“The world in which we live is geographically one. The great challenge now is to make it one in terms of brotherhood. …
What we are facing today is the fact that through our scientific and technological genius we’ve made of this world a neighborhood.
And now through our moral and ethical commitment we must make of it a brotherhood.
We must all learn to live together as brothers – or we will all perish together as fools.
This it the great issue facing us today. No individual can live alone; no nation can live alone. We are tied together.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Oberlin Commencement Address, p.3, August 1965
One string was laid
Perhaps by grace.
It had no sound
Not one trace.
One string was pulled
And held in tension.
But made no sound
Not one mention.
The string was plucked
And laughed a bit.
It had a voice
But not quite it.
The string was worked
Tight, then loose.
Not quite slack
And not quite noose.
Then it was good.
The string could see.
And it could dance
Across a key.
The string looked ’round
Right and left.
Enough for clef.
The string proclaimed
And not just he.
But Sam and Candy
And others, we.
While the air
in tremors shook,
the string held back
with sheepish look.
It waited in
This silent place
For the tickle
Perhaps by grace.
“Do I ask?”
“Do I gotta?”
Was it coda?
Or just fermata?
Photo inside of Orthodox chapel in the Vatican in Italy
There was a Jew from Bethlehem and He loved. (John 15: 9 -11)
It was a story, simplified. (Matthew 22:36-39)
For us, the ones outside. (Romans 11:17-18)
He came from the kingly line. (Matthew 1:1-17)
The people entrusted. (Romans 3:1-2)
A covenant not made by man. (Genesis 22: 15-18)
But I was there then. (Galatians 3:7-9)
I was the sin that could not reach across. (Romans 3: 22b-23)
And I did not know. I could only be known. (Romans 8:27)
What, then, could I boast of? (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Supremacy? Laugh. (Romans 8: 29)
There’s only His side. (Psalm 113: 5-6)
Who. then, would cling to their superior lineage? (Matthew 10: 34-37)
Only those who cling to this world. (Matthew 10: 38-39)
They who fearlessly destroy the body with no fear of the one who can destroy the soul. (Matthew 10:28)
Why would I act like I don’t know you? (John 14:8-11)
Why would I march after an Earthly king? (Psalm 12:8)
I will be replaced. And it is the last thing I do. (Ephesians 4:22-25)
Photo inside of San Teodoro Orthodox Church in Rome, Italy
Across from the Colosseum
I romanticized the past,
Like I could be a part of something.
I could align with ruins that remain.
I have seen it.
And I’ll show them.
Although, it was beautiful.
Building blocks, today, are shaped;
half-directed by life,
half-directed by ruins.
Like roads across from the Colosseum.
What will remain drives so much.
These ruins for the future.
it’s a part of something.
Photo near Colosseum, Rome, Italy.
I saw you in every color and I recognized what I hadn’t seen.
I saw you blossom so I planted more.
I saw you hugging and my distances were narrowed.
I didn’t wait to see you.
I only needed to see.
Photo at Annandale United Methodist Church by Candace Means
Rising emerged as one was my downfall.
There were no parts but a congealed unit
That announced itself by agreeing.
So I divided and let each part conquer
with its own language,
that came from one word.
They speak of joyful destruction.
And one heals as another pains,
as having simultaneous conversations.
It’s fine, though.
They hear each other
And know the other was itself.
I was not whole,
I was disagreeing sounds
That moved by orchestrated clinging.
Photo from Arlington, VA, by Candace Means
I share the bread but hide my notion
so that an image of kind devotion
is my sacrifice; the hour that I tarry.
But I am not a Judas in intent.
I do not kiss nor circumvent.
But underprice the communion; I am wary.
Photo of Ceiling of the Orthodox Chapel at the Vatican in Italy by Candace Means
It was night, but the door was open.
You saw me look through a latticed gate.
You always said that you had known then.
You had the stories to conflate.
You weren’t burdened to understand.
I was whole from your side.
The metal blocks, a reprimand.
But you said smile like I was allied.
But I was known before I entered.
And I was less when I walked out.
The part I played was the word
that’s spoke when there’s no need to doubt.
Photo of Rome, Italy.