Lines from a Mined Mind: The Words of John Trudell

Lines from a Mined Mind: The Words of John Trudell

by John Trudell


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Lines from a Mined Mind brings together lyrics and musings from the twenty-five-year recording career of John Trudell, an internationally acclaimed poet, musician, and leader of the American Indian Movement. More than a simple anthology, this collection goes deeper, revealing the incendiary intersection of music and activism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555916787
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 258,929
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor, and activist whose international following reflects the universal language of his words, work, and message. Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indian of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971. He then worked with the American Indian Movement, serving as chairman from 1973 to 1979.

Read an Excerpt

Lines from a Mined Mind

By John Trudell

Fulcrum Publishing

Copyright © 2008 John Trudell
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-55591-873-6


Tribal Voice


When today feels like yesterday's leftovers and tomorrow's going to be more of the same kinda like dodging the bullet again and again time crawls because it knows what's coming


Listening One Time Grandmother Moon Grandfathers Whispering

Voices Catching Up:

Last Rush in Babylon Arms Race Alone

Heart Taker:

Brown Earth Color Woman Heart Taker The First Time Sheltered Moments

Living in Reality:

Sung in the End Endure Living in Reality Diablo Canyon It Took the Times For Ronald America Industrial Slave Without Earth

The Cleansing:

Little Daughter Sister, Sister Tears of Salt For My Children Yesterdays Laughter Young Ones Listen

I Went So Willingly:

Trying to Forget When You Left Her Beauty I Went So Willingly Like a Butterfly All That Was Left The Ones Who Knew Me

Look At Us:

Never Too Loudly Very Eyes A Dimension Called Loneliness To God Look at Us


    I was listening
    To the voices of life
    Chanting in unison
    Carry on the struggle
    The generations
    Surge together
    In resistance
    To meet
    The reality of power
    Mother Earth
    Embraces her children
    In natural beauty
    To last beyond
    Oppressors brutality
    As the butterfly floats into life
    We are the spirit of natural life
    Which is forever
    The power of understanding
    Real connections to spirit
    Is meaning our resistance
    Our struggle
    Is not sacrifice lost
    It is
    Natural energy properly used

    One Time

    I was visiting with my relatives
    The clouds the mountains
    The sky the trees
    My relatives touched my spirit
    Nudged it lovingly
    Listen to us impatient one
    We are forever
    You must remember the gentleness of time
    You are struggling to be who you are
    You say you want to learn the old ways
    Struggling to learn when all you must do
    Is remember remember the people
    Remember sky and earth
    Remember the people
    Have always struggled to live
    In harmony in peace
    Struggle against selfishness and weakness
    So the people may live as nations
    The old ways are hard
    The people have always had
    To work together
    Remember impatient one
    Remember and live
    Do not be afraid of truth
    Respect discipline
    Share your life
    So the people may live
    Honor sky and earth
    Honor yourself
    Honor your relations
    Remember impatient one
    The gentleness of time

    Grandmother Moon

    You are more than light in the night
    You are more than the moon
    You are spirit connection
    Your energy is our life
    You are memories to generations past
    You are the creator of sensations
    That will always last
    You are the knowledge the teacher
    The influence to keep the people sane
    You are a healer for spirit pain
    Grandmother moon
    We love you and we are angry
    At the invaders who trash you
    And violate our universe with
    Their mechanical uncleanliness
    We pray for you for us and for the
    Invader who just can't comprehend
    Respect love or the balance of life
    We do not join the invading madness
    From the way they act
    It speaks of spirit sadness
    Machine money progress
    Is the cause of our common abuse
    We see you grandmother
    We feel you
    We love you
    We know through your reality
    We will endure
    We are one
    We pray for you
    We pray to you

    Grandfathers Whispering

    Grandfathers whispering
    In the wind
    Rejoice at the life
    You are a part of
    Natural energy
    Bound to natural laws
    You will survive this
    Temporary madness imposed upon you
    Natural life is longer
    Than oppressors illusionary insanity
    Spirits experience human deeds
    But need not end
    This is just one place of changes
    Spirit life is forever if you want
    The universe is your home
    You can survive here
    Do not let them kill you
    Keep your spirit strong
    For distant stars and distant drums
    Are the memories of spirit infancy
    Children of earth let the spirit live
    So you can grow in your place
      In the universe

