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Happy Birthday Martin

Happy Birthday Martin
(Martin Luther King January 15th 1929 – April 4th
If you were here today on your birthday
what would you say?
If in the middle of blowing out your candles
The lights went out
what would you shout?
Times running out
Would you still have a dream for peace?
Didn’t their Bible tell them
that nations would be fighting nations
brother fighting brother?
You, Martin, died for peace
Call the UN you’d say
Would you give back your Nobel Peace prize
and join the Army?
Patience, restraint
Why when some of us commemorate your Birthday
others’ plan war?
Why do they mock you even now?
Did they not hear our prayers?
We sang, “Soon and Very Soon, We’re Going to See the King.”
We asked, “Make me a Channel of Your Peace.”
Martin, you prayed for a World House
not a White House,
Non violence.
We tell our children not to fight yet we give our boys guns
and send them to boxing lessons
We give our girls dolls to learn to love and care for others.
Or is it to nurse the wounded men?
Give our boys dolls tomorrow.
Let them learn that love is a better emotion.
Love breeds more and more love.
It Mushrooms. It’s a better germ to cultivate.
Mothers don’t want war
Mothers bear children out of love
We’ve buried enough in South Africa and Ethiopia,
In Palestine and Namibia,
In Europe in two World Wars.
We’re burying parts of ourselves.
Is that how oil is formed?
The oil they’re fighting over
Is that the remains of mothers’ children
killed in wars centuries ago?
Happy Birthday Martin.
If you were here today,
on your birthday
what would you say?
> > C. Shirley P Cooper Jan 1983 on declaration of 1st
Gulf War, revised 15th Jan 2005

Happy Birthday Martin

Shirley Cooper (B)Lake

Birmingham, United Kingdom

  • Artist

Artist's Description

When the Gulf war was declared a few Birmingham readers and writers got together to read war and peace poems and stories. I wrote 3 and encouraged my children to write too. Happy Birthday Martin has been revised many times but is still as powerful as when I first read it.

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