Joy Harjo

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings

Griffin Poetry Prize 2016
International Shortlist

Book: Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings

Poet: Joy Harjo

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Joy Harjo reads Equinox


I must keep from breaking into the story by force,
If I do I will find a war club in my hand
And the smoke of grief staggering toward the sun,
Your nation dead beside you.

I keep walking away though it has been an eternity
And from each drop of blood
Spring up sons and daughters, trees
A mountain of sorrows, of songs.

I tell you this from the dusk of a small city in the north
Not far from the birthplace of cars and industry.
Geese are returning to mate and crocuses have
Broken through the frozen earth.

Soon they will come for me and I will make my stand
Before the jury of destiny. Yes, I will answer in the clatter
Of the new world, I have broken my addiction to war
And desire.
I have buried the dead, and made songs of the blood,
The marrow.

From Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo

Copyright © 2015 by Joy Harjo