Nikki Remembers Dr. King

I generally do not add poems to this blog that are not my own, but I feel that the manner in which Nikki Giovanni captures Dr. King- his essence, his sacrifice, his love for us- is so sincere and beautiful that I had to share them.

– Jo

His headstone said “Free at last, Free at last” – But death is a slave’s freedom – We seek the freedom of free men – And the construction of a world – Where Martin Luther King could have lived – and preached non-violence.

Nikki Giovanni, The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is a sacred poem…blood has been shed to consecrate it…
wash your hands…remove your shoes…bow your head
…I…I…I Have a Dream

That was a magical time…Hi Ho Silver Away…
Oh Cisco/Oh Pancho…Here I Come To Save The Day…
I want the World to see what they did to my boy…
No No No I’m not going to move…If we are Wrong…
then the Constitution of the United States is Wrong
…Montgomery…Birmingham…Selma…Four little Girls…
Constant Threats…Constant Harassment…Constant Fear…
SCLC…Ralph and Martin…Father Knows Best…
Leave It To Beaver…ED SULLIVAN…How Long…Not Long

But what…Mr. Thoreau said to Mr. Emerson…are you doing out?

This is a Letter from Birmingham City Jail…
This is a eulogy for Albany…This is a water hose for Anniston…
This is a Thank You to Diane Nash…
This is a flag for James Farmer…
This is a HowCanIMakeItWithoutYou to Ella Baker…
This is for the red clay of Georgia that yielded black men of courage…
black men of vision…black men of hope…
bent over cotton…or sweet potatoes…or pool tables and
baseball diamonds…playing for a chance to live free and
breathe easy and have enough money to take care of
the folks they love…This is Why We Can’t Wait

That swirling Mississippi wind…the Alabama pine…
that Tennessee dust defiling the clothes the women washed…
thosehotwinds…the lemonade couldn’t cool…
that let the women know…we too must overcome…
this is for Fannie Lou Hamer…Jo Ann Robinson…
Septima Clark…Daisy Bates…All the women who said
Baby Baby Baby I know you didn’t mean to lose your job…
I know you didn’t mean to hit me…
I know the Lord is going to make a way…
I know I’m Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

How much pressure…does the Earth exert on carbon…
to make a diamond…How long does the soil push against the flesh…
molding… molding…molding the moan that becomes a cry that
bursts forth crystalline…unbreakable…priceless…incomparable Martin…
I Made My Vow To The Lord That I Never Would Turn Back…
How much pressure do the sins of the world press
against the heart of a man who becomes the voice of his people…
He should have had a tattoo, you know…Freedom Now…
or something like that…should have braided his hair…
carried his pool cue in a mahogany case…
wafted that wonderful laugh over a plate of skillet fried chicken…
drop biscuits…dandelion greens on the side

This is a sacred poem…open your arms…turn your palms up…
feel the Spirit of Greatness…and be redeemed

Nikki Giovanni, In The Spirit of Martin

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One Response to “Nikki Remembers Dr. King”

  1. CopperSoul Says:

    Yeah, that poem is on point.

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