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Selu Stearn has a message for Russian invaders amid Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Sunflowers at the community garden at Rigler Elementary School in Portland.Come I welcome you, invaders to my land. Come cross onto the ground of my ancestors where I can promise glory awaits.

A fair challenge you imagine, as your tanks roll forth. Like the Spaniards in their conquest of the Peruvian Incas, whose vast wealth and exquisite princesses were captured and consumed.

Oh, foreign crusader, with a fantasy of effortless gains. Yield to restraint in your delusional dream. You may picture vast land possession, treasures abundant and parties paying tribute to your fame as you bask in the bosom of a foreign love; all spoils of war.

Take note, I warn of danger for any who oppress the freedom of my people in our ancestral land. Proceed with caution, intruder. For your rockets may follow their paths with unparalleled speeds; and your jets may scream over my cities, introducing terror to our children, bringing tears to our fathers and anguish to the hearts of our mothers. The mechanized beast of your mammoth force will bear destruction to our schools, destroy our hospitals and will obliterate to dust the center of our community squares. Yet such cowardice only strengthens our resolve; it hardens our spirit and focuses our soul. Aggressor, know and understand well that it is your sons who slog through our mud, dragging their shame. We pursue and help bring them before God for judgment.

We know too well the human condition, and we understand the lust for conquest cannot be ignored. The jewel of Ukraine is a tantalizing gambit, a temping harvest. We offer context that imperiled by greed; great armies have fallen to their knees on our soil; for this is our land and they cannot cross our clay.

I beseech you listen and heed the warning; the same one that Geronimo and his band of Apaches spoke in their war cry. The same that Cochise sang from his stronghold. We are sheltered; our strength comes from this land that we protect. Our invaders will be embraced with fire, they will be absorbed into muck and dirt.

Although we remember Wounded Knee, where the Lakota were slaughtered; we have not forgotten Custard's fate at Little Bighorn. For the defenders of natural homelands are a formidable force. Harken the fates who foretold the Romans of downfall entrenched in well defended lands. Recall the swastika who, coming from the West in their organized columns, riding an advanced war machine, was caught in the grinder of the mud of Ukraine. That same soil from which sprouts forth our wheat, providing daily bread, also greedily consumes the flesh of our invaders.

I pay homage to my land; I remove your scourge from this earth and plant a sunflower with you in the ground. Welcome to the mother as you bleed and die; welcome as you pass in the mud of Ukraine.

Selu Stearn is a Scappoose resident.

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