We have enough jealousy going on that if we could find some use for it--if it could be smoked, worn, or used for building materials, we could package it and make billions more than casino money.



If biological diversity is a key to a healthy biological system, why not origin story diversity, or diversity of thought and belief?


When the World As We Knew It Ended

When the World as We Knew It Ended
It was coming.
We had been watching since the eve of the missionaries in their long
and solemn clothes, to see what would happen.
We saw it
from the kitchen window over the sink
as we made coffee, cooked rice and potatoes
enough for an army.
We saw it all, as we changed diapers and fed
the babies. We saw it,
through the branches of the knowledgeable tree,
through the snags of stars, through
the sun and storms, from our knees
as we bathed and washed the floors.
The conference of the birds warned us as they flew over
destroyers in the harbor, parked there since the first takeover.
It was by their songs and talk we knew when to rise,
when to look out the window
to the commotion going on--
the magnetic field thrown off by grief.
We heard it,
the racket in every corner of the world, as
the hunger for war rose up in those who would steal to be president
to be king or emperor, to own the trees, stones, and everything else
that moved about the earth, inside the earth,
and above it.
We knew it was coming, tasted the winds who gathered intelligence
from each leaf and flower, from every mountain, sea,
and desert, from every prayer and song all over this tiny universe
floating in the skies of infinite being.
And then it was over, this world we had grown to love
for its sweet grasses, for the many-colored horses
and fishes, for the shimmering possibilities
in dreaming.
But then there were the seeds to plant, and the babies
who needed milk and comforting, and someone
picked up a guitar or ukulele from the rubble
and began to sing about the light flutter
and kick beneath the skin of the earth
we felt there, beneath us--
a warm animal, a song being born between the legs of her,
a poem.
From How We Became Human, New and Selected Poems, W.W. Norton 2004 c Joy Harjo
Last night we were overwhelmed by Paris violence and the ugliness of ISIS. We are reminded that Beirut too was attacked two days before and wasn't given the same news coverage. And Syria experiences the magnitude of the Paris attack daily. In our family we have children jailed for acts that have their roots in the violence born when this country was stolen. We still fight daily for our lands, our place in our indigenous homelands. We have relatives, family members, tribal members, friends throughout the country and other countries who suffer from diabetes, cancer, violent acts, depression, alcoholism, meth addiction, proscribed drug addiction, body fallout from colonized foods ...We grieve the losses and each of us attempts compassion and understanding though so much of the suffering appears to make no sense at all. Now, not only do we know and suffer stories of immediate and local violence, we are privy to an immense global catalogue of carnage and suffering.

The weight of even the immediate family and local stories was always more than enough to carry. When we witness stories however they are transmitted: by text, phone, Internet, television, satellite, social media, or other story gathering means, we become part of them. In this age of global communication, we humans are in essence being forced to partake in massive world violence.

What do we do with all this suffering?


Sherman Chaddlesone Arts and Letters Lecture Series University of Central Oklahoma Pegasus Theater A Reading and Book Signing with Award-Winning Poet Joy Harjo – Co-Sponsored by UCO’s Passport to Native America.

-Indigenous Poet & Memoirist
-PEN USA Literary Award for Nonfiction
-Wallace Stevens Award for Poetry
-NAMMY-winning Musician
Great door prizes!
Reception to follow!
FREE and open to the public!
Campus Address: 100 North University Drive, Edmond, OK 73034

Map: pdf


Illinois Blues

Made it to Urbana, Illinois to begin my eight weeks courses. I notice that storms always take the same route when they leave Tulsa. They travel up I-44 to St. Louis, then by the time they get here to Urbana/Champaign, they're colder, punchier. It's definitely colder. I froze all day

I'll be here for a week to get things going, then return for two more meetings. For the most part the courses will be online, which I'm finding takes more work in the set up. There will be more heavy one-on-one engagement with the students. Next year, it's back to in-residence.

It's harder and harder to leave home. Tonight I'm in my hotel room, finishing up a syllabus. I rewrite them the same way I rewrite my poems, stories, scripts, or songs. Often it's the end of a semester when they're fine tuned. But that's the way I am. I start earlier and earlier on them but it's a process. I wish I could just pull out a syllabus and re-use it, but I'm not that kind of teacher. I always have to start all over, and that makes it more work intensive. Like my successive projects: books of poetry, CD's of music...I never do the same thing twice. Sometimes I'd rather not be that way. I can't even write the same letter twice successively when I write cursive.

I am not used to this cold. The morning starts out in the 40's and didn't appear to warm up much over 60. I caught a chill. Walked a mile back to the hotel, stopped and got a warm scarf, then some soup. Tonight when I reached for my bag with my money, credit cards, and IDs, it was gone. The scarf store is closed. And the Japanese soup place didn't have it. I used cash in my pocket there. It was either stolen in the restaurant, or is in the first store.

Still have two hours to work, then need to be up and out early to get to be ready. And wondering how I'll get by without cash or cards or ID's. I've called the banks...we'll see.

It's one of those days---

Tomorrow will brighten with students.

Signing out--



Good morning from a hot, late Tulsa morning. I miss blogging. I can get on here immediately and write. The WordPress system demands over ten steps, including finding a photograph for every blog, so I have not been blogging except on Facebook. I want to see how many people get this one if I send it out. Please send back a note if you do. Let me know. I want to start again here.


Guns, Winds, and Breath

Last night practiced targets in the garage with a BB gun pistol. The practice reminded me of focus and intent. This morning up at 6:30AM. Went to hardware store for building supplies for a patio build out. Had to load in heavy north winds. They too are focused with intent to get where they are going south of here. I cannot fight them or will be tangled.

...a spiritual teacher told a close friend that she would be doing what she’s supposed to be doing in life if she just took breath and went with the story of her life. blame others. If we do just breathe, write, drum, blow horn…love…it will keep moving, and the gifts can emerge easier than when there is resistance.


Don't forget to check out Joy Harjo's new blog

Don't forget to check out Joy Harjo's new blog http://www.joyharjo.com/category/blog.
This blog will no longer be used.

Recent Blog Post: http://joyharjo.com/from-my-hotel-room-listened-to-an-alto-sax-player-at-dusk/
*You can subscribe to the new blog there.


Moving Blog to www.joyharjo.com

This will be my last post here. Please join me at my Wordpress blog at www.joyharjo.com. I believe you can subscribe there too. Let me know if you have any difficulties. Joy