Fragments of a Dream

Banner for Poem by Greg Powell - Fragments of a Dream

Fragments of a Dream

For Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jagged edges. Broken echoes.
dream shards of holy war
assault senses in fitful sleep.

Chaotic visions run
down passage streams of days.

I remember Martin, strident
prophesying song weathered dim
and distant in nebulous rust of years.

Dream fragments resuscitate
voices/ broken echoes
from mausoleums

of long time gone.

they rise, singing
songs of marching feet,
my story
as whispers
cascading from chants

of midnight ghosts.

And within shadows cast
by outstretched wings
of cannibal seraphim
whose bad mojo conjures

firestorms from conflagrations
of spooky feathers whose naked talons
rip veins
from flesh of stones.

The noises rise.
percussive relics of feet
striding reverberations
up freedom ways.

Humanizing boulevards.
A genius people
commencing saint steps
down naivete avenues
and liberation bridges.

And then the funereal symphony.
The chorus of jackals
articulated in howls
of police wolves.

Tear drenched strains
of weshallovercome
drowned in whirlpools
of dull thudding percussion
billy clubs breaking skulls
and spines to translucent mist of ashes.

Sirens and firehoses wailing genocide.

Testicles cracking
under onslaught of steel boots.
Desolate torsos prostrate
and bleeding. Nocturnal shotguns
punctuate song of devils.

And through it all/ our
birth clamors.

War songs of love supreme.

Through pale vociferation
of chaos. Sound storms raining
fractured echoes in my torrential night:
I hear the love
The Jesus weeper.
Beaconing trumpet.
The peace preacher.

The voice/ oh Lord
that voice

I hear his voice.
Trumpet hail. That spoke
gospel from mountaintops.
Intoned manna rains in desert
wastelands. Blew fire breaths through
crushing walls of glaciers.

His voice. Revolutionary vision plea.
Fluid articulation of buried tears. Spoke
Flesh layered on dry bone skeletons
rising to boogie and press paths
to promised land.

His voice. Educated camp meeting shout.
Sowed cadenced poetry the swelled
paralyzed seas into tsunami waves
of arm swinging freedom steppers.

And then the flurry
of night portents:

The lash of fire hose streams
tearing skin
from broken limbs,
teeth of police
knifing thighs
to lacerated flesh,
bitter streams
colored red from
bleeding bridge,
bitter fruit
still hanging

from trees, mourning leaves
weeping red dewdrops

bullet screams cutting
Mississippi nights.

Emmett Till.
Jimmie Lee Jackson.
Viola Liuzzo.
Jonathan Myrick Daniels.
William Moore.
Wharlest Jackson.

Little girls
at church.
Little children
murdered for being.
Medgar Evers.
Malcolm X.

And then the news:
Martin shot down.
Head blown apart.

And blues people spat flames
Burned down the sky.

I ascend on blistered weary feet
concrete and metal mountain
look over and see
land strip-mined of promise
hurl myself

While broken glass spirals
before my eyes.

Crash upon the killing floor.
where I weep in the nightmare
for 400 years.

Jagged fragments’
Fractured echoes
Seeking the hope
no more…

A little heavy? Check out another poem for a blues/jazz story, Slickhead Rick vs. Sonny LeBain.