    Last Rush in Babylon

    Last rush in Babylon
    Voices catching up voices catching up
    Watch out child watch out child
    Babylon falling down falling down
    Society a broken promise
    Economies war citizen whores
    Political pimps
    Leaving us flat on our backs
    Trading today
    Waiting for the promised land
    Roles playing roles
    Covering every days fear
    Going off to work
    Having the job done on us
    In the eyes of god
    Building the bomb
    Loving thyself hating thyself
    In the illusion
    Voices catching up voices catching up
    Watch out child watch out child
    Babylon falling down falling down
    Caligula laughs loudly through time
    Twisting love to get at the sexes
    Class is material consumed
    Designer worlds create electric impulses
    Turning down life the real good-bye
    See it in our face see it every place
    Last rush in Babylon
    Voices catching up voices catching up
    Watch out child watch out child
    Babylon falling down falling down

    Arms Race

    Jackboots pounding earth
    Military precision
    Dissecting elements of life
    Taking apart instead of healing
    Generals and gods
    Fascists and oil wells
    Man images and machines
    Petrochemical societies
    Trying to hide the sun
    Jackboots pounding earth
    Creaking leather boots
    Dead cows crying
    In a world turned
    To a planetary slaughterhouse
    Wandering amongst the opulence
    Wondering what not to touch
    Times not knowing times getting bit
    Times of temptation times of seduction
    Wandering in the poverty touched by everything
    Knowing the bite no time for temptation
    Only time for doing
    Babylon in terror
    World run over by machines
    The economics of captured dreams
    The rich are the poorer
    While the poor are waiting
    Everyone pretending to live
    Calling exploitation progress
    Calling submission freedom
    Calling madness profit
    Calling earth a plan et
    Plaguing her with civilization


    We see you in your loneliness
    Sometimes we wonder
    Which is lonelier
    Being alone together
    Or being lonely
    With no protection that you know of
    Principles replaced by nothing
    The lies becoming desperation
    Outrageous violence
    Internal and external
    Forming distractions from life
    Making the loneliness
    A new type of alone
    Alone with your machines
    Alone with your fear
    Alone with your oppressor
    Alone with roles played
    Alone from the past
    Alone from the future
    Stranded in the universe
    Separated from earth sun moon sky
    With only god to comfort you
    While he sanctions war and greed
    Messengers clubbing you
    Heavenly threats and promises
    A basis for exploitation of everything
    Even yourself
    Giving up together

    Brown Earth Color Woman

    Brown earth color woman
    Takes me into the secrets of her sighs
    When I step into the brown of her eyes
    I find sight of special dreams
    Fluttering eyelashes and fluttering hearts
    Dancing in magic no one understands
    When I step into the brown of her eyes
    I find the comfort of a friend
    A friend sharing shelter
    When only a friend can know too
    When I step into the brown of her eyes
    She teaches loving through caring
    Snuggling softly in my heart
    Helping me to just feel good
    When I step into the brown of her eyes
    The mysteries are different from confusion
    Illusions are handled by seeing through
    Clearly there is life ahead
    When I step into the brown of her eyes
    Brown earth color woman
    Takes me into the secrets of her sighs
    Gentling me in a balance of passion

    Heart Taker

    Smiling into
    Eyes hungry for smiles
    You take me where I want to be
    You're my heart taker
    You're a brand new day
    Bringing me in view of the sun
    I see the sun rise in your laughter
    I hear the forever songs in your kiss
    I feel the future in your beating heart
    I abandon loneliness for your embrace
    You're my heart taker
    Come to take my heart
    Before it fades away
    Blending into my dreams
    Showing me secrets of life
    Holding my hand in the universe
    You put together a breaking soul
    Smiling into eyes hungry for smiles
    Enchanting today with your magic
    Tomorrow can't help but be good
    You brought the world back to me
    When I thought I wanted to drift away
    You're my heart taker
    Taking me to joy
    Gentling me during a life storm
    Lifting me
    Between the clouds and the sky
    Bringing me in view of the sun

    The First Time

    The first time
    Your eyes caressed mine
    To say it was like magic is to tame
    The gentle passion and moments
    Shared in the seeing of a glance
    You took my hand
    And opened my heart
    To the beauty
    Of what I did not see
    I tried to understand
    Why and how
    These things happen
    But you explained so much
    With your laughing eyes
    To make me
    Not waste my time worrying
    Or wondering is this meant to be
    The first time
    Your eyes caressed mine
    The winds sang their songs
    The sunshine shivered with joy
    Warming the life within me

    Sheltered Moments

    Tender love in sheltered moments
    Blowing my mind from the beginning
    I was drifting through trying
    Trying to live a life
    Good things happening suddenly
    When the days were dark
    You brought the sunlight nights
    Touching me in your being
    Tender love in sheltered moments
    You were fame you were fortune
    You were peace you were vision
    Things I thought I wanted and
    Things I really needed
    Blowing my mind from the beginning
    Your kiss melted the night
    Beauty burned in forever fires
    Heartbreak heart beating wildly
    Flaming love sparks and stars
    Showering the world
    Tomorrow is today is yesterday
    In your kiss time didn't have a chance
    Tender love in sheltered moments
    Blowing my mind from the beginning
    I was drifting through trying
    Trying to live a life

