Monday, January 17, 2011

Warm Summer Rain

Eleven hooded men
Eerie in the glow of torches
Within their circle
A young black man kneels
Arms bound behind him
His bloody face a mask of terror
His grandfather, beside him
Wearing the face of Jesus
As he passively awaits his fate
The dripping southern night
About to snatch another bit
Of our humanity
Whipping now done
Twin nooses await
Warm summer rain
Tears of those
Who have gone before them


.MLK Martin Luther King

50 comments:

  1. I immediately thought of this song sung by Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit"..

    Wonderful poem!!

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  2. Wow, this definitely gave me the chills. .....

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  3. Pat, this is a very powerful piece. Sent quite a chill down my spine!

    PS I tagged you in a post on 13th Jan....might not be your sort of thing though, in which case just ignore it :-)

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  4. Wow. What a poignant poem on such an important day. It was a gut wrenching read, but we can't shy away from such a horrible, troubled, and violent past. - G

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  5. A touching poem Pat.
    Have a great week.
    Costas

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  6. Sad- appropriate for today but sad. Have you read Toni Morrison's novels? I have read most of them.

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  7. very powerful and very sad to know that this kind of thing happened and is still happening. gave me chills

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  8. Lynne - thanks Lynne! Wow! You do have some broad musical tastes...

    Sarah - Thanks! Me too...

    Nat - Thanks Nat! The things that went on... I've been to your blog today and saw it! It will take me some time, but I'll do it...

    Brian - thanks Brian!

    Georgina - It's an amazing and terrible subject, that's for sure. My family was on both sides of the equation (unfortunately)

    Oilfield Trash - Thanks so much!

    Naturedigital - thanks Costas! You have a great week also.

    Bossy Betty - Thanks so much! One of my girls recently took a college US History class. I was helping her with it. She got an "A" and I got inspired...

    Ren - Very sad! I have read a couple of them. Pretty powerful. Her personal story is pretty amazing also...

    becca - I know! It's so damn sad.

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  9. Wow, that's powerful. Hits you right in the gut. Great piece Pat.

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  10. A sad but true commentary about our history.. lest we forget.

    Deep, dark and well said, Pat.

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  11. He weeps for the "Christians" who did not understand his message.
    Thank you for a moving post.

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  12. Pat--Once again- before I read this I had a post by Buddy Guy--called Skin Deep!

    We are definitely connected somehow!

    BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL work my FRIEND!!!!

    JOhn

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  13. Interesting poem. I've often wondered what it would have been like to live in certain places during those days. I was very fortunate to be born when and where I was. I think this country has come a long way but also gone down hill in other aspects.

    Regarding civil rights,tolerance and MLK's dream this counrty has done a great job in my opinion.
    In my experience the only color barriers and limits these days are self inflicted.

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  14. What a fitting poem for Martin Luther King day! It makes me angry every time I hear of those instances.
    CD

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  15. poingant poem. Beautiful and chilling.

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  16. Where was that photo taken? Interesting!

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  17. Well done Pat...nothing else needs said.

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  18. Alex - thanks Alex! bad times, that's for sure...

    Tim - Thank's Tim, I'm glad you liked it.

    Pam - thanks! I hope we never forget.

    Martha - My Pleasure Pam. Lot's of folks didn't and don't get it!

    John - thanks John! I'll be over to check it out..

    James - Out here in OC, we don't see or hear much about it. I'm from kentucky and there are still bad feelings in a lot of folks on both sides of the fence there.

    Clarissa - thanks Clarissa! It does the same thing to me.

    Lynda - thanks so much. I was hoping it would come across like that.

    Marlene - It's from the Federal Building Memorial in Oklahoma City.

    Jhon - thanks so much for the nice words Jhon.

    Chuck - thanks Chuck!

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  19. The speaker has a gentle voice, even though he relates a tragic and heneous event. It makes it even more poignant.
    Rosemary

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  20. Rosemary - thanks so much! I appreciate the nice words.

    baygirl - I take that as a major compliment! Thanks...

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  21. A piece of poetry is truly awesome when it evokes images....and I could see the story unfold with each of your line...
    It is sad that discrimination exists even today, everywhere, here it is caste based(racially similar yet fractioned)....just have to insert another identity in place of the black man...
    My ancestors followed subtle ways to put down "inferiors" being non violent upper castes but that hits/hurts more in my opinion.

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  22. Wow! Truly powerful and poignant. BTW...thanks so much for adding me to your blog!!!!! I owe you big time.

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  23. Rek - thanks so much for the nice words! You are right these sad things are almost everywhere...

    Jesse - thanks so much Jesse! You don't owe me nuttin'. I like the idea you came up with...

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  24. Dark! Gave me goosebumps...

    Pearl

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  25. Pat, that's a unique take on the photo. Nice. It reminded me of a wonderful and scary movie I saw recently, a true story about black teenagers who were on their (black) school's debate team, had to actually go through a lynching on the way to their debate . . . ended up debating the white kids at Harvard and won the debate. Amazing movie that should not be missed. When I looked back through my photos of the day I spent at Harvard a few years ago, I realized that the building I took photos of was the scene of the debate. Ah, yes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Debaters.

    Thanks for the reminder of an uplifting movie in spite of the horrifying subject matter.

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  26. WOW! What else can I say? I loved this, even though the subject gave me goosebumps too!

    Love the statue, you captured it very well!
    You never fail to totally amaze me.
    Big hugs.

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  27. Pearl - Thanks Pearl!

    Ann - Thanks so much!

    tapirgal - Somebody told me about that movie and said I needed to see it. thanks!

    Alice = thanks so much! I appreciate the nice words.

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  28. What an marvelously tragic poem. I got chills thinking about my friends and their families who had been born to slaves.

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  29. Entre Nous - Wow! I'm glad you "felt" it! My family was on both sides of the fence on this subject. The things that went on...

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  30. What a wonderful piece, Pat!
    Great photo you paired with it, too.

    Thanks so much for sharing. :)
    Betty

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  31. Another very good piece.

    Great work Patty.

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  32. Anthony - thanks so much! I appreciate it.

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  33. This is a wonderful poem, and very provoking too!

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  34. Icy BC - Thanks so much! Not a good time in our history...

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  35. Wow. This is so sad, yet beautiful. Thank you for this reminder of not so much how far we've come but how far we still need to go to wipe these stains from our American lives.

    Thanks for finding my blog. I really appreciate you following! I'm always so flattered when someone I think of as a "rock star" follows me. I've seen your name around Blogland, and I know I stopped here at least once as I remember Mr. Bridges on the sidebar! :) Will enjoy getting to know you. Based on this poem, you have a very deep soul. God bless!

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  36. texwisgirl - Thanks! If I was a rock star, I’d have one of my groupies write this for me!
    Really, thanks so much for the nice words, you are too kind.
    Also, thanks for the comment about this post.

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  37. Can't decide which is more moving, the poem or the photo; perhaps, it is the combination.

    Excellent post.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

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  38. D&R - thanks! I'll take that as a double compliment...

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  39. Ouch, Pat. You may want to sign this Avaaz petition: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_corrective_rape/ I did.

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  40. Thanks for posting this, Pat. I loved the line 'the dripping southern night' - it just conjured up humidity and summer rain so well.

    It is very similar in mood to Strange Fruit - it has that same sense of horror.

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  41. Ellen - My pleasure Ellen. Similar in subject matter only. I won't flatter myself any further than that. The concept of "Strange Fruit" was pure genius.

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