“Ode to Martin Luther King” by Clara B. Jones

January 19, 2016

In Selma with you/We’re in the same boat
now./walking past Liuzzo’s shattered win-
dow/the appalling silence/death was Phy-
sics realized/hate is too great a burden to
bear/your dreams immaterial/never lose
infinite hope/like a mind enslaved by
memories of abuse./What are you doing
for others?/Fantasy is relative, a temporary
tactic ending oppression/think intensively
and critically/wish-fulfillment during sleep./
the starless midnight of racism/Facts are
necessary, illusions negotiable/the color of
the skin/decisions to save birds debatable/
Man must evolve a method which rejects re-
venge./tipping a changing balance between
probable and absolute/teach/determinism
trumped by histories of organisms who/love/.

 *In italics, Martin Luther King quotes accessed at www.google.com on 17 August 2015.
JonesClara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC. As a woman of color, she writes about identity and power. Erbacce, CHEST, Ofi Literary Magazine, Transnational, Quail Bell, Bluestem, and 34th Parallel are among the venues her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in, and she is author of the weblog, Ferguson and Other Satirical Poems About Race (2015). In the 1970s, Clara studied with Adrienne Rich and has studied recently with the poets Meghan Sterling and Eric Steineger.