The Unfortunate Colony – Acoma!

II.  Acoma!


Upon a hill, impregnable,

a mighty fortress, still:

a city in the sky

upon a mesa stood:

    Guarded Acoma!


Oñate came in Ninety-Eight,

incurred the wrath

and Pueblo hate,

demanding more

they could afford –

the Natives would deny!

and bring about

the total rout,

this City in the Sky.


Soldiers sent

would tear and rent

the precious food supply.

The Native reply:

of those they slew

there but few

to live they had to fly

themselves from cliffs

as birds adrift

out onto weightless sky.


Some were crushed,

a few survived

to live and thus devise

the plan of retribution:

the Spanish hard reprise.


Eight hundred dead,

six hundred left,

taken out alive.

All enslaved to real estate.

The men from twelve to twenty five,

a foot from each to amputate!

And loss of daughters and wives.


“To fear us, love us,

they must obey us.”

Oñate’s remonstrance.

No allowance for insurgence,

the model of dominance.

Prestige of fear!

To make it clear,

Spanish faith and Spanish rule,

the judge and punisher.


And yet, with Spanish settlement

a cast of pall was set:

the harsh and poor environment

too much if not too great,

replaced all hope, disillusionment!

with the wish to flee and escape.


The King had made 

the decision – “We stay!”

And stay on more, they did:

the punisher and punished,

the Pueblo and Spanish,

the unfortunate colony,

determined on to stay,

despite the way

to destitute health

and the life of penury.




©2013, Marvin Loyd Welborn

10 July 2013


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