Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
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.
Remember you are all people and all people
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
“Remember.” Copyright © 1983 by Joy Harjo from She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Out of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me, Whispering I love you, before long I die, I have travel'd a long way, merely to look on you to touch you, For I could not die till I once look'd on you, For I fear'd I might afterward lose you. Now we have met, we have look'd, we are safe, Return in peace to the ocean my love, I too am part of that ocean, my love, we are not so much separated, Behold the great rondure, the cohesion of all, how perfect! But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us, As for an hour carrying us diverse, yet cannot carry us diverse forever; Be not impatient—a little space—know you I salute the air, the ocean and the land, Every day at sundown for your dear sake my love.
This poem is in the public domain.