Evening Song

It's late and I'm in the lobby of the Colgate Inn, in Hamilton, NY. (Wireless doesn't work in the location of my room.) Beautiful clear night out and the moon is all over the sky. Below zero temperatures. I'ld love to see the northern lights and wonder if they wander down this way. I saw them in Lawrence, Kansas years ago at a gathering at Luci Tapahanso's. It was her birthday. so it was in November. And Rebekah Presson was there, and she was at the dinner tonight at an inn at the edge of Hamilton, NY. I started the morning in Albuquerque. The Sun and Moon were in near opposition this morning as I was driven to the airport. After the flight to Syracuse, with a change of planes in Chicago, and an hour drive to Hamilton, I wasn't certain that I'd be up for dinner. What a surprise, sort of like arriving at rehearsal last night outside of Santa Fe, already past my second, third and fourth wind and wondering how I was going to find it, where it was going to come from.... and then we started playing music and I forgot about being exhausted. That's how it was when the wonderful poet Peter Balakian picked me up for dinner, and Rebecca and Dewey were there, and many other wonderful people. I forgot about being exhausted. I have photos, which I'll add tomorrow (along with the promised photo of the Lobo Football locker room.)


Here's a song to close out the day in which I was carried by the sky to here:

Evening Song

I failed a little
Dip the wound in water
Wrap it in a redbird’s song
Climb into the canoe
And paddle out from the weeping
Let the failing fail
Let the stars bear trouble
Let the canoe carry
What we cannot bury.

c Joy Harjo 2006


Thanks Angela Mooney D'Arcy for this announcement:

Oldest Urban Native American Community Center in the Nation Under
"Save the Legacy" Fundraiser Events Scheduled to Save the Intertribal
Friendship House

Oakland, California - The Intertribal Friendship House (IFH), which
is recognized as the oldest Urban Native American Community Center in
the nation, is under threat of being lost forever. On Friday, March
23 the IFH will be placed on the Alameda County auction block due to
unpaid taxes if necessary funds are not raised. Community members are
taking action to raise $30,000 to save the center and preserve the
legacy of this cultural and historical monument.

It has also served as the meeting place and organizing center for
American Indian activism of the 1960s and '70s including the
occupation of Alcatraz, the initiation of the Long Walk, and the
creation of the AIM for freedom Survival School, among many other
events and actions that had far-reaching effects nationally, many of
which continue today.

For over fifty years the IFH continues to serve as the heart of the
Bay Area Indian Community. It was established in 1955 to respond to
the needs of American Indian people of many tribes who had migrated
into the area through the Federal relocation program. For Urban
Native Peoples IFH has served as the Urban Reservation and Homeland.
In many cases it is one of the few places that keeps them connected
to their culture and traditions through pow wow dance, drumming,
beading classes, and the many social gatherings, cultural events, and
ceremonies that are held there.

"The Intertribal Friendship House is more than an organization. It is
the heart of a vibrant tribal community." said Wilma Mankiller,
former Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation. "When we returned to our
Oklahoma homelands twenty years later, we took incredible memories of
the many people in the Bay Area who helped shape our values and

Intertribal Friendship House (IFH) sprang up out of the need for
relocated Indians to congregate together, to help each other survive
and to forge what became the Urban Indian Community in the San
Francisco Bay Area. IFH became the model that other Indian Centers
with a specific focus grew out of and replicated.

"Save the Legacy"
Calendar of Events
March 2007

March 15
7:00 PM-9:00 PM Film Screening:
Shell Mound, Spider Kid, and Exterminate Them! The California Story
W/ Special Guests Floyd Red Crow Westerman and Lee Brightman of the
American Indian Movement. Shell Mound Director Andres Cidiel and
Spider Kid Director Cha-Tah Gould will also be present.

Intertribal Friendship House
523 International Blvd.
$8 - $10
Sliding scale
All ages event!

March 16
7:00 PM-2:00 AM "Save the Legacy" Benefit Show

All Nations Drummers, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Good Shield, Colored
Ink, Ise Lyfe, Brown Buffalo Project, Entre Musicos, E-legal MC,
Ariel Lucky, DJ Oye, DJ Agana, DJ Fuse and Sake-1. Cafe' Axe'
Cultural Center

1525 Webster St.
$10-15 Sliding scale
All ages event!
No Drugs or Alcohol Allowed

March 17
4:00 PM –10:00 PM "Save the Legacy" Benefit Concert

Aztlan Underground, Blackfire, 7th Generation Rise, One Struggle,
Chest full of Arrows and other very special guests!

Aztlan Underground is a fusion band from Los Angeles. Since the early
1990s, Aztlan Underground has played Rapcore. Indigenous drums,
flutes, and rattles are commonplace in its musical compositions.

Blackfire a Native American (Dine') group comprised of two brothers
and their sister. Their style is high-energy and comprises
traditional Native American, Punk-Rock and Alter-Native with strong
sociopolitical messages about government oppression, relocation of
indigenous people, eco-cide, genocide, domestic violence and human
rights. They strongly advocate for the Protection of Sacred sites and
the respect of all cultures.

Good Shield is an indigenous artist of Oglala lakota and Yoeme
heritage. He is lead singer and songwriter for Indigenous Soul band,
7th GENERATION RISE out of Humboldt County, CA. Good Shields music
writing styles consists of Folk, Funk, Rock, etc set to culturally
and politically charged lyrics.

One Struggle an eight piece band which infuses reggae, soul and South
American rhythms with a blend of conscious vocals, spoken word,
traditional Native songs and hip-hop sure to get your booty shaking.
Eastside Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd @ 23rd Avenue,
$10-15 Sliding scale
All ages event!
No Drugs or Alcohol Allowed


Kimberley McGill said...

Discovering your poetry and music several years burst something open for me. Since then, I fell off my proverbial horse and am in the process of getting back on.

I think our passions carry us on their own winds when we think we can't possibly do one more thing.

Danene said...

Does anyone out there know of people that attended Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah? I am working on my Master's thesis regarding this school and would love to receive experiences from anyone who has anything to share about this school.

Thanks so much,


Anke said...

Thank you, Joy, for the Evening Song. It came at the right time for me.