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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Losing Grip of the Legacy

In Real Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Somewhere

Some place

Some men are gathered together

In some secret board room

Sipping soy lattes and other caffeinated drinks

Brewing over one of the most diabolical schemes

Of our very own age and time

And for the ages to come.

They plan on making a more marketable Martin.

They plan on making a more appealing Martin.

They plan on making a more consumer friendly Martin.

They want to do away with Martin

Who organized the Poor People’s March.

They want to do away with Martin

Who wrote Why We Can’t Wait.

They want to do away with Martin

Who spoke for nonviolence

But who spoke against injustice.

These men will take the March on Washington

And make more appealing to Madison Avenue.

These men will take “I Have a Dream”

And make commercials for the NRA, Tea Party

And whoever else can pay for pricey Super Bowl ads.

These men will take the Birmingham Bus Boycott

And use it for curriculum for peaceful demonstrations

To cut down on Occupy, PUSH and any other coalition for change.

These men will use Martin’s words.

These men will use Martin’s image.

These men will use Martin’s likeness.

These men will use Martin’s reputation.

These men will use Martin’s legacy.

These men will use Martin.

They will do it to make monuments.

They will do it to make statues.

They will do it to make commercial ads.

They will do it to make made for TV dramas.

They will do it to make independent films on multiculturalism.

They will do it to make money.

This will be a New Age Martin.

He will be a Martin of YouTube.

He will be a retweeted Martin.

He will be a pinned and posted Martin.

His airbrushed image will grace profile pics.

His editorialized words will become status updates on patriotic holidays.

He will be something new and improved.

He will be something worthy of every advertising dollar invested in him.

Yet, He will be nothing like

The minister who led direct action in the South.

He will be nothing like

The man who sacrificed family and congregation to make a difference.

He will be nothing like

The martyr who died by an assassin’s bullet.

He will be an entirely different Martin.

We will only know him as MLK.

Few will recognize what has become of Martin Luther King.

We will only do service projects in his memory.

We will only volunteer in his memory.

We will only plant trees in his memory.

But we won’t change a damn thing in his memory.

We will swallow it down as they shove it down our throats.

We will take it in as they squeeze segments of his life

Somewhere between reruns of “Amos and Andy”

Or right after footage of an unbiased jury finding another person

Judged by the color of their skin

And not the content of their character

With more film to come at eleven.

It sickens me.

It saddens me.

But I am only left with one question.

Who will be next?

 

 

to buy more poetry by Rev Bruce visit https://sellfy.com/p/KWJU/ 

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Under the Darkness

 by  Bruce T. Jackson

There are some people

Who live under the darkness.

You rarely see them during the day.

Yet, when the sun goes down

And the street lights come on,

They magically appear.

Out of the depths of somewhere unknown,

They emerge all made up and dressed up,

Looking for something new

But not something new under the sun.

They thrive in the dark of night.

They live for sundown and avoid sunrise.

They slip in and out of juke joints and bars.

They liven up when the lights are low

And the music is so loud

That it seems to drown out

The sighs and cries of a dreadful life.

They live in the dark.

They come alive at night.

They live hidden lives by day

And only emerge from under the darkness.

 

Image

Reprinted from the book Words from the Underground

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  Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
 “Because you despise this word
  and trust in oppression and perverseness
  and rely on them,
 therefore this iniquity shall be to you
  like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
  whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
 and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
  that is smashed so ruthlessly
 that among its fragments not a shard is found
  with which to take fire from the hearth,
  or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
– Isaiah 30:12-14 (ESV)

The prophecy was presented to the rebellious nation from God.  He shared about the entire nation having this iniquity . . . like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth.  Huh? This national syndrome of iniquity would cause this entire nation to become like broken fragments of a potter’s vessel.  In other words, their sin would cause them to be smashed so ruthlessly that they would be broken into pieces.

