READ INDIGENOUS: As Long As the Sun Shines

October 18, 2018

Spoken word artist, radio host, and former poet laureate of Victoria Janet Rogers explores the beauty and brutality of the world in her sixth poetry collection  As Long As the Sun Shines (Bookland Press). These poems speak as "not an instructional
 / but a list from them who have gone before": a moving treatise to Rogers' communities that echo Indigenous women's strength and resilience.

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Keep up all October long as we read, share, and discover Indigenous authors and works.

 

 

From  As Long As the Sun Shines by Janet Rogers (Bookland Press)

 

Know Your Generosity

 

discipline is a path chosen

feet on the ground at all times
brings you to water bodies

where motivations activate

family is no mistake

this work, this life, this life, is work

 

pay attention to moments of grace

 

know what you want to serve
we have control of our thoughts
and actions

we open our hands

to hold the whole world at once

 

create opportunities to love
know, who you love

 

build a memory bank of limitless happiness
prayer feelings is feeling the prayer feelings
running around with laughter

keep feeling
good

 


notice beauty

 

we are natural in the Indian way 
we hold love as holy

it feels good to pray

 

embrace woman power

 

it is now, not the future

it is an old way

changing everything

showing men how to be beautiful too 
rejecting teachings exclusive to them
we awake together
this is the future
now

 

know your conscientiousness

be aware of what you are aware of

keep it alive in timelessness

this is not an instructional

but a list from them who have gone before 
not dead but evolved

call them grandmothers

who are your grandmothers

look and see what they spill

from the cup

it is yours

 

know your gifts
know your generosity
Creation energy

bring us together

turn it upside down, reverse it
don’t believe in it too hard

and never believe but think
keep the portals open to source
feel what’s true for you

 

learn by ear

 

listen like you are by the fire
like you are part of the circle
knowing your turn is coming
telling stories of self
own your own story

it doesn’t belong to anyone else

 

make curiosity your passion

 

keep looking

there is always more happiness
more of the mystery

more tragedies

that make us firm

we are born from inspiration
so be inspired

and pay it forward

 

sing your medicine songs

 

be a radio even though no one is tuned in
someone will find your dial

someone will turn up the volume

the land is always listening
your wordless song is a miracle
know your courage

 

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The Author

 

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Janet Rogers is an award-winning Mohawk and Tuscarora poet from Six Nations of the Grand River. She is also a radio broadcaster, documentary producer and media artist. Her works have been nominated for Best Spoken Word Recording at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and the Native American Music Awards. Her extensive experience in radio includes hosting the programs Native Waves Radio on CFUV and Tribal Clefs on CBC Radio One. She has also produced the radio documentaries Bring Your Drum: 50 Years of Indigenous Protest Music and Resonating Reconciliation, which received awards for Best Radio at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. In addition to this work, she was the City of Victoria Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014. As Long as the Sun Shines is her sixth poetry book.

 

 

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Remember: buy  As Long As the Sun Shines or any of our  READ INDIGENOUS books and get this stunning limited-run tote bag featuring colourful artwork from Indigenous visual artists Kaya Joan, Alan Syliboy, Dawn Oman, and Lauren Crazybull until November 15th (while supplies last). And don't forget to check out today's other READ INDIGENOUS feature,  Holy Wild by Gwen Benaway (Book*hug).

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