The Unfortunate Colony – Popé

IV.  Popé


The strands, knotted leather,

each knot of the tether,

a message, in passage,

denoting together

when Pueblo

would no longer hide.


A signaling system

that signified

breaking of the yoke

and cruel chaffing chide.


Augusto de Año,


The High Time had come,

the bell had been rung,

and the Pueblo people were ready.




The Second Estate,

that of the Church,

had fused to their power

that of the First,


who abandoned the Land

as too far away,

and, now, the Lord Manor,

a Franciscan Frey.


Franciscan theocracies

now were established,

and all Pueblo religious

deemed as deep heresy.


The rough life got worse

by Sixteen-Seventy:

drought and invasion,

both Navajo, Apache,

and the life of the Pueblo

grew harder, not easy –

the death rate increased.


From eighty-thousand

to a mere fifteen questioned

all reason to the bastion

of Spanish Inquisition –


To save the Soul

for the Here

and then After,

begged them to differ

with either Revelation.


The Pueblo practice

of Kachina dances

and the Kivas,

sacred rooms underground,

flew to the face

of the teachings of Jesus.

And ‘his’ grace, “in His place”

did not want found around.


The tension grew high

in Seventy-Five,

the Franciscans arrested

forty-seven men

and charged each of heresy,

for the practice of sorcery –

each one a sage,

each, someone’s ken,

each one, a medicine man.


Four were then sentenced

to be hanged until dead;

one, committed suicide, instead.


All the rest, were publicly whipped!

and then they were sent off to prison.

The last thing to bring

the Pueblo to reason,

the time ‘over-ripe’

to fall back to treason.

The Pueblo, en masse,

protested all of this,

of their sages encaged

in a prison.


And the Spanish complied,

let the men go –

they were too busy

in New Mexico

fighting Apache and the Navajo.


Among the released

was an Indian priest,

a medicine man, Popé.

A leader to nurture

all of his Pueblo

to revolt, in future.

And in five years more,

it was so.







©2013, Marvin Loyd Welborn




  1. I love it. It really depicts the scene as well as the feelings. Well done, Tink! More to come?


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