Tuesday, January 7, 2014

HOLiDAY TiDiNGS for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday


You Almost
Miss Our Brother
When God is Dancing Free
On Color Circle
We Learn More
For All Who Celebrate
Were Born Changing
Remember and Trust Every Angel
And Laugh
Come and Drink Joy Ocean
Be Awake Soon and Listen
Always Desire Peace in the Mourning
Always Desire Peace in the Morning!

With Love,

Charles T. Cleary 

 It may be true

 that the law cannot make a man love me, 

 but it can keep him from lynching me, 

 and I think that's pretty important.

        -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 1962

         The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.

         -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love (1963)

        Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I'm not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God's will.  And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land . . . So I'm happy tonight.  I'm not worried about anything.  I'm not fearing any man.

         --Martin Luther King, Jr.  "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, April 3, 1968 
(the day before his assassination)

To You, Martin Luther King Jr.

when we come to remember
untold stories of our lives
our memories will take us deep
into dim lit caverns of our souls
walk us past bare walls of our world,
where we shall recall how many times
you brought light into our dark nights

we'll recall with songs the quilt
that marks our survival and the mosaic pictures
you painted with a swirl of wit and charm
and how with tender care you added comfort
and warmth to the images that lined our frames

whether it is from Nicaragua to Namibia
from Guyana to Ghana and from Congo
to the turbulent streams of the Caribbean
we'll look upon them fondly, bringing forth
a thankfulness that you walked in every hall
from the Mississippi to the Nile, from Alabama
to Soweto, down to the streets of hearts

with me our meeting has become a part
of my world; it has its special place,
within my being, my life, and in my heart,
your name hangs right beside my smiling face
reminding me just how drab things had been
until you entered the stage with the Dream song 

      Padmore Enyonam Agbemabiese

When we let freedom ring, 
when we let it ring 
from every tenement and every hamlet, 
from every state and every city, 
we will be able to speed up that day 
when all of God's children, 
black men and white men, 
Jews and Gentiles, 
Protestants and Catholics, 
will be able to join hands and sing 
in the words of the old spiritual, 
"Free at last, free at last. 
Thank God Almighty, 
we are free at last."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.  "I Have a Dream" speech, August 28, 1963

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was a principal leader of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. He not only began the Civil Rights Movement with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he himself became an icon for the entire movement. (by Jennifer Rosenberg on


The two poems were found on

HOLiDAY TiDiNGS is a continuing series of articles for this blog that focus on poetry and other literature written for or appropriate to specific holidays.

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