Joy Harjo’s tribute to John Trudell

He was the original thinker who said:

“Think more. Believe less.” (Believe has the word “lie” in it.)

“We don’t need more leaders. What we need are thinkers.”

“We need to make peace with the earth.”

John roused an army of young native spoken word artists, and made it okay for a warrior

To write poetry. Poetry is the love a man and woman make when they create

A planet together. Poetry is a cleansing rain bringing water to a thirsty land.

John said of his poems, “They’re called poems, but in reality they’re lines

Given to me to hang on to.” And hang onto them we did,

from Tribal Voice to Heart Jump Bouquet, to AKA Graffiti Man to Blue Indian, Bone Days, DNA: Descendants Now Ancestors, Madness and the Moremes, Crazier than HeIl, and Wazi’s Dream, and many others.

And hang on to his words we will, for they remind us that:

“No matter what they ever do to us, we must always act for the love of our people and the earth. We must not react out of hatred for those who have no sense.”

These are good words for making a trail through this beloved earth

Into the next world, a road we are all traveling together.

A very human prophet carried these words, to share, for us to continue to share.

Thank you/Mvto for honoring us with your gifts, your smile, your laughter.

John Trudell and his family ask that people pray and celebrate in their own way.

“… I appreciate all of your expressions of love. It has been like a fire to my heart. Thank you all for that fire. But please don’t worry about me, I know what I’m doing…”

We won’t worry. We will look forward to hearing that next concert with you and Jesse Ed Davis in the sky. Don’t look back. Keep going. We will see you on the other side.

Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee/Creek Nation, Hickory Ground Ceremonial Ground, and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her newest collection is a book of poetry, “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings,” from W.W. Norton. You can find her at JoyHarjo.com.
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/12/10/joy-harjo-tribute-john-trudell-162718

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