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Native American Heritage Month: 'Love and Protection,' a Poem by Janet Rogers

A poem by Mohawk poet Janet Rogers

Love and Protection

Love and protection looks like
Love looks like
War Looks like
Protection Looks like
Respect Looks like
Love looks like
Looks like
Trouble looks
Like lessons
Looks like
Looks like

Acceptance independence
Dangling faith on the end of a stick
Shining white in the face of the enemy
Starting over and over and over and over
Walking in trust blind trust through ego-less
Paths recycled concepts revisited
Carpets of golden knowing awakened
Sacrificial gravitational beings wearing
Weighty hefty identities cultural knowledge
Song slingers sounding out sturgeons swimming
Together gathering working towards what end

Heaven is a place, an individual happening not
Writing but remembering total inspiration dancing

Respect and Knowing looks
Like knowing respect looks
Like speaking looks like
Sharing looks like challenging
Like sober looks
Like shaping and naming looks
Like separate looks
Like application and practice
Looks like
Failing looks
Like the moon falling
Like them
Looks like us
Looks like
Sixty extra pounds
Looks like bells born
In the ground looks
Like men
Like over-lapping

Conjured up contrasting
Corruptions keeping vigilance
Through reproduced ceremony
Only to understand fractions and pass on
notions of the original but practiced
With authentic faith, facts tucked between
Pages and sold to no one in particular
No one who knows what to do with it
No one goes to extremes anymore
No body is the best identity anonymous artist
No thing separate always
With us

Shining constantly shining the light
Dissect the sacred till nothing
No thing can live above the sun
there’s a billion blazing taxis raising a roar
Down in the depth on the 90th floor

Stealth and Presence looks
Like stealth and presence
Looks like presence
Look presents
Like presence
Like secret presents
Looks secret looks

Janet Marie Rogers, Mohawk writer from the Six Nations territory in southern Ontario, is Poet Laureate of Victoria, British Columbia. To learn more about her, visit