Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster

Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster

by Joy Harjo

When all is said and done and we must confront the pain and joy we have brought into this world, we would be well advised to take the path of the Indigenous people who, in their wisdom, know that the deepest inner truths lie outside of us. The eagle, rather than being an imperious symbol of American exceptionalism, is actually a cleansing force that can lead us into peace and beauty.

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.

Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.

We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,

Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Joy Harjo is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author. She is the incumbent United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honor. She is also only the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to serve three terms. Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv.

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