Thursday, January 22, 2009



In the days before the materialists, humans were very aware
of their gods, and of the spirits in everything around them,
including the winds, the rocks, the plants and to all
the creatures of the sky, the land and the sea.
Through these relationships, everything was treated as sacred.
Our ancestors lived in harmony with the environment
and the gods provided for them.

And then we forgot.
We grew monsters with our dissatisfactions and contentions.
The monsters’ hunger knew no limits, and they were not sated,
no matter how much we fed them. The earth grew bare and lonely.
And the plants, creatures and forces of the earth turned away
or disappeared, for lack of attention.

And then floods, fierce fires and winds or earthquakes
destroyed nearly everything. Shook it up. And then another
world emerged from the destruction. And we could hear again.
We could see and we remembered who we really are, and where
we really come from, and where we are going, together.
We lingered there for a while in that field of beautiful
memory. And then what hadn’t been put to rest emerged.
It could have been a scorned lover, a brother jealous
of another, an envious friend, a greedy ruler.
It took only one furious split of passion and the rest
of us followed. Humans are tender like that—
we are the same human of wild and sweet.

And so we built the same story all up again,
out of the same materials constructed from gravity,
addiction, love and need.

Now we are in it again, making stories in the marked rise
of forgetfulness. Clean, fresh water is becoming a memory.
Only a few remember how to sing and talk to the spirits
of the earth. Intimate transformational moments that bind
us together: birth and death, have been taken over by
the shining corporate system of metal, money and machines.
When we lose the connection, we lose the doorways to wisdom,
we forget how to begin and end. The monsters are disguised
as rulers, leaders, bureaucrats and celebrities.
People are enslaved to production to feed the fat banks
of these rulers. Children run the streets with guns,
ragged for love. Those with money, packing fear or the prospect
of fame, are given respect; no matter the means
of the acquisition.

What kind of love is this America?

Light shines through human mistakes.

Joy Harjo February 2007

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