Time Is What We Make It


Time Is What We Make It

Fifty-one years have passed since the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. America lost a pure soul and a charismatic leader who tried to unite people. Many television programs devoted time to memorialize one of the true kings of justice and equality. His surname is such an appropriate fit.

Someone said that “Dr. King is more alive today.” He certainly lives collectively in the hearts of many Americans and people from all over the world. Many of us can recall and recite different excerpts from his famous speeches. Perhaps what we should remember more is that Dr. King knew that humanity had a life’s lesson to learn. He knew that it may not have been learned or internalized immediately. And five decades later, that lesson is just as pivotal.

We must be “appalled at the silence of good people.” Too many of us continue to accept injustice. Some of us prefer to look the other way when we see homeless individuals on the streets of every major city in this country.  This country, the greatest democracy in the world does very little to change the intolerable state of existence of homeless people.

Martin L. King III reminded us recently that the best way to honor Dr. King’s memory is to do something to eliminate the poverty in this country. He cited that there are 36 million Americans that live in poverty. That is appalling. Twelve million children live in poverty. That is appalling. Where have the good people been for the last fifty years? Jonathan Kozol warned us of the “Savage Inequalities” he observed a few decades ago in the poorer school districts of our more important cities. Not much has changed. This is appalling.

According to the census data compiled by Kids Count, in Louisiana, twenty-eight percent of people under the age of 18 live in poverty. Mississippi statistics report 30 percent and New Mexico falls in the third place with twenty-six percent of this age group living in poverty. This is appalling.

Dr. King spoke of the “triple evils of poverty, racism, and violence” and still fifty-one years later we have more prisons than ever to house our violent criminals. Yet very few opportunities for reform and for restructuring the individuals who need help the most. We are bombarded by violence everywhere from the children’s cartoons to television and movies. And, fifty years later, yes, racism is still alive.

Should we be concerned about the time that has elapsed? Well, according to Dr. King, “Time is never right and never wrong; time is what we make it.” So, it is about time that we make good use of the time. We must start a roll call at churches, schools, community centers, and any type of organization that claims in their statements of mission that any or all the triple evils have to be dealt with collectively. We must not only roll up our sleeves but be ready to remove all the obstacles that obscure or shroud the clock of time well used.

Many of us are so absorbed with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we share pictures taken with the pink colored lens. Many of us live in solos. We forget the importance of the real life community. We follow people we don’t even know just because they look good or cute. We accept what is posted on social media as the definite truths. We accept alternative facts as truth. We forget that our greatest strength as a nation is our votes. We van be the change. Dr. King proved that united we stand.

History views as prophetic Dr. King’s last speech that fatal day in Memphis. But, his very last words to Ben Branch, a musician, are mind-boggling.

Dr. King asked him to play his favorite song, Take My Hand, Precious Lord.

The following is an excerpt:

“When the darkness appears
And the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home”

Our nation is capable of making good of the time. We must think of ourselves as a great corporation. The stakeholders must all invest and help others to grow. We must keep our eyes on the clock and make sure that when the time comes for us to clock out that we have worked hard to effect social justice. We must emulate the work of the king of social justice and civil and human rights.

Our politicians need to roll up their sleeves and walk the walk. It is time. We must remember that Dr. King was only twenty six years old when he started his journey to effect change. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and was the youngest person to have received it at the time. He professed economic justice for all. He was here for a very short time; very much in the presence of good and with a great awareness of what needed to be done. We have a long way to go. Or do we? We are better equipped to get more people involved. There are no excuses. Are there?  I can’t think of one excuse that would exonerate us from our failure to act now. Representative John Lewis said that Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. “redeemed the soul of America.” We must live up to that redemption one by one.

 

 

 

Someone Knows Who I Am


Someone knows who I am!

And would you have guessed

She’s a poet.

She described me

with hyperbole

and used metaphors

to describe my soul as I show it.

She counted all the tears I’ve shed;

listed my fears with alliteration.

One can only help but feel

some sort of fascination.

 

Someone knows who I am;

Someone knows I am,

who I am;

Me, myself and I

now do see

the me

or I

I want to be.

 

 

 

My Painting and a Quote by Shakespeare


Lately, all I wish for is peace and quiet. I have been watching too many shows that focus on politics and the state of the union if you will. I am just exhausted. I needed to get back into a zen place and focus on writing again and painting.

The painting above is imagined but suits me fine  for the time being. I also started sketching and drawing portraits from old photographs. It has been therapeutic.

