Archives for posts with tag: Reverence

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REMEMBER

poem by Joy Harjo

Remember the sky that you were born under,

know each of the star’s stories.

Remember the moon, know who she is. I met her

in a bar once in Iowa City.

Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the

strongest point of time. Remember sundown

and the giving away to night.

Remember your birth, how your mother struggled

to give you form and breath. You are evidence of

her life, and her mother’s, and hers.

Remember your father. He is your life also.

Remember the earth whose skin you are:

red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth

brown earth, we are earth.

Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their

tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,

listen to them. They are alive poems.

Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the

origin of this universe. I heard her singing Kiowa war

dance songs at the corner of Fourth and Central once.

Remember that you are all people and that all people are you.

Remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you.

Remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.

Remember that language comes from this.

Remember the dance that language is, that life is.

Remember.

“Remember” appears in Joy Harjo’s collection How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems: 1975-2002  (W.W. Norton, 2004), available at Amazon.com.

Painting: “Meditations on the Night Sky” by Akvarel.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joy Harjo (born May 9, 1951) is a Native American poet, musician, and author. Known primarily as a poet, Harjo has also taught at the college level, played alto saxophone with a band called Poetic Justice, edited literary journals, and written screenplays. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Cherokee descent, she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. In 1995, Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. In 2002, Harjo received the PEN Open Book Award for A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales. Harjo joined the faculty of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in January 2013. (Read more at wikipedia.org.) Visit Joy Harjo at joyharjo.com.

Author Photo: Joy Harjo, Albuquerque, 1975, by LaVerne Harrell Clark, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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REVERENCE
by Julie Cadwallander-Staub

The air vibrated
with the sound of cicadas
on those hot Missouri nights after sundown
when the grown-ups gathered on the wide back lawn,
sank into their slung-back canvas chairs
tall glasses of iced tea beading in the heat
 and we sisters chased fireflies
reaching for them in the dark
admiring their compact black bodies
their orange stripes and seeking antennas
as they crawled to our fingertips
and clicked open into the night air.
In all the days and years that have followed,
I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced
the same utter certainty of the goodness of life
that was as palpable
as the sound of the cicadas on those nights:
my sisters running around with me in the dark,
the murmur of the grown-ups’ voices,
the way reverence mixes with amazement
to see such a small body
emit so much light. 
***
“Reverence” by Julie Cadwallander-Staub appears in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology — a 220-page collection of poetry and prose available in a free Kindle version on Sept. 17 & 18, 2013. Find your free Kindle of the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology at Amazon.com. (If you don’t have a Kindle device, get free kindle reading apps for your computer at this link.)

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Photo: “Fireflies at Night” by Sierra, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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REVERENCE

 Poem by Julie Cadwallander-Staub

 The air vibrated

with the sound of cicadas

on those hot Missouri nights after sundown

when the grown-ups gathered on the wide back lawn,

sank into their slung-back canvas chairs

tall glasses of iced tea beading in the heat

 and we sisters chased fireflies

reaching for them in the dark

admiring their compact black bodies

their orange stripes and seeking antennas

as they crawled to our fingertips

and clicked open into the night air.

In all the days and years that have followed,

I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced

the same utter certainty of the goodness of life

that was as palpable

as the sound of the cicadas on those nights:

my sisters running around with me in the dark,

the murmur of the grown-ups’ voices,

the way reverence mixes with amazement

to see such a small body

emit so much light. 

Photo: “Fireflies at Night” by Sierra, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED