When the waters were so mighty
     As to reach the mountains high,
And it seemed that all creation
     Surely then was doomed to die,
Came the turtle to our rescue,
     Brought us safely unto land,
For the Manitou had sent him;
     Now we’re called “The Turtle Clan.”

The Wolf band comes from children,
     Whom a she-wolf nursed with care,
And thus restored the children
     Who were giv’n up in despair.
Her wailing brought the hunters
     To the babies where they lay;
So a band among the people
     Is the Wolf Clan of to-day.

When the tribe was once in danger,
     A wild turkey gave alarm,
And the warriors met the foeman
     With the fury of a storm,
To a maiden, in a vision,
     Did the turkey show the plan,
And we call all her descendants
     To this day, the “Turkey Clan.”

This poem is in the public domain.

The sky has put her bluest garment on,
    And gently brushed the snowy clouds away;
The robin trills a sweeter melody,
    Because you are just one year old today.

The wind remembers, in his sweet refrains,
    Away, away up in the tossing trees,
That you came in the world a year ago,
    And earth is filled with pleasant harmonies,

            And all things seem to say,
            “Just one year old today.”

From The Poems of Alexander Lawrence Posey (Crane & Co., 1910). This poem is in the public domain.

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
are you.
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.