There is nothing more calming than painting and writing. I recommend it highly.  I would like to hear about other remedies for reducing stress. Please send me your thoughts.

Quotes That Matter


“If you have build castles in the air,

your work need not be lost;

That is where they should be.

Now put the foundations under them.”

– Henry D. Thoreau

 

“”If it can be verified, we don’t need faith….

Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason.

Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies

and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.”

Madeleine L’Engle

“The soul itself, the soul of each one of us, is to

each one of us a mystery. It hides in the dark and broods,

and consciousness cannot tell us of its workings.”

Oscar Wilde

“We all want to make the most of our lives….to become

the highest expressions of ourselves. It begins with

our own awakening. There’s no better way to find that aha!

-Oprah Winfrey

 

 

 

Happy Teacher’s Recognition Day!


The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.

-Alice Wellington Rollins

Thanks to all teachers who inspired me to think and question.  As an educator I tried to help students know the importance of asking questions. No question was ever diminished to be silly or dumb.

It is more important now than ever that youngsters know how to read and question. Skills like differentiating between fact and opinion are pivotal to gaining knowledge. Proposing the right question can lead to good research and to the development of ideas and concepts.

If you had a teacher who made you think and helped you be an active learner then please send her a note of thanks. They were the teachers who set you up for life.

 

What Will I Flaunt Today?


What Will I Flaunt Today?

I think I’ll flaunt my old 1929 Royal standard typewriter

I wanted to type this post on my beautiful black upright

but then, I would have to scan the page

and upload it on to my computer

and post it as media or picture to insert.

But then you may not be able to read the post.

Because sometimes the type is a little light.

However, I cannot describe the joy I feel

when I plunk down my fingers

on the keys

that make that unique snapping sound.

 

and the bell rings when the carriage returns

to let me know

There is something to flaunt about .

 

Daily Word Prompt: Flaunt

 

Happy National Poetry Month


In celebration of National Poetry Month I am inviting all poetry lovers to participate in  several activities I have planned. This week I will provide a few prompts for writing poems. Please submit your poems in the comments section.

Some prompts may look familiar because they are the first lines of some well known poems.

Some tips:

1. You may want to change a word in the prompt and then write a few stanzas.

2. Write your poem in any form you wish. You may want to try writing a Tanka, a sonnet, a cinquain or a haiku.

3. Poems should not exceed 15 lines.

Prompts:

1. Write a poem about a special day.

2. “For we can still love the world …”

3. “Who said you should be happy?”

4.”You are all you’ve got.”

5. “How do I love thee”

 

 

Persistence


Persistence is a lonely road

I have taken many times

my feet are torn and weary

my heart beats slowly

with fears out of control

 

Persistence claims its toll

at every stop I make

There is no such thing as a break.

But one thing I know to be true

in spite of difficulty or opposition

It will be ultimately my decision

to move forward

and not look back.

 

Because when I think I lack

the determination and patience

to continue on that lonely road

I think of all those before me

who never ever gave up.

I hear their voices

and I lift myself up again.

Persistence is my friend.

 

 

Just Smile


Sometimes you just need to smile

even when the pain is deep

and measures more than a mile

Refer yourself to happiness

no matter how big the mess

for sometimes the plan is done

and there is

not much you can do

with the what or the who

So smile

even if it is just for a little while.

Just smile.

 

The Horror of it All


Small pieces of humanity

do not fit into the divine puzzle

planned by the universe and great source.

 

Somehow these frazzled shapes

lost their essence,

and their hearts

capable of feeling love.

 

Somewhere their souls drifted

and cannot connect

with the idea that we are all

a part of the HUMAN race.

 

Race defined ambiguously

an assumption perhaps

What makes us different?

More importantly, what makes us the same?

What makes us sane?

What makes us a race?

To be continued!

 

 

Go With The Flow


Langston said,
“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
I always knew exactly what he meant.
I was very young when I first saw a river
close up and personal.
Its Rippling mesmerized me.
the moss-covered rocks
served as stepping-stones
to a safe haven.
I want to go with the flow
Feel its timeless energy,
fugitive from the craziness
and elusive like the butterfly
I ask it to overflow
abundance to those who need it the most

 

“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
Langston said.
sun rays glisten on the liquid crystal
and I listen to its secrets
and to the whispers from the heavens above
a mindful moment
“There is a river whose streams
make glad the city of God…”
And I feel at peace again.