Hear The Cries

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Prosery:  “The Rock Cries Out . . . “
(posted by Frank Tassone)

“Today, the United States celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A modern prophet, Dr. King’s tireless advocacy of Civil Rights helped transform a nation stratified along racial lines. While the struggle for authentic equality is far from over, his leadership and monumental contribution to the cause led to the end of legal discrimination.

His example inspired the poet and storyteller extraordinaire Maya Angelou to work for him as the northern coordinator for King’s SCLC. She honored the themes of his famous “I have a Dream” speech in her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, “On the Pulse of Morning”—27 years ago on this day!”

How fitting, then, is it for us to include this line from that poem in our prose:

“The Rock cries out to us today, You may stand upon me, But do not hide your face.”

We stood on the sidelines of history
watching rivers run red, trees cut
down or burned by wildfires. Respect
for peace, for nature has disappeared
into a cloud of carbon. Ask yourselves,
Did any war ever bring peace?

There is no equality because some are
more equal than others, so they believe.
Running rampant is Racism, anti-Semitism,
disregard for the treatment of
American Indians, and suspicion
of any person who looks different from us.

To you who feel that no one deserves
a change to grow, to have a richer
life, I say, Stand upon the rock,
do not hide your face–and listen
to a voice other than your own.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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21 Responses to Hear The Cries

  1. rothpoetry says:

    Great poem. We are a voyeur society and often avoid getting involved. There comes a time to stand on the rock and not hide our face!


  2. A poignant witness, Sara! Bravo!


  3. pvcann says:

    I love how you have so strongly kept faith with King and Angelou’s intention.


  4. Beverly Crawford says:

    You’ve recounted painful truths. Thank heaven for the voices like those of King and Angelou!


  5. hank77 says:


    It blended very well to real events and it is contemporary, Sara! Your very poetic command of the language is always a pleasure and a wonder to read, Ma’am!



  6. It’s so sad to see that
    Some Feel it seems
    We do not all Breathe
    True the Air Does not Discriminate
    the Face of Nature carries the Weight
    of whatever stands upon this Nature Free
    for every grain
    of Sand is
    A Rock
    of Holding
    Up a Mountain
    of Human Love
    for Where does Love
    Go but the Air We All Breathe..:)


  7. Thank you for making the quote integral to your comment. It’s an important statement.


  8. So much about taking a stand. This is a poignant plea for empathy. Nicely done.


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