Dr. King Reminder

On this fourth day of NaPoWriMo I felt compelled to nod to Maya Angelou (it would have been her 90th birthday) and to acknowledge the atrocious assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (50 years ago).  I decided to write a Golden Shovel poem using three lines from Maya Angelou’s poem “Abundant Faith.”

These times of born again fear
Remind us that justice is not
Yet available for all.  We’ve
Witnessed brutality as our brothers come
Under fire—happens to our sisters too.

Hasn’t this gone too far?
Fifty years ago Dr. King reminded us to
Persevere, “We aren’t going to let dogs or water hoses turn
Us around.”  We shall not wallow in despair.  We must go back
To that Dream. We
Must go back to the truths that are
Self-evident. It is time for equity. We shall walk together, not
Alone. Free and empowered—no longer afraid.

Brothers and sisters, your lives matter and
It is time to join hands as we
Sing together, work together, pray together. We shall
hear freedom ring and see love overcome.

 

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September Iris (A Golden Shovel Poem)

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Autumn approaches, kind and Just
Throwing hints of its arrival— aloof, cat-like

Prowling and batting frost through the passing moons,
But by day, hiding, napping, and

Basking in brightness, allowing heat like
a season of summer suns.

Leaves shed their green With
Emerald subsiding to olive before the
Tawny, coppery shades show with certainty.
Dried and crumbled memories fall off of  
Branches, covering the earth with umber tides.

Though the equinox expresses endings, you, Iris, are Just
Standing there, a September bloom, proud-like.
You remind me to harbor my hopes
Inward singing for eventual springing
Iris, surrounded by delicate falls, your standards held high.

The world tries to remind you that summer is settled, but Still
Here you are, Iris, regal and resplendent. I’ll
Remember watching you, Iris—brave, beautiful rebel—rise.

This a Golden Shovel Poem, which I learned about in Nikki Grime’s amazing book called
One Last Word.   

My Golden Shovel poem is written based on the 3rd stanza of “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.