May Your Journey Be Beautiful
(Final, final version)
A little rain has blanketed the earth
Swallows fly out for breakfast from their adobe house:
Above the door of this adobe, and we fly up from sleep—
The Sun’s great house is shimmering. We smell gratitude,
And relish breakfast.
Where did these bananas come from? And who picked the coffee?
Did anyone sing to the young plants,
Pushing urgently from the creative earth?
It’s all happening at the kitchen table: we visit: talk politics.
Who’s fired; who’s hot and not, who’s left and who will return, and how
The price of gas is a perk given to the flunkies of ruin.
The train runs through the pueblo making rough music but doesn’t stop.
We joke: it’s laden with uranium, cattle and oil.
It’s going somewhere else for now. They’ll dump the scraps here later.
We get the politics, just how are we going to dance past this pain?
We needed a little rain.
Later I walk concrete in town to the tribal summit
Datura flowers are closing; someone has to stand guard with the night.
Even mystery needs to be held tenderly.
A Dineh brother stumbles up from the dark with his hands open, for rain:
Hey aren’t you the musician? He asks me for money, for a drink.
I ask him for his name.
We visit, talk politics: it’s the same.
We needed a little rain.
May your journey be beautiful from the sky to this hungry earth.
c Joy Harjo September 2005 Albuquerque
WAS IT A DREAM, DID IT REALLY HAPPEN?
I asked the sparrow without speaking--
As the sun graced the field behind the hotel
Breaking through sorrow.
A dog barks at a man walking to work
Carrying lunch in a paper bag
Or at the yellow cat elegantly picking her way
Along the metal fence
Placed to keep the poor out.
Another swollen whirlpool of anger
Rolls in along the Gulf
The dancers in the storm are dressed in red
And pus yellow.
They are not of this world and have
Emerged from debris
In the oil fields.
They are the metal pulse speeding up
Is this a dream and is it really happening?
Lightning came to eat from a bowl
Offered to the storm.
Didn’t know whether it was a dream,
Or if it was really happening?
This morning I will open my eyes into the fourth world
And pull on a light skin
Constructed of dreams as old as the first breath of stars.
I will step down from sleep with feet
As familiar as roving deer
In a nation of pines.
I will wash my face in the sink and know I am kneeling at a river
I will answer my phone and say hello,
I will know this is a dream
And it is really happening.
c Joy Harjo September 23, 2005 Tucson