Remembering Dr. King
I wrote this on April 4, 1968 in my college’s library after hearing of MLK’s murder in Memphis. The poem is protected via:
copyright Stephen Altschuler 2022
Requiem for Martin Luther King Jr.
The tree of hope has lost a bird
Silenced cruel by hate-filled word.
Bird of peace is here no more.
God, my soul, I feel full sore.
You spoke to us of freedom,
Caged in a Birmingham jail.
You flew to the top of the mountain,
And freedom will prevail.
South and North, there grows the weed,
In those that live in hate and greed.
In loveless shells, God’s force forlorn.
In mindless acts, compassion scorned.
Awake, awake, your God within,
Where man is man and skin is skin.
Where love is king and peace its court,
And ships of hope their call of port.
Live on, live on, you fallen bird.
My heart does feel your love-filled word,
That one day people all will be,
Free at last to sail the sea.