The themes which exist in the poetry of Simon Ortiz are somewhat polar in nature. At some points, his poetry shows the hope and optimism one needs to succeed in life. On the other hand, some of his words are laden with grief and loss.
For example, in his poem "Blind Curse," Ortiz seems to recognize that some things in life simply cannot be defined (or found to possess any optimism):
You just might be significantbut you might not be anything.
On the other hand, poems like "Culture and the Universe," Ortiz shows readers that hope does exist when we (as mankind) understand that there are things greater than us which can be our saving grace:
It’s not humankind after allnor is it culturethat limits us.It is the vastnesswe do not enter.It is the starswe do not let own us.