One By One, They Shall Be Free

Reads: 626  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 4  | Comments: 7

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

St Francis of Assisi once said "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." We hear a lot about the evil that goes on in this world... Wars, rape, murder, genocide. When we think that all hope is lost and that only the evil will prevail, a light appears... The light of a kind soul that stands strong against the brutality of humanity. To see a kind act in a sea of depravity is a rare sight indeed, but one that helps to restore faith in human beings and their ability to perform good deeds in the face of such barbarity. Be a light and never let the flames of evil blow it out.

Through the town's bustling streets,

Past the endless sea of faces,

You will find many a market stalls,

With creatures, who's lives are being wasted.


Over there stands a large brown bear,

With chains around it's neck and shackles upon it's feet,

This poor thing knows nothing of a free life,

Everyday, having to dance merely to earn it's keep.


And over there caged dogs cry aloud,

Knowing not what terror awaits,

When their captors decide to butcher and skin them alive,

Oh if only they knew of their own disgrace.


Further down the street we see,

Little seal cubs so hapless,

Staring at their captors with a look of such helplessness,

As they bring down that mighty club upon their gentle heads.


Look over there my friends,

See that monstrous pile of ivory,

If you care to venture a little further out of town,

You will see with your own eyes, the consequence of such barbarity.


Gaze your eyes over to the stall here,

The one with many lion head rugs,

Lord only knows what these poor animals were put through,

But these hunters care little, even if left behind are it's starving cubs.


Wait... What is happening over there,

Look at that gathering around that man's stall,

Take a wander and see his performance,

What does this man have in store?


36 bird cages swaying softly in the breeze,

As these birds so eloquently sing,

Does he intend to harm them,

Oh wait... Look upon this beautiful thing!


One by one the man opens each cage,

Releasing these wondrous creatures back to where they came,

To the open skies where they can live once more,

Free from slavery, never to be held prisoner again.


"Farewell beautiful birds," we cry,

As their freedom warms our hearts,

Maybe there are still good people in this world,

That realize kindness matters, wherever in the world you are.

-- James William Cooper

Submitted: December 12, 2015

© Copyright 2021 James William Cooper. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



;) nyc

Sat, December 12th, 2015 2:30pm


Hi fashakeera, thank you very much for stopping by! :D

Sat, December 12th, 2015 11:02am


Wow! There is a wondrous aura about this piece. The poem is layered as it carries many faces. It carries the reality of the brutality of man, but it concludes the possibility someone good might exist. The animals present a real look in mankind's desire to slaughter life and savagely display death. The animals are also symbolic in our cave like desire to enslave what is weaker. This poem is an intellectual and socially aware piece that if seriously read will make a person look a bit harder into the brutality within. Amazing write, my friend of the pen.

Sat, December 12th, 2015 3:53pm


Hello there jmurch, I hope all is well with you? Wow! What a comment. Thank you kindly! :) I'm really pleased that you took the time to read this piece and comment as well! I love how you describe the piece as being layered as it carries many faces and the reality of the brutality that man is capable of. That's why I wanted to convey the different kinds of suffering that man imposes on these different animals and yet, through all this suffering and pain, I wanted there to be a light that shone through all of that evil and suffering. I wanted the piece to convey as you rightfully said that there is the possibility of someone good existing in this world. I thought about using the animals as a way of putting across mankind’s' extreme violence and pain that it inflicts upon those who it deems inferior and I wanted to show the different animals, along with the consequences that came as a result from such barbarity. I couldn't have said it better myself my friend! The way you described how the animals within the poem are symbolic with regards to man's desire to enslave that which is far weaker than them. Wow, I'm so taken back by this detailed comment jmurch, and I really appreciate the fact that you've taken the time to read the poem and comment with such a thought-provoking comment. Thank you kindly my friend and I'll be sure to have a look at your pieces too! Take great care jmurch and have a wonderful day! :)

Sat, December 12th, 2015 12:01pm

Gaea Killarny

Love the wording in all of this art. Nothing is ever as it seems.

