Skip to main content
By Joy Harjo

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.


Joy Harjo, “Eagle Poem” from In Mad Love and War. Copyright © 1990 by Joy Harjo. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press,
www.wesleyan.edu/wespress.

Source: In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990)

  • Nature

Poet Bio

Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Like a few other contemporary Native American poets such as N. Scott Momaday, Simon Ortiz, and Leslie Marmon Silko, Harjo writes in an effort to re-establish lost connections: with the sacred land, with powerful ancestors, and with fellow searchers along the margins of contemporary life. She is a noted teacher, saxophonist, and vocalist. She performed for many years with her band, Poetic Justice, and currently tours with Arrow Dynamics. She was named U.S. poet laureate in June 2019. See More By This Poet

More By This Poet

More Poems about Nature

Browse poems about Nature