October 2020 “I Give You Back” Joy Harjo



I Give You Back” Joy Harjo

I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear.

I release you.

You were my beloved and hated twin, but now, I don’t know you as myself.

I release you with all the pain I would know at the death of my daughters.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the white soldiers who burned down my home, beheaded my children, raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.

I give you back to those who stole the food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you hold these scenes in front of me and I was born with eyes that can never close.

I release you, fear, so you can no longer keep me naked and frozen in the winter, or smothered under blankets in the summer.

I release you I release you I release you I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.

I am not afraid to rejoice.

I am not afraid to be black

I am not afraid to be white.

I am not afraid to be hungry.

I am not afraid to be full. I am not afraid to be hated.

I am not afraid to be loved, to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.

You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.

You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear.

You are not my shadow any longer.

I won’t hold you in my hands.

You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice my belly, or in my heart my heart my heart my heart.

But come here, fear.

I am alive and you are so afraid of dying.


Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and was named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019.



NOON acknowledges that we are on the territory of the Onondaga Nation, counsel fire of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

We are thankful for their stewardship of our environment.




For Your Attention:


Indigenous Values Initiative, a local nonprofit, hosted a powerful web series last month, Mother Earth’s Pandemic. This 3-week series featured speakers from all over the world. The videos, including extra content, are available on IVI’s Youtube channel and are organized by session. This series is essential to anyone’s understanding of the impacts of the Doctrine of Domination, which legalized genocide against non-Christians around the world in order to forcibly control access to land and resources. Please watch here and share widely. Follow their Facebook page and check their website for more.


Follow Better Future for Onondaga Lake on Facebook for information about the Onondaga’s sacred lake, which is now polluted with toxins and learn about ways you can practice stewardship and relationship with the water and land in Onondaga Territory.




NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, Check with Carol or Sue for date. For the foreseeable future meetings will be virtual. Since new people often have a lot of questions and you will need contact info for the virtual meeting, we recommend contacting Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council Staff, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer, before the meeting.



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Thompson Brothers Lacrosse web site

Neilson Powless, first Native American and Haudenosaunee cyclist, rode in the Tour de France


Because the Syracuse Peace Council is closed, our resources are unavailable. .

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation Programs.
NOON has organized dozens of educational programs over the past 20 years. Many of them have been videotaped and are available on SPC's Youtube Channel. Fifteen years ago we coordinated the historic series Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future. Check out the videos



None to share at this time.

You can access past NOON E-Newsletters.