    Sung in the End

    The children laugh
    The old ones laugh
    The newborn cry
    The elders weep
    The knowledge of
    Infants and elders
    Separated only by years
    Adulthood lost
    To grown-up fear
    The only security
    Being insecurity
    Changing crying
    To weeping
    The wisdom of
    Infants and elders
    Crying and laughing
    Weeping and laughing
    Songs in the beginning
    Sung in the end


    The people cry out
    Tears of anger
    Tears of sorrow
    Giving birth to resistance
    Young ones
    To remember struggle
    For the people cry out
    Tears of happiness
    Tears of joy
    Washing the pain
    Cleaning the spirit
    Giving strength
    The generations
    Remembering the past
    To rebuild the future
    For weeping is
    Another way of laughing
    And resisting and
    Outlasting the enemy

    Living in Reality

    Calling us red Indians
    We have been the colors
    On a chameleons back
    Changing with time
    Altering the larger pattern
    Surviving genocide
    Because we have to
    Living in reality
    We are targets of your unfairness
    With warriors for targets
    You create your own destruction
    This is how we bring you down
    Target by target you wound yourself
    Using your greed we watch
    Your spirit fade
    Living in reality
    We can endure your cages
    Your bullets your lies
    Your confusion
    We know you have
    Destroyed your peace
    Living in reality
    You only exist

    Diablo Canyon

    Today I challenged the nukes
    The soldiers of the state
    Placed me in captivity
    Or so they thought
    They bound my wrists in their
    Plastic handcuffs
    Surrounding me with their
    Plastic minds and faces
    They ridiculed me
    But I could see through
    To the ridicule they brought
    On themselves
    They told me squat over there
    By the trash
    They left a soldier to guard me
    I was the Vietcong
    I was Crazy Horse
    Little did they understand
    Squatting down in the earth
    They placed me with my power
    My power to laugh
    Laugh at their righteous wrong
    Their sneers and their taunts
    Gave me clarity
    To see their powerlessness
    It was in the way they dressed
    And in the way they acted
    They viewed me as an enemy
    A threat to their rationalizations
    I felt pity for them
    Knowing they will never be free
    I was their captive
    But my heart was racing
    Through the generations
    The memories of eternity
    I was beyond their reach
    I would be brought to the
    Internment camp
    To share my time with allies
    The last time I saw them
    They were standing
    In their twelve hour shifts
    To their chain of command
    Waiting to be told what to do
    Forgetting about me
    I was just another protester
    They were finished with
    Never understanding
    I am not finished with them
    For I am the resistance
    And as always I will return

    It Took the Times

    It took the times
    We didn't care
    About living
    To learn
    Survivors survive
    Whether they
    Want or not
    It took the pain the grief
    And the dying
    To remember
    What gets forgotten
    In the living
    It took the lessons
    Of a thousand generations
    To get through the
    Time of yesterday
    It took the joyful songs
    Of laughter to last
    Beyond today
    Into tomorrow
    It took the fragrance
    Of a womans touch
    To realize
    Brothers and sisters
    Are never alone
    It took the joining
    Of earth and sky
    To create
    Centering the universe

    For Ronald America

    This time I almost wanted to believe you
    When you said it would be all right
    You wanted to end the suffering
    And the deliberateness of the wrongs
    Were only in my imagination
    This time I almost wanted to believe you
    When you implied the times of
    Sorrow were buried in the past
    Never would we have to worry
    About shadows and memories
    Clinging and draining the strength
    From our souls
    This time I almost wanted to believe you
    When you spoke of peace and love and
    Caring and duty and god and destiny
    But somehow the death in your eyes and
    Your bombs and your taxes and your
    Greed and your face-lift told me
    This time I cannot afford to believe you

    Industrial Slave

    Industrial slave
    Capitalist and Communist
    Smiling with false faces
    Beckoning us
    With their lies about progress
    Wanting us to enjoy
    The rape of earth
    And our minds
    Industrial slave
    Legalistic contract chains
    Turning our visions
    To technologic nightmares
    National security warmakers
    Desecrating the natural world
    And gods still trying to get over
    What you done to his boy
    Industrial slave
    Material bound
    Law and order
    Religious salvation
    Individually alone
    Industrial slave

