Surrender (Revision)

When I turned out the light to surrender to the expansion of night
I went nowhere but exhaustion.
We wound circles to Pink Floyd and powwow, and skidded when the music
Stopped for musical chairs,
Underneath balloons in honor of baby’s first year.
She’s starting to walk.
I’m amazed at what gets paved by the grind of time
By forgiving. Or do I say, surrender?
I should take rest easy then, this day near equinox marking a festival of crossroads.
We had good weather.
Still I tumble relentlessly over this sleepless hump of worry.
I’m restless for vision, the next song.
For something other than the electrical switch that only takes me back
To where I started: an adobe room in a time of decay,
A small life on planet Earth, and what we imagine here.
When Rain called with the latest on her step-girl’s pregnancy,
We questioned what happened during the delicate web of formation:
Drugs? Coffee? Pesticides in the salad?
Or the old uranium tailings that are everywhere in the winds crossing Gallup?
I had to think through the dark and the dark was no longer a beautiful
Pathway, to stomp dances in the middle of a field of stars.
Funky, I called it.
Rough knowledge bares teeth in the nasty vortex of this brutal civilization.
Think musical chairs, I tell myself. And begin to imagine the falling away.
Each baby with ten fingers and toes, each dance taken.
The beauty prayer will bear me up and we will get there,
Yes we will, said the dark. Surrender.

c Joy Harjo September 25, 2006/October 2nd, 2006


Bill Siegel said...

'Surrender' is wonderful! Powerful. One comment: consider taking out the line, "Rough knowledge bares teeth in the nasty vortex of this brutal civilization", because it's the only weak line, and stands out too much because it's more editorializing than image. With so many clear (and disturbing) images making up the poem, this line was like a speed bump on the road for me. But otherwise, right on!

- Bill Siegel

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I very much enjoyed reading this poem. Strong message. Such an interesting moment that brings in the music of Pink Floyd. Thanks for the post.

Joy said...

Bill, I see your point--the line is editorial commentary--thanks. Joy