Monday, July 24, 2006

Boker Tov Means Good Morning in Hebrew

I'm posting this poem because I'm feeling the need for a little encouragement today.

Maya Angelou's Inaugural Poem

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed, Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I and the Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your Brow and when you yet knew you still Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher. They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of Other seekers--desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.


At 7/24/2006 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read some of your opinions,would you please let me know,where is Israil ???
If you are a unitaian,why don't go back your home ????
Palestin is not yours...

At 7/24/2006 5:07 PM, Anonymous Shirat HaSirena said...

Wow. Such loving comments from anonymous people. Don't you love them?

Anyway...I was going to leave a note telling you I *heart* you.

Don't go back to "your home" ...I kinda like having you here. Where is "home" anyway? Where the heart is, no?

At 7/25/2006 12:26 AM, Blogger Michael said...

What a brilliant poem. I'm glad to see you post again because, well although I just started reading your site, I'm a worrier.

Shalom my friend.

At 7/25/2006 7:37 AM, Blogger Adam said...

I was thinking about that poem this weekend too, its really lovely.

At 7/25/2006 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this poem. and, if i may ask what's a 'unitaian'?? :-)

At 7/25/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Nominally Challenged said...

Isn't it nice to know that you, as a 'unitaian' would be so welcome in 'Palestin'. Probably almost as welcome as I'd be.

Just as well we live in 'Israil' then, right?

Lovin ya!


At 7/25/2006 6:35 PM, Blogger RR said...

This "Israili" would like to say that that is indeed a beautiful poem. I recently read MA's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"- awesome.

At 7/27/2006 3:26 PM, Blogger John said...

Hmmm...what to say.
Anonymous 1: Welcome and thanks for giving us something to talk about. I would address your questions more specifically, but I have no idea what you're talking about exactly. Israel is my home.

Shirat: Guuurrrl, I *heart* you too.

Michael: Welcome and all is well with me - more or less.

Adam: Great minds...

NC: Love ya too!

RR: Hi there! "Caged Bird" is great - the rest of her books kind of repeat the same theme. Angelou's poem are very moving though.


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