Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Visionary or A Man of Substance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

As regular readers well know, I never post comments but always read and appreciate them, even the less kind ones. But you can always email me direct - rogertab@aol.com - and I will always reply. I don’t expect everyone to like what I write or agree with what I say…so feel free to take issue with either or both at any time.

Meanwhile…

Someone once asked me if I had any heroes. I replied that, off the top of my head, Martin Luther King is the first name that springs to mind. The person who posed the question appeared genuinely puzzled because King was black and I am white, asking,‘Didn't he champion equal rights for black people?’ Of course he did, but ‘equal rights’ is the key phrase here.

I am passionate about equality and a common humanity, passionate too about peace and love and how the people of this world should respect each other’s differences instead of using them as an excuse for stirring up division and unrest, even war.

All that is good in the world is worth fighting for and all that is bad cries out to be exposed and (hopefully) rectified…however long it takes.

I was in my early 20s when Dr King was assassinated. Yes, his legacy is perhaps cherished most among black people but this is one white poet who learned a lot from this great man whom I have long counted among my heroes and always will. Although no poem can do justice to the man and his work, it was written in good faith.


THE VISIONARY or A MAN OF SUBSTANCE

He had a Dream and shared it with the world;
many listened, but others would not
(some learn lessons taught, others soon forget.)

Nor does it matter, the colour of his Word;
black, white, whatever…naming and shaming,
exposing pain and prejudices, homing in
on humanity’s weaknesses if only to show
how far (yet) we have to go before life
means more than stitch and seam, making good
its patches putting humanity through its paces,
conjuring up a united front in all the right places

All that glisters is not gold nor all that’s aged
grown old, however much we’ve seen
since time began and taught us how to dream,
envisage humanity running true without
having to shoot down any living thing that flies
too close for comfort…

A dove winging peace and love, free voices
reminding us we have choices

[Note: An slightly different version of this poem appears in 1st eds. of The Third Eye by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001; 2nd (revised) e-edition in preparation].

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