Our lives can be like that.  We can live so far from God that we don’t even realize that we are out of touch with what God wants for us or what He desires from us.  We can get out of touch with God and end up totally off track.  We can think that we are headed somewhere and truly find ourselves off track.

In some cases, it is no fault of our own.  We try to do right and try with all of our might to do well.  We just always seem to end up with the short end of the stick.  Mama dies.  Daddy walked out on us.  Friends drift away.  Jobs and careers change.  Family falls apart.  The home team keeps losing (or, in some cases trades away the franchise player for some draft picks to be named later.)  It’s outside of our realm of control.

However, there are also those times when we simply just don’t do right.  We want to point our sanctified finger at the children of Israel for being stiff-necked and disobedient, even defiant. 

But who are we to do such a thing?

Have you done every single thing that God has said for you to do? Uh-huh. Me, too. 

Have you missed an opportunity to share the Goods News of Jesus Christ with some wayward soul? Yep.  I’ve been there, too.

You see, if we keep it one hundred, we can honestly say that we haven’t done all of what God has said for us to do.  We have let God down more than we have let God in.  We have tried to uphold what we have chosen to believe rather than holding onto every Word of God.

I wrote Broken Pieces based upon being in such a place in my life.  Even having many of the trappings of a happy life, I still felt broken.  I still felt like the little that I was able to do was not getting done what I needed to do or that I had been called to do.  I was just going through the motions.  You have to pay a heavy and high price for going through the motions.  It can be more costly than the search for success.

Order or download a copy of Broken Pieces.  The poems and prayers included speak of how our lives can be mended from the fragments of failure.  As I state in the book’s description: The pieces of our lives do not have to remain broken. He can put together the broken pieces.

Broken Pieces is available in print or e-Book formats.

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12  Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13  therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14  And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

Isaiah 30:12-14 (KJV)

Being broken is a circumstantial condition.  We feel broken due to the culmination of our circumstances.  Based on what has transpired, we feel a sense of brokenness.  We even take on the state of brokenness by taking personal ownership of living shattered and fragmented lives as badges of our broken lives of torment and terror.  We live as broken men and women.

I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. – Psalm 31:12 (ESV)

We do not have to live that way.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. – Psalm 139:3 (NIV)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. – Psalm 107:14 (NIV)

O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. – Psalm 116:16 (NIV)

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 (NLT)

I wrote Broken Pieces out of my own agony and pain.  As I look back at it, I realized that what I penned in pain was not just for my own sake.  I published this collection and Lamentations in the Storm as I wandered through a deep fog of misery and melancholy much like Broken Pieces.  Both poetic works reveal that we do not have to live broken lives once god has set us free.  These poems and prayers express the depth of life in despair and how faith can carry you through in order to endure through life’s trials.

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In the wake of Dr. King receiving an honor only bestowed upon the likes of presidential recipients with names like Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson in this great nation of ours and as throngs of people take to the streets for the “little guy,” I humbly submit this poem that shares some thoughts on how the MLK image gets a bad name instead of what the man’s legacy truly should be to us who still live here today.

Martyring Martin

 

Someone made a martyr out of Martin

Before they made him a hero.

They sought to make a mockery of Martin.

They tried to make more of him being a man

Than a man with a vision

Or a man with a heart for his people,

Even all people.

I have heard it said

That Martin was foolish

But I saw him as faithful.

I have seen many use his name

Without any regard for what he did

Or what he stood for

As a man

Or as a minister.

 

Someone forgot that Martin made a difference

And gave a voice to the oppressed.

Someone forgot that Martin stood up

For those who had been beaten down.

Someone neglected that Martin gave of himself

And asked and encouraged others to do likewise.

Someone overlooked that Martin saw the value of people.

Martin spoke words of wisdom

That overflowed with compassion.

Martin walked in the shoes of the poor

And stood tall against the establishment.

Martin lived as a giant among men

Despite what they said about him

And in spite of what they did to him.

