On Freedom

Through the years
I’ve learned a thing or two
Was a time I thought I was free
A time when there were no fences
A time when there were no yesterdays
Only the haze on a far`off horizon
At night the glow`wash of lights
Against the darkness blotting
Out sparkling stars

The time slipped by
The horizon took on a name
And I along with it found a niche
A grinding tooth in a comfortable cog
A sheriff and a mayor became my friends
My beard began to show a little white
My children found neighborhood
Strand by strand belonging
Spread a silky web

We’re all defined
By the choices we make
A choice to stay A choice to go
A time to put down roots A time to fly
Migrate like the snow geese across the sea
But places leave their marks upon us
And the seasons bring us home
Once we’ve tasted love
Then we’re bound

“We could see anything we wanted to.
Be anything we knew how to be. Build
anything we needed. Arrive anywhere
we should have to go. But time is as stubborn
as space, and they compose us with definition,
time place and condition.”

~ Amiri Baraka, Tender Arrivals


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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3 Responses to On Freedom

  1. definitive – (Jones/Baraka was an acquaintance)


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