Wednesday, July 01, 2009


What is freedom?

Is it liberal elbow room at the knees?
The remembered duty to prune and plant trees?
Or treatment for every possible form of disease?

A coherent social safety net?
Ten to one odds on even a sure bet?
Models wearing wisps, modest but wet?

Caveat emptor in all of your commerce?
Or thick men with guns watching your purse?
Is it days that grow longer, more freighted and worse?

Is it safety in offering all of your views?
Sympathy from the judge for your fears and your blues?
Or something silly each day on the six o'clock news?

Does it mean every child learns to count and to spell?
If freedom means one thing and means that thing well,
The philosophers, poets and prigs must all be in hell.
-James Madison Garvey

CONSTRAINED, n. Seated near the center for a liberty lecture.


Minka said...


to be held tight
in a cloth of white,
unable to fight
the invisible fright.

pia said...

I prefer a grumpy 40something Californian's poetry :) And certainly his definition of constrained

javajazz said...

i was going to say something
trite like, freedom is the
ability to truly
be oneself,
but not everyone
has that luxury...
perhaps i'd be best
to stick with animals
and say,
Rabbit, Rabbit doggie,
oh, and
happy Canada Day...!

TLP said...

I think it's a very good poem.

CONSTRAINED: A prisoner put through a sieve?

TLP said...

And of course, Rabbit Rabbit!

Anonymous said...

freedom is now being constrained
(freedom is a chevrolet)
because of restructuring
though one could see it coming
no interest on freedom for 36 months
cash back for freedom
120 month freedom loans
yes one surely
could see
freedom erode away
with every media blitz
don't you just
,love it,
that love
that freedom

rabbit tibbar--


weirsdo said...

Constrained: the quality of mercy.

Jamie Dawn said...

Constrained: wearing a too-tight turtle neck.

Nessa said...

TLP took mine. I want it back because otherwise I am constrained to use nothing.

Rabbit, Rabbit.

Tom & Icy said...

I threw away the leash because Icy is so old to be constrained, she can barely even walk, much less run off.

Did you get a Versity Letter for the Poetry Team when you were in school?

sauerkraut said...

Janice says freedom is just another word for
nothing left to lose...

dunno what she thinks of constrained, although there was nothing constrained about her musical performances.

karen said...

Constrained: Sitting in the middle seat on a flight to Indiana for 4th of July weekend. The woman with the window seat is holding an infant in her lap, whose diapers needed to be changed hours ago. The passenger on the aisle seat has been asleep since the plane was waiting for take-off and has started drooling on your shoulder.

cooper said...

The painful act of holding my tongue is the worse constraint I've ever suffered.

I liked the poem.

My verifier being patho?

Doug The Una said...

Beyond the safety of even a straight-jacket, Minka? That is bad.

Pia, thank you. The grumpy Californian is getting more common all the time.

Happy Canada Day, JJ!

It occurs to me, TLP, that no society is more filtered than the prison population. You want the elite, look there.

Freedom is a Chevrolet- Hurray! Bear, you should be writing ads.

And is sympathy a matter of the right knot, Weirsdo?

Or any tie, JD.

Rabbit rabbit is liberty enough, Nessa.

Tom, I didn't even pass the literacy test.

Little enough constraint in her life, Sauerkraut. But what a singer, huh?

Caution, A-bell?

Karen, that's a kind wish. I'll read by the light of my florid forehead.

Mercifully, Coop, I doubt you suffered long. I think that verifier was a trick question. Some day we'll be able to leave verifiers for certain people, maybe.

weirsdo said...

You Pansify me, RBUD.

Doug The Una said...

It seemed to make sense at the time, Weirsdo. Something about constraint being the quality of mercy, I'm sure.

Ariel the Thief said...

Freedom, no fear of snakes?