by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor
The Monarch butterfly considered to be the king of butterflies and the most beautiful of all butterflies in the world,” Panescu says. “They represent strength, endurance, spirituality, trust, sustaining what they believe, transformation, and evolution.” – Google
THE MARTIN BUTTERFLY
Martin Luther King Jr (1929 – 1968) was a force for racial and social equality/cohesion. He is an enduring symbol of humanity at its best and most noble. His chosen vehicle for achieving his goals, which during his crusade, would seem to have been nigh- impossible, was to effect change by appealing to noble traits which were capable of being plumbed from the deepest depths and drawn from the darkest recesses of the human spirit.
Martin Luther King Jr paid the ultimate price by sacrificing his life as a down-payment for his dream of a country in which racial injustice would no longer define and plague American society or indeed the world. His prescient, electrifying and iconic “I have a dream speech” delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, occupies a unique place in human history.
Martin Niemoller (1892 – 1984) was a kindred spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., who occupied another challenging time and space in history, which also laid bare the human heart; questioning human values and the value of human life.
He was a prominent Lutheran pastor and outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler, resulting in his seven-year detention in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany.
Although both Martins were champions of the innate dignity and inalienable rights of every human being, Niemoller’s iconic words were full of self-blame and regret, in contrast to King’s whose inspiring, uplifting ringing words energised the hearts and minds of his national audience, and the world at large.
Niemoller lamented his role as a bystander, whilst Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party carried out wholesale acts of barbarity, violence and lawlessness against innocent populations. He uttered the memorialized words: “First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.”
To read Irene’s new poem “Butterflies” click:
by Irene Fowler
Lives marked by dejection, degradation and danger
Exemplars of self-sacrifice, humility and agape-love.
Mankind’s true nobility; champions of the oppressed and downtrodden
Souls transformed through intolerable suffering and pain
Amidst tumultuous, lonely journeys of self-denial and self-discovery.
Pilgrims, travelling through their personal Via Dolorosa
Every step of hurtful surrender, leading to the mountaintop of victory
Ascending on winged chariots of fire.
Butterflies Imprisoned In the dark coldness of a watery ‘pupa’ dungeon
Escaping predation from spiders, toads and rats
Ultimately, bestowed the gift and power of purpose, beauty and flight.
Each glimpsed a universe of beauty, harmony and justice
The world awaits those who will similarly dare to dream and act
Taking a resolute, revolutionary, stand for the collective good.
© 2023 by Irene Fowler