Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Strange fruit

Like a lot of people, I tend to get casual about holidays. Sure, I think about why the day is special, but not much. Mostly, I take the day off.

Monday was no different. I watched football idly; was a desultory bartender later; played some pool, poorly. People were nice; said nice things about Martin Luther King, except for one ignorant drunk.

That made me more desultory: I decided to clean out my email in-box, which eventually led to a somewhat warped children's book at A JOURNEY ROUND MY SKULL. A discovery, and I like the guy's sensibility so I decided to share it with my brothers.

Every email has its subject, and I decided on Strange Fruit. Suddenly, I was really thinking about MLK.

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Billie Holiday had to scrap and scrape to get the song published. My, how times have changed.

Oh, yeah... I was checking out Organizing for America during the Presidential Election and I'm still on their list. They sent me a link to Barack Obama's speech and a transcript of it.

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