Blood Run was once a great mound city. About eighty remnants of its original four-hundred mounds still stand in testament to the 10,000 people who made their home here time ago and prove a terrific tribute of world history for their descendants living just down the road today. Yet, Blood Run is still in great danger of being forever destroyed by looters, developers, and the plow. This volume stands to persuade others to protect her and the sacred remains she guards in mounded tombs. The verse play of persona poems herein emanate its character of architectural accomplishment designed in accordance with the sun and moon and multitudes of stars above.
Previous to European colonization and conquest efforts, trade flourished between Indigenous peoples of the Americas for perhaps as long as time earmarked humankind. Evidence of continual vast trade throughout the Western Hemisphere, including art, symbolic items, and practical tools, was well cached in the multitude of mound cities puckering vast portions of the continent, some still incredibly existing after decades of continual and intentional desecration, disfigurement, and dismantling by grave robbers and Manifest Destiny driven anti-eco agriculturalists. Though surely there were times of dilemma for Indigenous Americans, these long-developed relations ensured survival during eras of doubt. Thus the likelihood of peace prevailed and most nations enjoyed the security of blanket protection, aid, and assistance from related tribes; whether by blood or adoption. In so much, tribes that enjoyed helping one another sustain themselves engaged in trade relationships with numerous additional nations outside these pacts; building cities of ceremonial, burial, effigy, and civic mounds, wherein which they flourished.
‘I am a descendent of the mound-builders. I say, Praise to the book that praises this mystery and beauty and history. Allison Hedge Coke is a woman who has fallen deep into the earth world and reveals its hidden truths. She is a mesmerizing artist, with work based on research chanted into poetry.’ —Linda Hogan
‘These poems bear witness to a difficult age, an age built on a spiral of earthliness. They make an honoring song for the earth. This honoring song carries joy, sadness, fury and grief. We need this gift, these poems.’ —Joy Harjo, Mvksoke poet and musician
‘“Blood Run” the name of an ancient site in an eastern corner of the US state South Dakota. Hundreds of mounds were built here by Native American Plains peoples and cultures, a thousand years before the arrival of the white intruders (e.g., settlers, military). The poems revive the history of the sites at “Blood Run” giving profound voice to humans, animals, plants and structures, also with political-ecological hope for the future to preserve ancient spiritual places.’ —Bernhard Widder
‘Purity in Poetry! Allison Hedge Coke has captured the true essence of the way of life, celebration of life enjoyed by all the many nations of Indigenous people(s) living here on our Makoce (land) which all indigenous nations call in unison Mother Earth. All Our Relations (Mitakuye Oyasin) is eloquently spoken and expressed by Allison. It is a true honor to have a kola (friend) a true Indigenous winyan (lady), to hold, keep and express the true spirit of all nations. I AM HONORED.’ —Irwin Sharp Fish, Sr.