Benediction, draft of a poem


When darkness appears everlasting
And we have set up camp beneath the stars
Moved into night like an animal hibernating for a season
When we’ve become a distant memory, like the migration north from southern fires
And before the ancient canoe journey by winds ands stars
When we’ve forgotten we are caught in the weave of myth:
And no longer see Rabbit leap between joy and sadness,
Or Eagle perch and watch,
And the canoe traveling between dusk and dawn is lost in the rough waters.
When enemies destroy us; and we give birth and grow nations
Beneath the dark mouth of the upper world
When raw loneliness besieges us with terrible hunger
And empty pots hang over the ashes
A compassionate being climbs down once again in the dark
Bearing new fire and light in their hands.
We are fed and can see everything new again.
This is the song of beginning.
And this is the benediction of the birds at 5 AM
Because the star returns to us again
To break the hungry dark.

C Joy Harjo June 22, 2005 Honolulu

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