    Without Earth

    Without earth
    There is no heaven
    Streets of gold
    Angels wings eternal life
    Corporate reich nuclear regimes
    Maximizing profit eating identities
    Plundering natural allies
    As though earth is dead
    Allowing religious rite
    Collection plate tributes
    To church and state
    With Christ still hanging
    From the cross
    Echoing industrial war cries
    Warring against body and soul
    Attacking spirit
    Lying to enslave with an illusion
    About freedom
    Without earth there is no heaven
    Earth and sky universal power
    Life energies creative flow
    In which we are a pattern
    To keep balance
    Harmony a gift
    An appreciation to enjoy
    Honor life
    Without earth
    There is no heaven

    Little Daughter

    Little daughter
    You are so small
    For a big woman
    So soft for someone
    Who must be so strong
    Little daughter
    I hold you in my arms
    I laugh and am happy
    At your baby girl smile
    To say I feel good
    Is not enough
    Little daughter I walk with you
    Through the dimension called time
    For what are minutes days or years
    Compared to father daughter
    Places in eternity
    Little daughter
    You the delicate infant child
    Carry the innocent reality
    I pray for your protection
    Prayers to help you through
    This life experience
    Little daughter the times I hold
    You next to me I am flowing
    An infinity of love to fill the times
    I cannot hold you next to me
    Little daughter
    I am always with you
    Even when
    You cannot see me there

    Sister, Sister

    Sister, sister
    I want to talk to the woman in you
    We're under siege in a troubled time
    Sister, sister won't you hear my voice
    I'm your brother but I've made the mistakes
    Of a man sometimes it's lonely being a man
    The programming has its affect
    Isolation is such a cruel thing
    Sister, sister
    Won't you understand
    They took your brothers
    Turned them into men
    Like they took our sisters
    Turned them into women
    Sister, sister
    We are all the family of earth
    They have taken us away
    In their new clear war
    Taught us to compete and abuse
    And blame each other
    While we're all being used
    Sister, sister hear my heart
    It's time to bring the family back
    Together we must remember earth
    We must remember what life is all about
    Sister, sister I am your brother
    Every time I've ever hurt you
    I've always hurt myself
    Sister, sister hear my voice
    It's all up to us
    We have a choice

    Tears of Salt

    Crystal clear tears of salt
    Come when my heart
    Talks with sadness
    The tears flow
    My emotional rivers
    It's no damn use to pretend
    Pain will not rise again
    Crystal clear tears of salt
    Help my heart
    To feel for something
    When I do not want to
    Clear my vision
    See my peace
    Men don't cry
    Indians are stoic
    I tell that to my heart
    To my eyes
    They just laugh at me
    And sometimes
    When my spirit hurts
    They make me cry
    Crystal clear tears of salt
    Purify my memory
    Help me understand
    This is not the beginning
    Nor the end

    For My Children

    To the people I can talk
    When it comes to you
    I know what to say
    It's I just don't know how
    I love you
    That's not a question
    Showing it has been confusing
    My life has drifted all ways
    Somehow I could just never stay
    I've rationalized
    I'm headed to a goal
    Yet sometimes
    My heart hears me running
    To a future always from the past
    I love you
    Don't want you hurt
    I want you to realize your potential
    I've always been afraid to interfere
    My bias my prejudice my doubt
    The weaker sides of me
    I had to protect you
    Make you stronger
    Compassion is to be
    Your companion
    As you head to your destiny
    I've tried the only way I knew
    Please try to understand
    I didn't know what else to do
    I love you

    Yesterdays Laughter

    Yesterdays laughter
    Is the balance for today
    Todays tears
    Are the cleansing
    For tomorrow
    We started out so long ago
    There was no one to teach us
    What we had to know
    The days were ours
    The times they were extreme
    We did our best and
    We did our worst in
    The constant struggle
    To understand why
    Illusions and fantasies
    Battering us
    Teaching us the hard way
    Forcing us
    To find a right way
    Shelter and comfort
    Coming where we found it
    Constantly moving
    It was like being chased
    By something we did not
    Many are the times we could
    Have just laid down and died
    But the will of life
    Helped us to survive
    As we travel through life
    With yesterdays laughter
    The balance for today
    And todays tears
    A cleansing for tomorrow


Excerpted from Lines from a Mined Mind by John Trudell. Copyright © 2008 John Trudell. Excerpted by permission of Fulcrum Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1. Foreword,
2. Introduction,
3. Tribal Voice,
4. AKA Graffiti Man,
5. Heart Jump Bouquet,
6. But This Isn't El Salvador,
7. Fables and Other Realities,
8. Children of Earth,
9. Johnny Damas and Me,
10. Blue Indians,
11. Bone Days,
12. Madness and,
13. The Moremes,
14. Complete Listing of Songs,

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