Saturday, 4 February 2017

A Change is Gonna Come- Poem by Jaz McKenzie based on the title song, + 'I Have A Dream'

My soul flies free- Yesterday, Today, Forever
Whilst society imposes physical bounds
Designed to shrivel every ounce of my individuality
‘And Still I Rise;’ pride and power bleeding in my bones
Every day’s a challenge, frequently embracing tragedy
Whilst my brightly lit spirit outshines the sun for I know
After dusk and after darkness a new day is born.

A Change Is Gonna Come Brother.
No more running like the river-
Within circles created by imposed captivity
Rise up Sister- I have a message to deliver;
It is time to set the essence of our people free
Time to stop doors slamming in our faces
As we did with the lashings, and hangings from a tree

Martin Luther Jnr said, ‘I Have A Dream.’
‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’
Are every American’s promised way of being
We cannot be satisfied until our portion is aligned
Until justice and righteousness take centre stage
Quenching the flames of withering injustice
And engulf us; immerse us, in their tsunami powered wave

A Change is Gonna Come some day
The flames of injustice eternally quenched
And I’ll replace my tent by the river of youth
With an inner city penthouse apartment
Proof of the new truth- there are sufficient funds
To support the whole American society!
And live free of persecution and the winds of brutality

A change will come when you:
Believe in the power of dreams
Remain constant as time
Be patient, Be Strong
Cultivate love, hope and unity
Momentum spurs everything on
Ultimately you will rise
And the world will see you live the prize
Rest Assured;
The Change is Gonna Come

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician ©2017

I wrote this poem in response to a request from Murray McAllister who is compiling a book of poetry to based on songs from the 60's and 70's reflecting the times. I was thinking Nina Simone however, suddenly recalled Wayne Marshall's rendition last year of, 'A Change Is Gonna Come.' Wayne sang the song with such a passion, capturing the deep rooted injustice of the souls that have passed who battled for the liberty and equality of the negro race.

For many years I have thought about writing a poem based on Martin Luther King JR's, 'I Have A Dream' speech. It is an absolute masterpiece and lays out his case before the world court with an incredible musicality behind the forcefulness. I aimed to re-iterate his main points, using some of Martin Luther's phrases and included the key reference to the American Constitution- alongside the emotions and circumstances referred to in Sam Cooke's song, 'A Change is Gonna Come.'

I believe that there is no point looking at the world and simply saying- we were one step forwards and now takng two steps backwards under the presidency of Donald Trump- by doing this we give power to his thinking. What we should be doing is going back to the root of hope and faith as stated in different ways by Sam Cooke and Martin Luther King JR. Sam Cooke wrote his song in response to the racist treatment he received; in turn serving the aims of the Civil Rights Movement who adopted it as their anthem. Wikipedia entry. Sam Cooke wrote his song in 1964 following 'I Have A Dream,' delivered in 1963.

In addition, I found it fitting to pay tribute to Maya Angelou, poet and social activist, by referring to one of her most famous works, 'And Still I Rise.' 

We need fearless charismatic leaders as much today as ever to tackle the injustice of our world. We may not put the world to rights today or tomorrow, but when we believe in change, everything is possible.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician   Contact:

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