We Rise, We Shine

Tribute to Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

By Wayne Visser

When giants fall –
True heroes like Mandela
And timeless muses like Angelou –
The whole earth gasps
And shudders as one;
Convulsions reverberate
Deep in our hearts
Wide in our minds
And high in our souls –
As well they should
For no quake is greater
Than when spiritual giants fall
When I fall (or you) –
Whether from a stumble, a leap
Or a gentle ebbing away –
The world will be spared
Any collective tremors or sighs;
A precious few will notice
And smile through their tears
Yet my ordinary life (or yours)
Will be no less extraordinary
For all our numbered days
Leave remarkable impressions
On the soft clay of history
Meanwhile, we rise –
Inspired to tread the causeway
Of giants, be they standing or fallen –
We rise to embrace life
And conjure our dreams
We rise to see further
And take the next vital step
We rise to lift others
And weave the web of hope
We rise to show what’s possible
Yes! Like our resilient Maya
Still, we rise. Surely, we shine


Wayne Visser © 2014



Pdf We Rise, We Shine (poem)

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