Little knot of blackness
Quivering at the realm of doubt.
I’m here in the perfect little house on the ridge of the island, the tradewinds
Threading the trees, fruit and flowers
Hanging on by doves and mangos
By plumeria and blue water.
And then, no longer here
Compelled to dive
To your heartless heart
Through missionaries in their woolen covers
Through lawmakers and their books of feckless laws
And the wall of judges fat with hate
For my language, my face
Down through the hall of hammers, saws and derision
And beyond the parts of the missing and those killed
In unjust wars.
It was beautiful this morning when I left
The harbor calm and the flowers wet with a blessing rain, now
Opening to the sun.
Even the mynahs were trying to sing.
It was like that and I love these winds these flowers
And this water, this little house hugging the ridge.
But still I descend
Past the volcano rim of teeth on the horizon
and the yard of rich black dirt from fire
Past knowing anything beautiful
Into a vaster unknowing
Into this terrible thing
Burning there it might kill.
Me and everything that I love
But, I think, oh terrible rushed thinking
If I can locate the root, the time, the hour
If I can know it like a lover, a brother, a mother
Like a room I’ve lived in forever
A beloved, worn shirt
Then it will not hold me here
At the core
Where the doubt flower has taken root.
Maybe if I trip past the perimeter of the tangle
I will be able to laugh at the critic
Under the stars of hot truth.
I will locate the root
And set us all free.
c Joy Harjo August 27, 2004 Mercury Retrograde