Tag Archives: Court Green

#177 Tierra Amarilla, 1967 by Katherine DeBlassie

In his dream the sleeping giants rode on frozen horses
and no one told them they were in the desert,
that the hooves of the horses would begin
to melt and fail to mend. The sun,

unlike the preacher, seemed not to move.
It stayed steady, pressed like a stamp
against unflinching bright blues of sky
and mountains. He never graduated high school,

but the Assembly of God gave him religion,
and a language of justice, love and outrage.
In the Bible Institute he was ordained
to go across a country, sleep under bridges,

and travel by boxcar to protect the ejido,
the land that’s forever being taken and claimed
and reclaimed each culture so intertwined in sex and marriage,
it’s hard to tell one shade of brown from another.

The Day of God came with the preacher
and 20 men with shot guns and pistols—
they raided the courthouse. We don’t believe in violence,
we believe in Jesus Christ who used a whip to drive the false
prophets out of the temple. Stolen or delayed justice.
He had the right to arrest anyone who violated
the rights of his people. He was the giant awake,
he was the wild-west shoot out, he had the right to ride
frozen horses until they were melted or freed.

Katherine DeBlassie was born and raised in Albuquerque and earned her MFA from the University of Maryland. Her work has appeared in Court Green and Cutthroat, among others. She received honorable mention for the 2011 Rita Dove Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2009 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize.