Related Free Sites - PopUp Free!
Fetish Sex Toys | BDSM World | The Fetish Exchange


Archive-name: Poetry/poem0120.txt

Archive-author: Maya Angelou

Archive-title: Maya Angelou's Inaugural Poem

    Here is the text of the inaugural poem written by Maya

 Angelou delivered at Bill Clinton's swearing-in:

   A Rock, A River, A Tree

   Hosts to species long since departed,

   Marked the mastodon.

   The dinosaur, who left dry tokens

   Of their sojourn here

   On our planet floor,

   Any broad alarm of their hastening doom 

   Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.


   But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,

   Come, you may stand upon my

   Back and face your distant destiny,

   But seek no haven in my shadow.

   I will give you no more hiding place down here.

   You, created only a little lower than 

   The angels, have crouched too long in

   The bruising darkness,

   Have lain too long

   Face down in ignorance.

   Your mouths spilling words

   Armed for slaughter.

   The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,

   But do not hide your face. 


   Across the wall of the world,

   A River sings a beautiful song,

   Come rest here by my side.

   Each of you a bordered country,

   Delicate and strangely made proud,

   Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.


   Your armed struggles for profit 

   Have left collars of waste upon

   My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

   Yet, today I call you to my riverside,

   If you will study war no more. Come,

   Clad in peace and I will sing the songs

   The Creator gave to me when I and the

   Tree and the stone were one.


   Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your

   Brow and when you yet knew you still 

   Knew nothing.

   The River sings and sings on.


   There is a true yearning to respond to

   The singing River and the wise Rock.

   So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew

   The African and Native American, the Sioux,

   The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek

   The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, 

   The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,

   The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.

   They hear. They all hear

   The speaking of the Tree.


   Today, the first and last of every Tree

   Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

   Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.


   Each of you, descendant of some passed

   On traveller, has been paid for.

   You, who gave me my first name, you

   Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you

   Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then

   Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of

   Other seekers--desperate for gain,

   Starving for gold.

   You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ... 

   You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought

   Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare

   Praying for a dream.

   Here, root yourselves beside me.

   I am the Tree planted by the River,

   Which will not be moved.

   I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree

   I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

   Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need 

   For this bright morning dawning for you.

   History, despite its wrenching pain,

   Cannot be unlived, and if faced

   With courage, need not be lived again.


   Lift up your eyes upon

   The day breaking for you.

   Give birth again

   To the dream. 


   Women, children, men,

   Take it into the palms of your hands.

   Mold it into the shape of your most

   Private need. Sculpt it into

   The image of your most public self.

   Lift up your hearts

   Each new hour holds new chances

   For new beginnings. 


   Do not be wedded forever

   To fear, yoked eternally

   To brutishness.


   The horizon leans forward,

   Offering you space to place new steps of change.

   Here, on the pulse of this fine day

   You may have the courage

   To look up and out upon me, the 

   Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

   No less to Midas than the mendicant.

   No less to you now than the mastodon then.


   Here on the pulse of this new day

   You may have the grace to look up and out

   And into your sister's eyes, into

   Your brother's face, your country

   And say simply 

   Very simply

   With hope

   Good morning.



See All Our Feature Hardcore Sites!
Fetish Club, 1 Asian Porn, Fetish Cinema , XRated TV , V Girl, Massive Hardcore