Ms. Pam Korza
In the Hands of a Loving Heart
Ms. Pam Korza
On this last day of National Poetry Month, we have a special gift from musician and composer Hannibal Lokumbe, whom Americans for the Arts is proud to honor as our 2020 Johnson Fellow for Artists Transforming Communities. Hannibal composed this poem out of intense concern for the dire moment that all humankind is experiencing and the many people we hold dear. It was inspired by a recent dream in which his mother appeared holding her hand silently over her heart. As we ache for the breath, the embrace, the embodied presence of family, friends, and colleagues, Hannibal’s words remind of the enduring power of the spirit and heart to connect us in this time of physical distancing, duress, and loss. I leave you in the hands of Hannibal’s loving heart.
Love Is Everything
Love does not lie in the grave of possessions.
It is not a finite cause. Its power is immortal and is the ultimate state of being.
It is the food of the soul; the joy of the heart, the clarity of the mind.
Without it the mind dies.
The heart is frozen; the soul turns to destruction
and hell appears before our very eyes.
There is no need for there to exist a place in the depths of the Earth
where a special kind of fire exists to burn the skin to an unknown degree.
Napalm is unrivaled in its ability to do the same. And it was not created
by a man wearing a red suit and fitted with a set of horns on his head.
This effective tool of killing was created by men
whose suits and ties were made of the finest silk.
And as well, there is no need to create and become fixated on a place
where plump cherub-carrying angels float around upon fluffy puffs of clouds.
There is no greater heaven than the absolute force of love.
How could the peace of any place rival that of a newborn
sleeping in the arms of love?What fictitious place could equal the first blossoms of spring;
the evening gold of a setting sun upon the sea,
or a loaf of bread in the hands of Mother Theresa?
What could be more heavenly than millions of Mayflies moving
in the light of a full moon, or the sound in Dr. King’s voice
when he knew his time was soon to come?
Could there be a milk or honey sweeter than the sound
of Fannie Lou Hamer singing This Little Light of Mine hope
into the souls of the hopeless?
The hands of an unloving heart make more of a hell than there ever could be.
And the spirit born of a loving heart makes sufficient proof that heaven is now.
Long after the soil has reclaimed the noble bones
of those you loved with unbridled joy while their hair could still hold the wind
and the touch of their eyes made whole your pain;
long, long after the shedding of their flesh, their presence will never abandon
the love created between you. The love you shared in the flesh is not buried with the flesh.
From such love a spirit is born. And it will continue as never before
to greet you and comfort you and heal you in ways far beyond
the understanding of a mind ruled by fear.
When your lungs hold their last gift of life, and you are made
To lay bare the sum of your deeds before the Eternal gaze,
may love be the sight It sees,
for love is everything.
Man of Jonah
The Tribe of Jonah
A brief article highlighting Hannibal’s healing work through music appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Arts Link. Log in to your account to read this issue of Arts Link. Not a member? Join today for access to Arts Link and more member benefits.