Let There Be

for Jaiden Peter Morgan

A good poem
is summer
                 my nephew said 
             mirage rising 
from corn fields
midday 
pollen on our tongues
each syllable 
flecked with sunbeams
and names not said 
shiye’ you should know 
the voice isn’t ours alone
    but a dwelling space
    a hooghan’s
    cool inner darkness
    before ceremony 
    it is you 
    who will heal 
    these wounds
a good poem 
is song
            I said
so let there be mountains
singing in all directions
let there be laughter
uninterrupted and innocent 
shiye’ what joy you are
naahoniiłt’ąh
nahałtin
náhoolt’ąh

Related Poems

For Kathryn

A hummingbird hovers above the branches outside the window.
Soon the earth will rise again.
Waking from earth’s sleep,
green leaves begin to emerge.
Tiny purple flowers bloom like tiny notes of music.
Háshínee’, and so it is.
We called you loved one;  we called you   daughter,   sister,   wife,   mother,   grandmother;
we called you.   friend,    teacher.
After we have feasted in your honor, remembered you in tender ways,
told stories of you,
and the rain has washed away our tears,
we will give you back to the other side.
  We will release you.
                   We will sing you back to your relatives,
                                sing you back to the places where you once walked,
                                          and return you to the stars.
                                                           Háshínee’, and so it is.
                                                             You will return to us
                                                            in the changing season
                                          of a hummingbird hovering above a branch
                                            in the season of green leaves emerging,
                                 in the notes of tiny purple flowers singing in the rain. 

 

*Háshínee’ is a Navajo female term of endearment

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear,
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion, 
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us. 
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Struggle Itself

for Diane di Prima

                          Just that piece
     of the poem you could hear

     the groundswell,
     and written in such a way, numbered

            left in-tact 
            on the back 
            of a flat-bed truck

                                           amplified
                                  taking up
                   space 
                   in offering out

                   strategy with every form
                                       of art 

                   stacking the trucks
                   and sending them out…

new music/new poetry

                    Survival—courting the elements
(Divination) to be reliably great, what is clearly my job
the impulsive unending twist
in hell, groundswells

            sounds of film spinning on an old reel
sweeping up,
                     glyph like tracks
                     on a white page (reproduced)

                     Phones held close
                                  against the light
                                  deranged pleas
                                  hopeful songs
                                  gospel noble truths

Poems that we hold
                               beyond our bodies, a joy
                               we can keep ringing at eternities fold
 melted in the hot brick

                                     or crucible
                                     as Audre Lorde would have it

   that longest arc in the edges
          before they join