Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is that an Insulin Pump, I Mean, a Poem in Your Pocket?

                                                                       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, his hands cradling 
your mother's flesh, and maybe her heart, too
and maybe not.
He is your life also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are.
Red earth yellow earth white earth brown earth
black 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.
to remember.

[Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Joy Harjo is one of my favorite poets. (Last year, my husband drove me 3 1/2 hours so I could hear her speak)! And "Remember" is truly one of those poems I have carried with me since the first time I read it almost 20 years ago. It is what I call a spirit poem. I hope some of the lines resonate with you. And, can I just say, I LOVE the idea of carrying a poem next to my insulin pump?! This may become a habit! What poem do you have tucked in your pocket today?]


  1. I REALLY enjoy this poem for a number of reasons. I went to college in Iowa City, so the line about meeting the moon in a bar in Iowa City really resonated with me. I also love the line "Remember that you are all people and that all people are you." Sometimes D makes me feel different, and like someone who others could never possibly relate to. But, the thing is, everybody has challenges... unfortunately, D is mine, but everybody has them. So really, I'm not all that different after all.


  2. There are so many lines within this poem that resonate with me but this touched my soul:
    "Remember that you are this universe and that this
    universe is you."
    Thank you for sharing this and making me think...I wrote a poem last night perhaps I will carry it in my pocket today.

  3. I have a poem you wrote out for me that I carry in my journal :)

    I need to copy this one down ... sigh ... you really need to move back here, i want to raid your bookcase (and oracle cards and music and peek under the bed because i know you probably have good stuff stashed there as well!)

    xo Lis

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