Two Martyrs, One Son (1987: AGE 16)

Two Martyrs, One Son
January 23, 1987

The Cardinal
his voice echoed across the land
in the ears of seven million people.
They all turned to their neighbor
–Did you hear the Cardinal?
He sang yesterday. You know I heard
him sing: ‘I have a dream today!
Let freedom ring then we might sing
free at last, thank God almighty,
we are free at last!’
Then I heard him cry
‘Oh God, oh Lord.’–
Seven million people cried yesterday.

The Bluebird
his voice echoed across the land
in the ears of seven million people.
They all turned to their neighbor:
–Did you hear the Bluebird?
He sang yesterday. You know I heard
him sing: ‘I had a dream today.
Rise above the evil in your hearts!
We can soar with the glory of love,
if we let our soul power shine!’
And then I heard him say:
‘Oh God, oh Lord!’–
Seven million people cried yesterday.

The Dove
His voice resonates across all lands
in the hearts of seven billion people.
They all turn to their neighbor
–Listen to the Dove!
He sings! Hear His voice:
‘I have a dream for you, children-
love your neighbor as yourself,
love your enemy as you love your God
for we are one, united.’
With all our hearts, listen!–
‘Father into your hands… I am yours.’
Seven billion people hold hands today.

The last in a series of poems I wrote after watching the movie Gandhi, this one most clearly reflects how I connected the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My interest in nonviolent action was born in these poems as well as a life long conflict with the role of violence in human action. While my life has been given in service to my country, these voices of faith, hope, and love remain loud in my head. When I wrote this poem, I knew the voice inside me that I needed to hear; as I shared it with friends, I knew that voice had a place in the world.

See also, The Kingdom:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/
Mahatma:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/09/05/mahatma-1987-age-16/
and A Man:

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

A Man (1987: Age 16)

January 24, 1987

You are a man
You claim no more
The praise, the crowd
Make no larger a man
I wish to be
In the hearts of a nation
In the hearts of a race
In the hearts of a faith
You are a savior
A man could be no more

You have one heart
You share it with all
All for love, no more-
Is there any more?
I wish to be
Will you help me?
I am a boy
That is all
I may ever be.

Another in a series of poems I wrote after watching the movie Gandhi, this on reflects how I was beginning to draw connections between the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My interest in nonviolent action was born in these poems as well as a life long conflict of the role of violence in human action. While my life has been given in service to my country, these voices of faith, hope, and love remain loud in my head.

See also, The Kingdom:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/
and, Mahatma:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/09/05/mahatma-1987-age-16/

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

Mahatma (1987: Age 16)

January 24, 1987

They will beat us,
They will kill us,
We must not raise a hand
Nor strike a blow.
If we raise our fists
There will be no heavier a blow
Upon the battle we fight.
If we hold our hands
There will be no heavier a blow
Upon the battle they fight.

Should we raise one fist,
Should we strike one child,
Should we kill one enemy,
There need be no life
For we deserve no freedom.

This poem reflects the impression seeing the movie Gandhi had on me and offers a hint at the great struggle of my life balancing a call to service in the Navy with a faith that was beginning to grow increasingly defined by the concepts of non-violence. Reading this poem today, not only does it contain a powerful message of Love that remains loud in my head, it calls me to revisit my faith in earnest and honesty again.

See also, The Kingdom posted a few days ago:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

The Kingdom (1987: Age 17)

January 24, 1987

We will march to the steps,
We will march to the sea,
We will march together
Until we find our home.
We will break the codes,
We will make salt,
We will make wine
Until we reach our home

Are we near?
Are we distant?
I need water,
I want to go home.
Will you take me?
Will you guide me?
It must be near,
I need to go home.

You say,
As we march and create:
“Raise your hands
And hold one another’s
When you do so
You will have found home.”
It must be near,
We need to find our home.

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

Reflections on Massachusetts Ave, 7/23/18

It’s so fucked up
This culture
People with rucksacks walking there
Like There is someplace to be
As if here is never enough.

Right here!

Can’t you see what’s right here!

A tree some soul planted
Maybe from a seed or a sprout
Has grown up
Having found the sun.

A woman runs by
Exercising
Ear buds in her head holes
That could,
If she were still enough,
Hear a bird in the city, singing.
But no.
No!
She is talking business
Instead of just sweating.

Here!
Here! I tell you
The place to be
Right in this spot.

Don’t move
For a minute.

And see
And hear

And be.

Forget all the stones stacked up
Neat as can be
Organized like Earth never imagined.
A monument to nothing.
A dwelling for no one
We know.

Here
Hear
See
Now.

Greece
Vietnam
Philippines
Korea
Latvia
Turkey
Romania
Ireland

Water drunk from plastic.
Lifewtr. Purified.

In each, a stream
Asking us to drink it
From our open palms
Living, pure.

A bronze Gandhi
Walks. Frozen.
On watch. Who
Will wake,
Walk with him
To collect salt?