across the desert—
     a gray battleship drawing a black wake,
            halting at the foot of the orange mesa,
                  unwilling to go…

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