 

Someone lied on Martin.

Someone talked about Martin.

Someone slandered Martin.

Someone threatened Martin.

Someone attacked Martin.

Someone attacked his home

And threatened Martin’s family.

Someone accused Martin of false things

And false sayings.

 

Someone beat Martin.

Someone arrested Martin

And kept him behind bars

Like a common criminal.

Someone stabbed Martin.

Someone shot Martin.

Someone murdered Martin.

 

 

Someone has to say something

Beyond Martin having a dream

And speak out amid the silence.

Someone has to honor Martin

Worthy of his name.

Someone needs to share memories of Martin.

Someone has to recite Martin.

Someone has to live like Martin.

Someone has to speak like Martin.

Someone has to see things like Martin.

Someone has to dream like Martin.

 

They murdered Martin

But we must live the dream.

They made a massacre of Martin’s life

But we must not leave Martin as a martyr.

 

We must make Martin more than a memory.

We must make Martin memorable.

We must make Martin more than a monument.

We must make Martin monumental.

We must remember the dream.

We must dream the dream.

We must live the dream.

We must be the dream.

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I wrote Words from the Underground in order to speak out and give a literary voice to the stories that lie hidden within the inner city streets of urban America.  I’ve been out there over the years.  Back in the day, I craved the allure of the street life that promised easy riches and high times.  I discovered that nothing is easy out in the streets, especially when you throw in drugs and money.  Fast forward several years.  I found myself on the streets as I sought to stir up community involvement through urban faith-based and community-based programs.  Later, once a minister of the gospel, I was doing “street ministry,” sharing through the Word and good works.  It was a complete turn around.

 I use my creative expressions through writing and seek to shed light on the darkness that exists and seems hidden from the eyes of most of America.  They do not know the pain of the people.  They fail to see the people on the streets as real people.  To me, it is more than a book.  It’s poetry mixed with social commentary and advocacy.  Perhaps, someone will read this and gain a deeper and clearer understanding of what goes on out there.  Someone else may read this and feel like someone has finally put into words what had been pulsating within them for so many years.  Finally, this may truly move someone to do something.  Maybe someone will develop a program to help others within their city.  Maybe someone else will start speaking out and advocating for the people who live in these inhumane conditions.  Truthfully, I would be satisfied if someone just read my words and started treating people like people, never truly knowing what someone else’s story may be beneath the mask they wear day in and day out.  Maybe so.

Enter into a world unknown to many… the Underground.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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 A while back, maybe a year or two, I started working on some poems that told the story about life in the inner city and the urban streets.  I began to conjure up poems and vignettes about the streets in the fashion and style of an Iceberg Slim or Donald Goines.  I started crafting urban sorrow songs like those penned by Rick James and Marvin Gaye.  I wrote “Words from the Underground” which will be released tomorrow at www.lulu.com/lifepath/ .  Here is ‘Lessons from the Streets’ as a sample  of the works contained in this new publication.

The lessons on the street

Can leave you bruised for life.

They can leave some permanent scars.

I’ve seen folks take it like a joke

And then come up lame.

This ain’t no game for kids.

It’s the real thing out here.

Bullets tear flesh

And make holes in domes

It’s a war zone 24-7 out here

With the enemy at every turn

Even when they say they riding with you.

Can’t trust a soul when the game’s like this.

You got to choose your battles

Before someone sets sights on you.

Make a move

Even if it ain’t the first move

But God help you make one.

Whatever you do,

You better make it quick.

That’s all that’s to it

And it’s true.

I saw a man lose his life

Because he didn’t make a move.

He could be here today

But he didn’t make his move.

It’s just another lesson.

Another one to learn.

The lessons in the streets will mess with you

Then get in your head real bad

And leave you so sick

That life will lose its meaning

And even its value.

Learn it one way

Or learn it another,

But the streets will teach you

How to survive or die

Just by being out there.

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