Josiah’s Song

By T.Mayheart Dardar

In honor of Hillis Harjo (Josiah Francis), Red Stick Creek 
prophet and patriot who gave his life this month in 1818 in 
the cause of his peoples freedom.

Josiah’s Song

Rolling across the hills
Thru forest and swamp
Faint as a whisper carried on the wind
A voice from the earth
A message forged in conflict
Blood still crying of the empire’s sin

Commerce and capital
Slaves and land
Sacrifices to the god of greed and gain
Freedom and justice the legacy
Or so says the rhetoric accompanied by Sousa
Forgotten by all the First People and their pain

The message came south with a man
The light that streaked through the sky
Calling the people to unite
Those who turned rejected his plea
Seeking a place with the Watauga
But Crazy Medicine would lead the fight

Long Knife would come to devour
Those on high would stand
The Red Eagle would take to the sky
Josiah would bring the Creator’s words
Standing as warrior and priest
America would hear the Creek war cry

The battle was joined
The cause was just
But it was not difficult to see the end
The empire was expanding
The People stood in the way
The climax arrived at Horseshoe Bend

Josiah would carry on
Hillis Harjo would still bring fear
Inspiring the fighters to carry on
Treachery and the rope would be his end
But the battle for justice must continue
Till the last Red Stick is gone

T. Mayheart Dardar was born in the Houma Indian settlement below Golden Meadow, Louisiana. He served for sixteen years on the United Houma Nation Tribal Council (retired in Oct. 2009). Currently he works with Bayou Healers, a community based group advocating for the needs of coastal Indigenous communities in south Louisiana


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