Authent®ick, Janet Marie Rogers, 2014

These are not airport gifts

Or museum objects

These are dreams of spirit

Plucked from thin air

With colour and thought and breath

These are reclamations

Stuck to it with humour

This is visual medicine

This is good food

These marks

Are made for you

 

It took many collected minutes

Rather than one fell swoop

When “tradition” gradually opened up

Definitions and the painters

Gingerly followed suit

The moment cannot be measured

When artists began to

Break

The molds to tell the public

It is different than what’s been told

This mis-learned history,

Mind-bending reality

They loop us through designs

Like psychedelics in duplicates

New traditions fast transforming

Bridges and tunnels

Freudian fantasies put in print

 

The road from past to present

Is not long and linear

It circles fast towards the finish

Where it begins travelling again

Backwards to find the new next thing

Interpretations, acceptance, encouragements

Practice, elastic, fantastic,

electric

Red

Black

Black

Grey

Grey

White

White

Red

 

Just ask

What am I looking at?

 

Traditional

 

Spiritual

 

Cultural

 

All the loose-lipped language

Floating like orphaned words

Ungrounded from meaning

Serpents eating their tails

Swallowing definitions until

Like the totems left in natural habitat

All but disappear to reappear as thick

Forest muck on boots

Tracked through sterile gallery floors

interpreted as disrespect

 

Uncultured imbecilics

 

Stories as strong talk along with

A song and A dance. Smile

The photographer still

Deals in souls

They Leave Their Names All Over the Place, Janet Marie Rogers, 2014

It takes 50 years to plough

A path through death lined roads

The height of and route to

Functional relationships

Is celebrated annually

With flags and anthems

All the colours of the rainbow

Believing the beginning began

With them

 

It takes 400 years to undo it

To stop speaking to one another

Counting seasons

By how much can

Be taken

Canoes made of tree people

Brought humans and cotton

In no time

The lovely long-haired maidens

Were wearing calico

 

We were left eating more than flesh

To keep the agreement happy

Over time paths widened and flattened

Waterways filled like free-ways

We made trade, We take pay

We made way, they want to stay

Their rules, their game

 

Who is left suffering

from discovery envy?

Naming rivers after themselves

Birthing namesakes on landscapes

Indians say, we should have killed them

Lost men with a thirst to find the pacific

Politely curious Whites guys

Unapologetically superior

At least the coffee tastes good

While re-telling the story

A history filed with clenched fists

Still shaking