Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thursday Poem - Morning Prayers

I have missed the guardian spirit
of the Sangre de Cristos
those mountains
against which I destroyed myself
every morning I was sick
with loving and fighting
in those small years.
In that season I looked up
to a blue conception of faith
a notion of the sacred in
the elegant border of cedar trees
becoming mountain and sky.

This is how we were born into the world:
Sky fell in love with earth, wore turquoise,
cantered in on a black horse.
Earth dressed herself fragrantly,
with regard for the aesthetics of holy romance.
Their love decorated the mountains with sunrise,
weaved valleys delicate with the edging of sunset.

This morning I look toward the east
and I am lonely for those mountains
though I've said good-bye to the girl
with her urgent prayers for redemption.
I used to believe in a vision
that would save the people
carry us all to the top of the mountain
during the flood
of human destruction.

I know nothing anymore
as I place my feet into the next world
except this:
the nothingness
is vast and stunning,
brims with details
of steaming, dark coffee
ashes of campfires
the bells on yaks or sheep
sirens careening through a deluge
of humans
or the dead carried through fire,
through the mist of baking sweet
bread and breathing.

This is how we will leave this world:
on horses of sunrise and sunset
from the shadow of the mountains
who witnessed every battle
every small struggle.

Joy Harjo,
from How We Became Human