Monday, 9 May 2016

Freedom, World-Weary Foot Soldier or Nature, Quintessential Pilgrim

Across the modern world, freedoms are being whittled away by the very socio-cultural-religious and political forces that purport to support and endorse them; freedom of speech (cannot even agree to differ without causing offence in some quarters); freedom to assume whatever sexual identity we feel appropriate (as if gay or transgender folks have a choice…); freedom to protest, put our names to a legitimate petition or such documentation as may be considered ‘indiscreet’ by Intelligence sources (ask Julian Assange   …) etc. etc. etc.

In places like Saudi Arabia, young people risk crucifixion, for protesting against a vile regime which many western politicians and other leading figures like to cosy up to if only for its wealth and oil.

Whoever and wherever we are, we should never take what freedom we have for granted, but neither should we assume it is the last word in what freedom means; those freedoms we don’t have or any that are at risk will always be worth fighting for as and when required.

Have two terrible world wars taught so much of humankind so little about freedom?

'Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast.' (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet) a quote the EEU and the Arab Spring of 2011 would have done well to keep in mind...?


Heart heavy, foot-weary,
for trudging life’s highways, byways
and country lanes

Maybe arrive by nightfall
or needs must press on till daybreak,
destination unknown

Under orders from a skylark
last seen soaring into a weepy dawn
(looking for Heaven?)

Apollo offers hope in time
to lighten the heartbeat, put a spring
in the loneliest step

Centuries-old aspirations
discarded on the slopes of Parnassus
recovered, read aloud

Where life no less precious
on highways, byways or country lanes,
find bitter-sweet poems

Foot soldier, resting at last
among earth worms burrowing histories
of love, peace, and war

Only Apollo visits the grave,
in remembrance of Freedom’s poems
and those who listened

Yet, the foot soldier lives on 
in (open) minds and hearts of free spirits 
across the world

Copyright R. N. Taber 2016

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