when…then…

a 4th of July epigrammatic poetic meditation

Statue of Liberty

when Martin’s misty dream crosses the as yet insuperable obstruction

from the ethereal theory of virtuous ambition to righteous action,

from the hallowed declaration of a half-century plus four past[1] to the corporeal reality of daily realization,

and character, not color becomes the fairest, truest measure of human perception…

 

and when gender remains an aspect of human identification,

yet no longer a veiled, vile justification for subjugation…

 

and when this land’s loathsome chronicle of injuries unto others

(the venal seeds of prejudice yielding the poisoned fruit of injustice) –

because of

color and gender,

race and culture,

lineage Native or immigrant or slave –

is read aloud by public penitent voices within the hearing of a moral heaven,

and, in acknowledging the sin, repenting, promising, “never again!”,

 

then the American experiment will become the American experience…

 

then America will “be America again –

The land that never has been yet –

And yet must be – the land where every one is free.”[2]

 

Footnotes:

[1] A reference to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech, I Have A Dream, August 23, 1963

[2] From Let America Be America Again (1935), a poem by Langston Hughes (1902-1967); altered (one substituted for man)

restless ease, a poem

thinking

Prologue: I am one, from my time in this world as far back as I can reckon unto this very day, given to untempered and unfettered swings of mood from highest jollity and raucous laughter to nadir-depths of sadness, deep discordant sighs my only song; the shift, sometimes sudden, spurred by life’s griefs, yes, mine own, yet largely those of others, some whom I know, most I do not, for I, provoked, I believe, by the Spirit, embrace – not always willingly, but nonetheless unavoidably – creation’s pain, which clings irremovably to my heart’s hands. As a follower of Jesus, I pray, I trust that in his life and ministry, death and resurrection, he hath broken – and hath made possible the bearing of – the curse of care. In that faith, amid another, the latest of these anguished spells, during the small hours of this morn, the following words were given to me…

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In my days, a weighted, unbreakable chain of restless ease

decrying the world’s ceaseless woe,

advancing, retreating to sleepless nights of supplication endless

my mind and heart, soul and spirit tossing hither, then yon,

I lean on the love of Jesus,

the One who lived and died for us

forsaking safety from the storms of human sin

seeking alway to enter in

our very blood and breath,

our pain of flesh,

our experience of life to share;

His heart to care,

His body to bear

the cross of our indignities

that One dare die to set us free.

singing of a stormy Mother

(inspired by Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain, 1971)

 

Mother Earth bears the dust

on which Thou, O God, dost

breathe to make us,

and She our grounding

on which we, the prayer saying,

“live and move and have our being”,

and o’er which ruach’s fury doth threaten to break us.

 

For our Mother we pray

alway

in gratitude for life

to Her, at times bereft,

in fear of death.

 

May we, can we, too, wonder

whether

we had (have?) any part

in weather’s

power?

 

If we dare consider

any thought of our share

in Her change

in tempest’s temper

might we deem it wise to suffer

our change?

ode to a dreamer/believer

(dedicated to the one i love)

 

beholding the sky, its cerulean limitlessness,

sky, blue

with a memory miraculous

of something not yet,

but

 

embraced,

embodied,

 

in her bones, she knew she was meant to take flight,

to alight

 

on air…

 

though wingless,

for the longest

time she stretched, flutterless,

 

stubbornly earthbound,

her talons sharp and embedded,

inextricably wedded

to the ground,

 

nevertheless,

 

she dreamed

and deemed

 

her home, space;

land, an interim place.

 

one day, as she alway knew,

 

she sprouted those necessary things,

wings

 

(was it but a dream, a mocking fantasy

or her new,

true

corporeality?

never questioning,

ever believing)

bird in flight

and flew.