ODE TO THE HUMBLE-KING

Martin Luther King nominating Thich Nhat Hanh for the
Nobel Peace Prize.In the public domain.

By Stefan Schindler

Note from Kathie MM: Today, tragically, is the 50th anniversary   of the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., whose courageous leadership on behalf of peace and social justice has been receiving renewed attention this year on this blog and elsewhere. Today, please immerse yourself in this new ode to the  King from Stefan Schindler.

                    ODE TO THE HUMBLE-KING

“Wealth, poverty, racism, and war. These four

always go together,” said Martin Luther King.

His words ring with urgency and truth,

as we applaud the awakening of youth

from the nightmare of parents in the voting booth

choosing more of the same: carnival of greed,

devoid of shame; goes by the name “land of the free,

home of the brave,” but is in fact Plato’s cave.

“He not busy being born is busy dying,” said Dylan.

And yet, “toy guns that spark” will never kill

the “flesh-colored Christ that glows in the dark”

who still teaches compassion. “There are no passengers

on spaceship earth,” said Buckminster Fuller.

“We are all members of the crew.” This is something

John and Robert Kennedy knew. John Lennon too.

Meanwhile, the dream … is not over. We continue to …

Imagine: a Peaceable Kingdom on earth, free of strife;

where music … is the medicine of life.

These are, indeed, “times that try men’s souls,”

Thomas Paine declared, not really all that long ago,

when the country was young, and sought to be free

from the oppressive grip of tyranny. And now it falls

upon you and me to keep the faith, shine the light;

keep the fires of peace and justice shining bright

for all to see; as Buddha did on Eagle’s Peak.

Yes, we seek: the triumph and the glory of The Good:

planetary peace at last, in a spirit of … universal …

brother-sisterhood. I believe we can; I believe we will;

inspired by the life of Martin Luther King, whose words

still sing, and legacy still … shines like the sun.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Spreading, now, the Golden Fleece upon the beach

that is the shore to the dream come true, we know who

carried the torch and lit The Way. Each day,

what a sight! Precious, with beauty and delight.

In the sacred hoop of the Peace Abbey School

of Life Experience, gathered in Unitarian ring,

we celebrate Gaia, Gandhi, Romero,

and remain inspired by … the spirit of

Martin Luther King.

 

Stefan Schindler; Peace Abbey Cottage Celebration of the Life and Legacy of  Martin Luther King; The Life Experience School; Millis, Massachusetts; April 4, 2018.

 

 

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6 Responses to ODE TO THE HUMBLE-KING

  1. LB says:

    In honoring and remembering the work and message of Dr. King, the following linked-to article by Cornel West, “Martin Luther King Jr was a radical. We must not sterilize his legacy” speaks for itself:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/04/martin-luther-king-cornel-west-legacy

    • kathiemm says:

      Thanks for sending the link to the powerful article regarding much of the sanctification of MLK that awakes and dies each spring–and has been particularly widespread this year, on the 50th anniversary of his horrifying and inadequately addressed assassination. Here is one excerpt that I hope will help stimulate readers to click the link and read the whole article: “The killing of Martin Luther King Jr was the ultimate result of the fusion of ugly white supremacist elites in the US government and citizenry and cowardly liberal careerists who feared King’s radical moves against empire, capitalism and white supremacy. If King were alive today, his words and witness against drone strikes, invasions, occupations, police murders, caste in Asia, Roma oppression in Europe, as well as capitalist wealth inequality and poverty, would threaten most of those who now sing his praises. As he rightly predicted: “I am nevertheless greatly saddened … that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling.” And here is the concluding passage from the article, which gives me hope, and, like MLK himself, inspires me:”Today, 50 years later the US imperial meltdown deepens. And King’s radical legacy remains primarily among the awakening youth and militant citizens who choose to be extremists of love, justice, courage and freedom, even if our chances to win are that of a snowball in hell! This kind of unstoppable King-like extremism is a threat to every status quo!” There are some white people among the militants, and I revere them too.
      kk

      • LB says:

        kathie ~ Cornel West, like Martin Luther King, risks it all in encouraging us to take a critical look at the systems at the root of endless war, oppression and suffering. And to make the necessary distinctions between the actions/non-actions and choices we might make in support of inclusive agape (and in opposition to this system), and those actions and choices that, knowingly or unknowingly, promote and perpetuate this system.

        Without discernment, our desire to be good and to be thought of as good, as well as our pain and existential sense of otherness, are easily exploited.

  2. Dear LB — Thanks for your “comments.” Cornell West is one of my favorite contemporary philosophers. Here’s the link to his short commentary on James Baldwin. It is of course lucid and brilliant, with contemporary relevance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2kH6kSY6ps

  3. LB says:

    Related to Dr. King’s death and legacy, here’s the excerpt from another insightful article, this one by Teodrose Fikre at Ghion Journal:

    ” . . . Martin Luther King died standing against the policies that Obama and the Democrats keep pushing. Where King spoke out against wars, Obama unleashed the full might of the military-financial complex against Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia as he droned around the world like a teenager with a sugar high playing on his XBOX. Where King tried to rally public opinion against poverty, Obama exacerbated the wealth gap as his economic policies gave birth to a regression of the bottom 90%’s earning power while the wealth of the neo-aristocracy skyrocketed.

    For too long, Democrats and the liberal establishment in media have used the plight and suffering of “black” folks and “minorities” to enrich themselves as they further the very policies that are at the root of the people they dismissively call their base. I write this to African-Americans specifically but really to all Americans, walk away from both parties. The Democrats and corporate bootlickers like Obama and Sellers are no different than the Republican hatemongers like Trump and the GOP establishment. Just because they look like you or echo your anger into the public square does not mean they are for you; after all, the most ruthless overseers during slavery were the same complexion as the people they were lashing. Remember this one thing about the deception of identity politics: skin don’t make one kin and they only let overseers in the master’s house.”

    https://ghionjournal.com/moral-midget-obama/

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