Canticle of Freedom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 23, 2018

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Submitted: September 23, 2018

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Canticle of Freedom

 

[Declaration]

 

Broken feet of children 

Shuffle about the street, 

Greeted by awakened howls 

From the packs of one another’s desires; 

 

It is in these times 

That the children deserve 

To hear it all.  

 

There is but one time 

For this to end, 

And I soon realize 

How the children still walk. 

 

 One of them speaks to me from afar, 

Reciting a poem: 

A Canticle of Freedom.  

 

The song was strained, 

And its contour melody inverted 

Until it became unrecognizable.  

 

Of course, 

It was sung just as loudly 

As the fire that burnt us down, 

But that fire is still burning, 

And that song is still churning 

Inside every single one of us.  

 

Broken feet carry us 

Towards an everlasting era 

Of ambiguity, 

And so far as the eye can see 

I will so fly, 

Carrying on my wings 

The child’s song.  

 

 

 

Echoes of the valleys 

Repeat it back to me 

In a fugue in perfect harmony, 

 

And yet this causes me much distress, 

Distress in that my time 

Seems to be ending.  

 

The rug is pulled out from under me, 

And I cannot stand alone in this.  

 

Gracefully, 

The voices converge 

And in perfect fifths 

I hear nature’s loathsome cry: 

 

“Gloat as you may, 

Vincerò!”  

 

What a Beast we have awaken!  

 

To say that one is unsure is futile;

 It is well known by now.  

 

Tired and beaten, 

The children form a single file line, 

Deterred by no man.

 

The line moves through the halls 

Slowly, 

And, with heads down, 

The children recite 

The Pledge of Allegiance, 

As if to believe 

In what they are saying.  

 

Words mumbled from their mouths 

Silence their questions within.  

 

When will it be enough for One?

 

I too recited this pledge, 

And my voice was drowned 

By the song of this damned country, 

Awakened from the depths 

Of the very reason we sing it.  

 

What bravery have I seen here?  

 

I cannot recount the days 

In which I felt sobered 

By the graceful thievery.  

 

Balanced diets of banners and crosses nourish us, 

And such is our lives, 

As we are at the same time malnourished.  

 

The scythe swings like a pendulum, 

Cutting along the way the fabric of time.  

Wasting away what we were given, 

The children ask me why.  

 

I cannot say, because I do not know.  

All I can say is this:

 

[First Iteration]

 

Great leaves fall from overhead,

Covering the children’s heads with dust and mold.

One of them sneezes on the other.

“Bless you,” says another.  

“For what am I to be blessed?” he asks.

He cannot say, because he doesn’t know.

All he can say is this:

 

[Second Iteration]

 

“As sly as the sly fox, you are,” he said to another beside him.

“Even so, these grapes are still sour,” he replies.

Uncultured swine was his name,

And he wore it well.

On his sleeve in fact, just where he should’ve sneezed. 

Granted, he couldn’t have, because he didn’t know.  

All he knew was this:

 

[Third Iteration]

 

 Seeing the country in distress is not enough.

Believe what you may, the Flea will still bite.

Banned from nothing, and as such will stop at nothing,

Eunomia practices bestiality;

 We are the scapegoats.

Grand and sweeping as the gesture,

Borrowed from me, myself, and I.

Don’t forget the Oxford Comma.

Of course, how could I?

All I seem to’ve forgotten is this:

 

[Fourth Iteration]

 

Words.

I cannot speak.

I do not know how.

Speak against this and say:

 

[Fifth Iteration]

 

Stab, steely knives!

Whereas now, the knives are dull.

Well, you know what they say:

“Broken pencils are pointless.”

And to make your point less,

I try to find the humor in it all,

Because who wants to be wrong in this:

 

[Sixth Iteration]

 

Silence=Death

 

[First Amendment]

 

Broken pencils can still Erase.

 

[Seventh Iteration]

 

Plagued by definition,

I often find myself,

Without time to look back.

Turbulent inner layers of linear chromaticism,

Seemingly spiraling downwards towards the alter.

Slow and steady does not win the race.

A brass quartet sounds

And Mount Hermon crumbles to the ground,

Followed by religion as a whole.

 

[Eighth Iteration]

 

Car horns fill the streets with noise.

How hot can asphalt become?

Go ahead, rest your head on the street,

I will not run you over.

Somebody else might, however.

Be careful not to burn yourself.

 

[Second Amendment]

 

Religion is immortal.

 

[Ninth Iteration]

 

How sad.

 

[First Addendum]

 

I was burnt instead after resting my head on the asphalt.

Monkey see, monkey do.

 

[Tenth Iteration]

 

Unneutered dogs roam the streets.

I’d give them a home, but I’ve no room.

Would I neuter them?

Well, no.

What’s a dog without its power?

 

[Second Addendum]

 

The bark is worse than the bite.

Or, as I was told once. 

 

[Third Amendment]

 

The streets have already been filled for decades.

Debris clutters them.

What god could’ve built this?

 

[Eleventh Iteration]

 

And so the old man,

Sitting in the corner of his porch,

one hand in his hair,

 asked me,

“Son, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

I couldn’t answer him, because I didn’t know.

Instead I asked him,

“What did you become?”

He said to me,

“I can’t answer that, because I do not know.”

Then he said,

“But I can tell you this:

Things aren’t the way they used to be.

I have no money,

And yet I am the happiest man alive.

Do you know why?” he asked.

I did not.

“Because,” he continued,

“I do not know. 

If I knew why I was the happiest man alive,

I would not be so happy.

The giving tree would not give to me.

I do not question, I do.

I know I am happy.  

I do not have to know why.”

It sounded to me to be cliche.

But I soon realized what he meant.

And then I truly understood 

Why the children still walk. 

 

[Third Addendum]

 

The old man died the next day, alone, on his porch.

He was, according to sources, the happiest man dead.

 

[Twelfth Iteration]

 

And so, the flowers have wilted,

The birds have stopped singing,

And the trees have no leaves.

I’ve lost my rake, 

And the rake’s progress stops.

Foreign to me is the idea that this was not eternal,

And foreign is it still that I knew it wasn’t.

For one way or another,

The broken feet will not heal

If they remain walked on. 

Flames dance,

Enlightening the vibrations,

And the melody I once knew comes back to me.

Broken is everything, 

And yet,

I get up.

Slowly but surely,

I get up. 

My will,

Broken,

Is my savior.

Broken pencils still have erasers.

 

[Final Iteration]

 

Fredome is a noble thing.

This is what it means to be human.

 
-Brennan Colson


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