We Were There

                                      i.m. MLK

That other Henry, in seclusion
(District of Columbia).
Mourning Eurydice
veiled, so – Isis in stone.

The chaos of the dynamo,
the violence of men
(Mont St.-Michel)... sun
clouded by confusion.  Apollo

camouflaged as Hobo now
flickering cigarettes
into the Seine – alights
in Memphis, on a garbage scow.

Columbia, Columbia, murmurs
the mourning dove, come back.
Gray sketch in black
& white, along the watchtower.

One ghost dance treads this lambent maze
draws wool into a knot
or chord of charity.
Her milky Manitou is wise.

The profane land, amnesiac
is lifted into tune
by memory of one
who went before – his trouble on his back

your trouble too.  A Psyche-glow
to orient the west
toward east, the past
into a future peace – heart’s overflow.


In the summer of 1968, my father took me with him on a trip to D.C., where we went down to the National Mall to be part of the crowd at "Resurrection City" - the encampment of the Poor People's Campaign, which had been initiated by MLK.  I went through some of my dad's papers after he passed away last spring, and found this pennant.

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