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Martha Lask
Happy New Year from
Martha Lask Consulting LLC

In 2017, I am holding the hope, with a trembling heart, that we humans will live into our potential as wondrous and generous ambassadors for all people. May we come to it.

Please scroll down below the excerpt for a video of Maya Angelou reading the entire poem, in June, 1995, at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the founding of the United Nations. Click here to download a 2-page PDF file of the whole poem.

Please visit my Blog for a post about this poem excerpt.

A Brave and Startling Truth

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

~ Maya Angelou ~ |
Banner Drawings: Martha Lask
Holiday Card: Philip H. Jones