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.