Thursday, June 16, 2011

April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 4, 1968
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.”       Martin Luther King Jr.

Since that date,
a number of people have urged others
to change, to move mountains,
to grow large eyes in a small world.

These prophetic people
live high above clamor, carnage and strife
yet they claim our pain.
They give instruction on life

and offer words. 
They twitter recycled thoughts into hungry space
and sing old songs
to jolt our fibrillating hearts.

These fading words
are only the event horizon
moving away from a pure center—
a center that knew walking,

waking and evident truth
in a strangely disordered world. 
I feel heaven circle round a Memphis balcony,
waiting for one more angel,

waiting for us to send up one more angel.  
                                          R. Palmer

(In thinking about our many efforts to eradicate racial prejudice in this country, I am struck by the force of this man who did not ever focus on anger or hatred.  He educated an entire country by his willingness to be brought low.  He galvanized a generation by the sincerity and power of his speech.  He organized locally, and his efforts were never wasted.

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