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1078 || "On the Pulse of Morning"

Make Your Damn Bed

18-02-2024 • 6 mins

Maya Angelou's poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" feels as relevant today as it did when she recited it on January 20, 1993. Tomorrow, we will dig into it. Here is the transcript:

A Rock, A River, A Tree

Hosts to species long since departed,

Mark the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens

Of their sojourn here

On our planet floor,

Any broad alarm of their 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 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 spelling words

Armed for slaughter.


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."



The opinions expressed by Julie Merica and Make Your Damn Bed Podcast are intended for entertainment purposes only. Make Your Damn Bed podcast is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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