We Are of a Tribe by Alberto Rios

We plant seeds in the ground
And dreams in the sky,

Hoping that, someday, the roots of one
Will meet the upstretched limbs of the other.

It has not happened yet.
We share the sky, all of us, the whole world:

Together, we are a tribe of eyes that look upward,
Even as we stand on uncertain ground.

The earth beneath us moves, quiet and wild,
Its boundaries shifting, its muscles wavering.

The dream of sky is indifferent to all this,
Impervious to borders, fences, reservations.

The sky is our common home, the place we all live.
There we are in the world together.

The dream of sky requires no passport.
Blue will not be fenced. Blue will not be a crime.

Look up. Stay awhile. Let your breathing slow.
Know that you always have a home here.

We Are of a Tribe

Seeds and dreams, earth and sky, the iconic image of tree roots below spreading in a mirror image of tree limbs above. The poet says we all share the sky, all of us, the whole world. Never more so than now, we are standing on uncertain ground, standing in the unknown. Yet together, we are a tribe of eyes that look upward, as one being.

We know the earth is moving now, its boundaries shifting. Yet there is something steady to balance this, the dream of possibilities, of sky impervious to borders, fences, reservations. There is a place where we are all together in this world, our common home, our common humanity.

In this home we all share, Blue will not be fenced. Blue will not be a crime. Is this not true, when we look up at the sky – it is without boundaries, it does no wrong, it is simply blue. He invites us to look up, slow our breathing, rest in this knowing that you always have a home here.

This poem speaks to me of our deep need to remember that we belong to a tribe, a human family which shares this earth. To remember that if we ground ourselves in this knowledge, we will will feel our connection with one another. So, remember to look up, to know in your heart that blue is not a crime, to remember the bigger picture.

This poem was written in 2014 by Rios, the then Arizona state poet laureate. I first encountered this poem in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai & Ruby R. Wilson. This is a collection well worth having and I will be drawing on it often in the coming weeks.

16 thoughts on “We Are of a Tribe by Alberto Rios

  1. beautiful janice
    thank you for providing s p a c e here for a good cry this morning… with the remembrance of belonging to a TRIBE.
    this line especially brings me to tears:
    of sky impervious to borders, fences, reservations. There is a place where we are all together in this world, our common home, our common humanity.

    BLESSED BE.
    with love and appreciation,
    eileen

    Like

  2. Dear Jan: Like Eileen, I have tears in my eyes as I read this poem, and like Madeline, it’s the perfect poem for today, for these days. Thank you, dear heart. Love you.

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  3. “I have never been able to school my eyes against young April’s blue surprise” C.L. O’Donnell – “Wonder” – this was on my horse calendar when I turned the page for today, then read your page – coincidence? I don’t think so :O) Thanks favorite tribe member

    Like

  4. We are stronger together. Good to have you and others to brighten my day.
    “Fear is the cheapest room in the house
    I would like to see you living
    in better conditions”
    Hafiz

    Like

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