Courtesy of Fine Art America; by Ed Welker
Robert Bianco’s poem enlisted and spoken at the inauguration was probably the high point, eclipsing the inauguration speech, and both the singing of Beyonce, and Carrie Underwood.
it was a poem of understatement. A simple description of the sun rising and shining over this nation on one day of its life. Bonding us all in the unity of experience we all undergo. No matter the differences of our upbringing, the differences of your heritage, the differences of our finances, we all wake up to one sun….
East or West, North, or South, one sun shines down on this country….
We are all Americans, based on the geography of where we live. Divisions do not becomes us. We all bask in the same sun.
New York and San Antonio, Miami and Seattle. All live and bask under the same sun. Different to be sure. But all Americans. All sharing the heat and warmth from the one sun, as the world turns underneath…..
It was the most emotional moment of the celebration. As camera’s panned the crowd one could see the emotion being experienced was not just inside ones self but in commoners and the elite as well…. Like it or not, we are all American. We have so much in common we probably take it too much for granted….
One sun rose on us today,
Kindled over our shores,
Peeking over the Smokies,
Greeting the faces of the Great Lakes,
Spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains,
And Charging across the Rockies,
Waking up rooftops,
Under each one a story,
Told by our silent gestures
Moving across windows,
Millions of faces in morning’s mirrors.
Each one yawning to life,
Crescendoing into our day,
The pencil yellow school buses,
The rhythm of traffic lights,
Fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges,
Arrayed like rainbows, begging our praise.
Silver trucks, heavy with oil or paper, bricks or milk,
Teeming over highways
Along side us,
On our way,
To clean tables,
Or save lives,
To teach geometry,
Or ring up groceries,
As my mother did
For twenty years,
So I could write this poem for all us,
All of us,
As vital as the one light we move through,
The same light on blackboards with lessons for the
Equations to solve,
History to question,
Or atoms imagined.
The “I have a Dream”
We all keep dreaming,
The impossible vocabulary of sorrow,
That won’t explain the empty desks,
Of twenty children marked absent,
But one light,
Breathing color into stained glass windows,
Life into the faces of bronze statues,
Warmth onto the steps of our museums,
And park benches
As mothers watch children,
Rooting us to every stalk of corn,
Every head of wheat,
Sown by sweat and hands,
Hands gleaning coal,
Or planting windmills,
In deserts and hilltops that keep us warm,
Hands digging trenches,
Routing pipes, and cables.
As worn as my father’s,
So my brother and I could have books,
The dust of farms and deserts,
Cities and plains,
Mingled by one wind,
Hear it through the days gorgeous din
Of honking cabs,
Buses launching down avenues,
The symphony of footsteps, guitars,
And screeching subways.
The unexpected songbird
On your clothesline.
Hear squeaky playground swings,
Or whispers across cafe tables.
Hear the doors we open,
Each day for each other.
Na me state,
Or, buenos dias
In the language my mother taught me,
In every language
Spoken into one wind,
Carrying our lives without prejudice,
As these words break from my lips.
Since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed their majesty,
And the Mississippi and Colorado
Worked their way to the sea.
Thank the work of our hands,
Weaving steel into bridges,
Finishing one more report for the boss,
Stitching another wound, or uniform.
The first brush stroke on a portrait,
Or the last floor on the Freedom Tower,
Jutting into the sky,
That yields to our resilience.
Toward which we sometimes lift our eyes,
Tired from work,
Some days guessing at the weather
Of our lives,
Some days giving thanks for a love,
That loves you back.
Sometimes praising a mother who knew how to give,
Or forgiving a father, who couldn’t give what you wanted.
Through the gloss of rain,
Or weight of snow.
Or the plum-blush of dusk,
Always under one sky,
And always one moon,
Like a silent drum,
Tapping on every rooftop,
Of every window of one country,
All of us
Facing the stars,
A new constellation,
Waiting for us to map it,
Waiting for us to name it,