“on the pulse of the morning”

Someone on Sunday asked me if we were going to have the opportunity for further conversation about Maya Angelou’s poem that we heard and saw via video on December 27 at Trinity.  https://youtu.be/xUuTig9kavA

The answer is, YES!

That morning we heard the story of the gifts that were brought by the                 folks-of-Sofia (Wisdom) from the East . . . gold and frankincense and myrrh . . .

I got imagining that a gift of our time in history might be poetry and maybe even a poem by Maya Angelou.

We watched and listened to her read “On the Pulse of the Morning” as recorded with Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” in the background.  It is beautifully challenging.

Then some asked for the written words.  They are included for you below.  

This post comes with an invitation to those of you in the environs of Northport to come to the parsonage for a January Sunday Evening of Conversation at the Parsonage at 107 N Warren Street, 7:00 pm, January 10, 2016.  I encourage you to share this post with those in the area who may not receive the invitation unless they get it from you.  

Most of you who will read this post are “not in the environs of Northport.”  I invite you to participate in the conversation anyway.   Write your thoughts for me to share with the gathered community on Sunday evening at 7:00 in the “leave a reply” window at the bottom of this post.

Listen.

Read.

Reflect.

Write.

Happy New Year

and

Good Morning!

 

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On The Pulse Of Morning

by Maya Angelou

 

A Rock, A River, A Tree

Hosts to species long since departed,

Mark the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens

Of their sojourn here

On our planet floor,

Any broad alarm of their 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 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 spelling 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 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.

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