Hi, my name is Trevino Brings Plenty. I am member of the Minneconjou Lakota. I was born on the Cheyenne River/Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Eagle Butte, South Dakota. I now live in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been here for about twelve years. I’m a poet and a musician. I’ve been doing both for about twelve years.
Here is an example of one of my poems. The poem is called No Eyes.
My grandfather had his eyes stolen.
He said they were
In the Smithsonian museum.
The last image he saw
was a blond haired woman
bending over him.
He was newly back from Japan,
he was still wearing his W.W. II uniform.
He said it wasn’t a good thing,
but he was sadly satisfied his eyes
were set next to his grandparents’ bones.
My grandfather was a brakeman
in his late teens.
When he lost his left pinkie finger,
he quit and joined the army.
“There were a lot of Indians
in the army,” he said.
“We were seen as American heroes
when we wore our uniforms.”
“Know this grandson,
the people were not all warriors.
My cousin was a painter and storyteller,
my brother was a fisherman,
my sister tamed horses,
everyone ate food, breathed air, drank water.
This is the family lineage.”
My grandfather rolled a cigarette.
He was wearing sunglasses.
It was evening just before supper.
“Every man wants to huff and puff
their warriorness,” he said.
“But the real work is peace.”