Tue, December 15th, 2015 7:05am


Hello there Gaea, I hope that you're okay and keeping well? I just wanted to thank you very much for taking the time to have a read of my poem, it is greatly appreciated. I'm really pleased that you liked the wording in this poem. Thank you so much once again Gaea and take great care. Hope that you have a wonderful day! :)

Tue, December 15th, 2015 10:52am

Jeff Bezaire

This is a beautiful poem. Something I have personally forgotten about over the past month with all the savagery going on in the world, is the barbaric acts we also commit against animals. They suffer worse than we do, I think - fewer people care about their pain.
Such a beautiful image - birds being released from their cages, returning to the skies free. A warming feeling to know we can help set others free from their captivity.
Thank you for writing this, James.

Tue, December 15th, 2015 8:57pm


Hello Jeff, I hope that all is well with you and that you are keeping in good spirits? I'm really glad that you stopped by to take a look at my poem. I think that as you say, we can get so caught up with all the savagery that goes on in the world against humans, that we sometimes forget the barbaric violence that is committed against the world's wondrous animals. You're absolutely right! I think that fewer people do actually care about their pain, whether it's due to the fact that because they are not like humans, they feel they don't deserve the care and attention, or whether it's because humans feel they are superior to animals and thus, can do as they please with them and treat them how they see fit. The way animals are treated in this world is absolutely disgusting. I know that the way humans can be treated is diabolical, but the things that some people put animals through is beyond evil. Thank you for your kind words... I thought about using the birds being released from their cages, because to me it helped to symbolize the freedom that was being bestowed upon them, the break away from their prison and captors, to live the way that animals should live... Free. No animals should ever have to suffer at the hands of humans. How ironic, that we are supposed to be an intelligent species and yet, we are slaughtering the most beautiful creatures of this world for what? Nothing more than greed and arrogance. In my opinion, an intelligent species would acknowledge the importance of the lives of animals, as well as those of humans. I don't think that we'll ever learn to be civilized, as long as the world continues to turn... But as you rightfully say, it's nice that we have the power to set those imprisoned, free from their captivity. You're very welcome Jeff and I must thank you so much in return! I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful comment and kind words with regards to this piece... It has really made my night! :) Take great care and have a wonderful day! :)

Tue, December 15th, 2015 1:17pm


It's the shocking reality of the world. Animals are kept in cages to dance and entertain, or they are kept in cages, not knowing that they will be a human meal soon. It sickens me. Animals were roaming the earth long before humans were, so I see the earth as their home. It's a shame that the world does not see it that way. This poem captures the horror of what any animal feels on a daily basis. It's harsh and cruel.
The ending does give hope. All it takes is for more people just to open the cage door. Such a brutal yet beautiful poem. I've missed reading it. You are the modern master poet. Your lines are like strokes of art painting a priceless masterpiece.
This is exceptional poetry!

Wed, January 1st, 2020 12:25pm


It is without a doubt Dexter, shocking how we as the supposed intelligent species treat the animals of this world. We are ignorant to the fact, that animal life is just as important and sacred as human life. They have a heart that beats like ours, they have blood that courses through their veins just like us; they feel happiness and pain just the way we do, and yet we treat them as though they are nothing. They are caged, beaten, imprisoned with most never being able to feel freedom in their lives. To many they are nothing but profit and it is disgusting. It makes me ashamed, to be part of the human race with all their corruption and bloodshed and lies. You're absolutely spot on, that animals were roaming Mother Earth long before we ever were. And yet we are trying to stamp our authority on them, denying them the basic rights that they deserve.
I wanted there to be some hope, rather than it being a poem that was purely negative and without some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. We have the power to help the animals of this earth, to live in harmony with them and to give them the respect and freedom they deserve. Your words kind sir, always lift my spirits high and inspire me to continue writing. I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading the piece, and I thank you kindly for your positive words... Truly!
Thank you my friend, and I shall return the favour as soon as I can.

Sun, February 16th, 2020 12:43pm

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