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Volume I, Number 1 (Summer 2006)
ISSN 1934-4324

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NEW-CUE, Inc. is a non-profit, environmental education organization founded primarily to assist writers and educators who are dedicated to  enhancing  the public's awareness of environmental issues.




M. R. Squire

M.R. Squire is an anthropologist and traditional singer of Irish,
Scottish, and American Indian ancestry.  She lives in northern Maine
with two cats and a window of  houseplants.

Columbus Day

Storm Stray

Memorial Day for 30 years



Columbus Day


Columbus did not discover us.


We were not Taino, Arawak or Carib--

We were not islanders.

We had nothing that he wanted—

Nothing anyone wanted, not at first.



We lived secure behind our mountains

Here in the cold and rocky north,

Until the farmers wanted our land

And the traders wanted our furs

And the slavers wanted our bodies

And the missionaries wanted our souls.


Columbus was long dead by then.



And now each fall I hear

The hungry voices, endlessly hungry--

“share your culture with us

we want to know you.

Sing and dance for us

Smile for the camera, Indian girl

Look pretty

Wear your feathers, now, and your moccasins.

Tell us a story. Your people are famous for stories.

we want your music

and your stories

and your life

and your spirit.

We want—

We want—


We’ll even pay you.”


Columbus did not discover us.

You did.

Storm Stray


She cried against the door

One cold November day

Gray furred and thin as clouds

In that storm sky

Her eyes looked into mine

as if to say

“I used to live with others of your kind.

They left me here

Without a word they left me here behind

And went away.

I do not know you, no, but you smell kind,

And I’m so cold.

I’m asking, soul-to-soul, and mind-to-mind,

To let me stay.”

A queen in tatters, but so royal still

So with a dignity no storm could kill.


What could I do? I braced against the wind,

Opened the kitchen door, and let her in.



Memorial Day for 30 years


He was just someone I knew

Someone I’d always known

And the bright-colored college crowd

Surged around us, but left us alone

In a rain spattered college café

Some-when, a long lifetime ago.

We drank coffee and talked of the war

While around us the rain was slow.


They told me he died in that war,

In the soft-falling tropical rain,

They said he was saving the world--

But all that was left was the pain.


Now his name is a name on a wall,

A black wall in a city of stone.

That is all that remains of a life

Of a person, a joy that was known.


His soul dances the warriors’ dance

At the gathering-place in the stars

With Crazy Horse, Gall and the rest

Of the souls of the dead of lost wars.


I cannot remember his face.

I barely remember his name.

It was such a long lifetime ago,

But sometimes, in the dark and the rain,

I still hear his voice in the night

I still see his star in the sky

Then the grief comes again—raw, unhealed—

As I mourn for the dead who can’t die.




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