The following questions are from the book An American Sunrise, Poems by Joy Harjo, an internationally renowned performer (she plays the saxophone) and writer of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019.
“FOR THOSE WHO WOULD GOVERN, p. 74
First question: Can you first govern yourself?
Second question: What is the state of your own household?
Third question: Do you have a proven record of community service and compassionate acts?
Fourth question: Do you know the history and laws of your principalities?
Fifth question: So you follow sound principles? Look for fresh vision to lift all the inhabitants of the land, including animals, plants, elements, all who share this earth?
Sixth question: Are you owned by lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, lobbyists, or other politicians, anyone else who would unfairly profit by your decisions ?
Seventh question: Do you have authority by the original keepers of the lands, those who obey natural law and are in the service of the lands on which you stand? “
I found this poem provocative and thought it most fitting for contemplation on this day of commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day.
An American Sunrise : poems/Joy Harjo. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.
9 thoughts on “sometimes mondays |10.11.21 …”
Very fitting — and a very nice accompaniment to that gorgeous sky!
gorgeous image and words. Thought provoking.
a beautiful sunrise to accompany those most-fitting questions. thank you for sharing!
I just picked up Harjo’s new book, and this reminder of that lovely poem seems most appropriate for yesterday! (also… I loved seeing a “new post” notification in my feed reader!)
Beautiful sunrise! I love Joy Harjo’s poems. Thanks for sharing. XO
Such a lovely photo, Honoré, and I am so delighted to see your post this morning. I have been anxious for you. Harjo’s poem is so very apposite for these times (and especially for us here in the UK at present, I feel!) – her questions which act as a checklist for us all. I am off to find more of her writing, and thank-you.
wow what a powerful poem! Thank you for sharing it!
What a thoughtful poem. I enjoy Harjo’s work. What a fitting poem for this day.
Oh I missed this post but I do love the poem and the picture. I heard Harjo speak last year (online) and immediately found her work at the library.