Syndic No.4
Syndic Literary Journal

Poetry Reading: Marching! Legacy of Dr. King by Juan Lara

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PLAY > JUAN LARA READING “MARCHING WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING


Poetry Reading

By Juan Lara

MARCHING!
THE LEGACY OF
DR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

He called it Faith,
A simple word
Taken from the Scriptures:
A Faith in men and women,
American Indians,
And immigrants,
Black and White, Latino and Asian,
And a belief that we might extend our hands and hearts,
Sharing our basic civil rights.

Arm-in-arm,
We marched down city streets and country highways,
To the cadence of the cursing,
Looking straight ahead,
Glancing furtively at the jailer’s eyes,
Wiping away the spit,
Flung from spiteful tongues, all the while,
Watching Herod’s wooden baton rise above our heads,
As we journeyed in search of a new Bethlehem.

He called it Hope,
A simple word
Written in the scriptures:
A Hope in men and women,
Christians and Atheists,
Hindus and Buddhists,
Moslems and Jews,
And a belief that we might learn to live
In peace within a world without borders.

Arm-in-arm,
We walked down city streets and country highways,
To the cadence of the barking dogs,
Looking straight ahead,
Glancing anxiously at the jailer’s hounds,
Twisting around their leashes;
Wiping away the spit,
Flung from spiteful tongues,
Glimpsing wooden batons
Rise above our heads,
A piece of our own cross,
As we journeyed in search of our own Good Friday.

He called it Love,
A simple word
Spoken in the Gospels:
A love in men and women, their resiliency
To see beyond their color, their cultural and personal borders,
And a belief that we will roll away the stone,
That hardness in our heart,
And discover the glory of the empty tomb.

Arm-in-arm,
We walked down city streets and country highways,
To the cadence of the beatings,
Looking straight ahead,
Secretly terrified,
Glancing at the jailer,
Twisting arms and legs into chains;
Wiping away the spit,
Flung from spiteful tongues,
Watching wooden batons fall,
Those hand held crosses,
As we wait for our Easter morning.

Have we lost Faith in one another?
Have we lost Hope for a community without borders?
Have we lost Love?
Have we become the new jailers?

Turn to your neighbor!
Call him, Brother!
Call her, Sister!
Simple words, spoken through our actions!

Marching!
Marching with the enduring dream
Of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Authors/Artists Bios

John-Juan Lara is a second generation San Franciscan of Mexican American descent and a first generation college graduate and PHD. His teaching career includes serving the Christian Brothers of CA for 8 years, and UCLA and UC Irvine for 35 years where he holds the position of Emeritus Assistant Vice Chancellor.
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