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What Would King Do? (WWKD?)


Happy New Year. 

We have survived another year; for me and others, a year of rough transitions, for some, a year of miracles, and for most, just another year.  No matter what got you here, if you're reading this blog, Congratulations, you made it.

Through the year of dreadful acts done to adults and children in schools, shopping malls, and movie theaters; through a very mean spirited presidential election, through the revolutions, wars, and a fiscal cliff (that is waiting for lemmings,) I find myself deeply shaken by how people are treating each other, it is as if people are forgetting how to be an open community, closing ranks via a "check list" titled: "Like or Not Like Me," and not effectively engaging and communicating with each other. Isn't that crazy? In an era where gossip can move so fast from ones mouth (or fingers) it can scorch the air; where there are more devices for keeping in touch, no one is really touching each other, let alone looking up.

In my "shaken state," I started to wonder what King would do.  What would Martin Luther King Jr. do if he was around in the 21st century, in the age of AIDS, The Tea Party, and so called "post-racism?" What would he do with a country suffering from historical amnesia? What would he say about an African American in the white house and African Americans becoming infected with hiv?  How would he handle the new horrors of terrorism in neighborhoods from Newark to Newtown.  Could King be one of America's senior national leaders, no longer "in the trenches," but able to talk with hope about the future, and meld it with what he had experienced, what he knew?  I believe he would be constantly reminding us to "wake up... don't fall asleep..." and "...don't forget."

I was fortunate enough to catch a writer's workshop that the New York Writers Coalition had. (Love their workshops!) They had an exercise that made me want to work on it after the experience was over.  A simple quote that made me write in the moment, then made me want to be in the writing.  Now I want to share a part of the poem with you in commemoration of M.L King's 84th birthday.  (Remember, I do not capitalize hiv/aids. Also GMHC is the Gay Men's Health Crisis...I do not assume everyone knows.)



"Write What Should Not Be Forgotten"

-  Isabelle Allende


Do not forget that no one can get "full blown aids,"

That aids is full blown hiv

That people with hiv are more vulnerable to others' "cooties."


Do not forget that a kiss is just a kiss,

That status is not attached to an acronym;

that an acronym does not mean damaged goods,

And that a disease does not identify an individual.


Do not forget the love does not mean sex

but safe sex means loving oneself,

and people deserve to love without judgment.


Do not forget that the chemical warfare

saving many lives is not a cure,

That silence equals death, stigma kills,

and hiv does not discriminate.


Do not forget that ACT UP

acted up for all of us,

That GMHC helps everyone in crisis,

That it isn't enough to be straight but not narrow,

But it is important to be straight up.


Do not forget

That aids is not just an acronym

That life is not just a four letter word.


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Comments on Lora René Tucker's blog entry "What Would King Do? (WWKD?)"

The poem is my first poem I wrote about hiv/aids.

Your writing is right on target. It should be sold on a card format and even on a t-shirt if you don't mind with your permission I would like to put it on a t-shirt plz respond as soon as possible.

I am deeply moved, and concur with the "shaken state" aspect of things. It is important that we are aware of certain things.

I love it! You have a way with words. Very inspirational and real. Please keep them coming;-)

Thank you for that wonderful thoughtful essay and magnificient poem!

I loved it, by reading this it really mad me feel different about liveing with HIv!!!!

Ms. Tucker, your writings are grounded in realistic and diverse issues of people living with "the package/the plague/HIV. I understand your mastery of "HIV" as you spell this acronym in lower case. You muse and ponder how great people in U.S. history might have dealt with this epidemic, you concisely relate experiences of my positive brethren and I.

Some of your grounded writings inspire me, others encourage me to ponder and consider the options, opportunities, and "rivers" that have been presented for me to cross. Thank you for your inspirational articulations of issues. I look forward to reading them in the coming year.

Your writing, regarding Ms. Tucker's written prose, could be the ignition of a positive (pro-social) fundraising opportunity. Even if Ms. Tucker is unwilling to have her writings replicated on "deep thoughts-oriented", there is still a market for this sort of stuff. Follow your inclination Vonzella Johnson, it could be a profitable endeavor.

Hold on to love, Lora.

I cling to it like a baby's blanket.

I love it, love it , love it, very powerful.

Peace Lora,

I recall you talking fondly of Dr. B. so much that I even grew to like him. He was the best of the best and I'm afraid he would be very difficult to replace. I just hope whoever walks in Dr. B's big shoes that he would be prepared to either grow big feet or stuff his shoes with good newspaper, NY Times paper that is. (We have to have standards, you know.)

So long Dr. B and thanks for taking good care of my friend Lora, the therapeutic poet.

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This page contains a single entry by Lora René Tucker published on January 13, 2013 7:26 PM.

The 'Holiday' Bermuda Triangle was the previous entry in this blog.

So Long, Dr. B is the next entry in this blog.

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