P{oem: Covelo - a hamlet off the main highway

lilod(NoCal/8)July 29, 2011

Switch-backs, sheer wall on the right

A canyon on the left - below

The Eel meanders, bare rock and soil

The trees gone long ago,

The salmon no longer spawning

In the pools.

The road descends into

A valley of beauty

The road goes no further.

Spirits haunt the hamlet of Covelo

Soil bloodied by murderous greedy settlers

Slaughtered natives wandering in he shadows

Remembering the trail of tears.

Warring tribes remember

Blood feuds simmering.

Tourists stop at a cafe,

Feel uneasy, don't know why,

Ready to leave, return o the Highway

Go on with their journey

Forget the name of Covelo, the Nome Cult Farm

One small glimpse of a history

Best forgotten

Lilo Ducommun


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    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 10:40AM
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I really like this one.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Hello Lilod

My husband fell on black ice December 15, and died April 2, 2011 - so I seem to be particularly emotional these days about some things. Googling Covelo brought up a report of unimaginable inhumanity and sadness - but one thing struck me:

Here in Illinois, we have a well known trail from Indians - Native Americans - being marched from their homelands to reservations in Oklahoma and points west - many died along the way, many were intermarried among other Southern Illinoisans, separated from their families, or refusing, becoming fugitives. Many Southern Illinoisans offered them food and respite, water, and succor. As secretive then, as was the Undergound Railroad a bit later in our history. That trail is called 'The Trail of Tears", and I never knew there were others.

What a fitting tribute was your post.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:55PM
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Never best to forget........At least there are many/some of us who will never forget. Thank you Lilo.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 9:00PM
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Shilty - it is a sad thing about your husband, I hope this poem didn't upset you.
Yes, there are so many trails of tears - actually all over the world, come to think of it.
I am glad you googled Covelo - the Indians here are not so famous or glamorous as the big nations in the Midwest or the Southwest.
The Round Valley of Covelo is a place of such natural beauty, it is sad that it has this aura of desolation and the history of brutality. On really can feel the vibes.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:46AM
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I had to look it up as well, Lilo and it was heart-breaking. One history site stated the village began in 1860. I rolled my eyes because it's obvious it existed long before that, but wasn't considered an entity until it incorported under a legal statute native peoples had no need to use.

The source we use as water for our household was once known by early settlers as "three mile spring". I assume it was called that because we are located exactly three miles from the old National Road, the route settlers used as they passed through our state westward. Old history books recollect that the spring was in use by local bands of Indians and the area directly north of us along the river routes were the temporary camping sites of hunter-gatherer tribes.

There were many indigenous bands in and around our county, but skirmishes were mostly individual battles between groups and settlers and one county history book relates that by 1812, most of the original peoples just silently slid into the forests and disappeared as the Europeans transplanted them. It wasn't so in other parts of the state further west where Tecumseh allied great numbers of friendly and rival tribes alike to make one last concerted effort at holding the grounds granted them by treaties promised but never kept.

There are great pockets of Indian people who never were rounded up and made to move, thanks to the cover of one of the greatest forest stands on earth. They did exactly what so many Scots-Irish settlers did and just disappeared into the hills and forests asking merely to be 'left alone'. In our early censuses, there wasn't even a catagory to list Indian peoples. One was either black or white, so many Indians who refused to be relocated suddenly became either black or white. We have several recognised melungeon settlements nearby and it's been common knowledge since their inception. The sad part being, the loss of tribal identity or affiliation.

I know in researching my own ancestry that it's not so easy to identify with any particular tribe in existance today, because the Indians were forced through their circumstances to meld and divide and blend in their own world to survive. I know that one family line some would consider Cherokee were probably really southern Iroquois, even though my mother relates her maternal grandfather maintained contact with relatives living in the Cherokee community in Oklahoma. Throw in a confirmed history of a Shawnee connection to another family line and a supposed Flat-Head connection in another. It's really not too hard to assume if you have any family lines on this continent dating to the day of the violation of the treaties of Westward expansion you may assume a lot of Americans today have connections with the early people they don't even know exist.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Some wrongs should never be forgotten. Thanks Lilo, I learned a lot about a place I did not know about.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 3:35PM
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The trail of tears is happening as we speak, and I mean this Sunday. The US congress is ready to sacrifice the programs set up to aid the seniors, soldiers, the infirm etc. There is nothing new.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 8:38PM
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