Dedicated to the memory of my son’s Godfather the late Michael Pryce, who many times encouraged me to put my poems in the arts section of Jamaica’s Sunday Gleaner years ago however I was too fearful to do so. This is one of my writings that he loved. Missing you and your laughter my friend. May your light continue to shine on us from heaven.
(Written December /2001)
To be able to walk on the road at any time of night,
Discuss politics without having to worry about your life
Speak for your rights without being condemned,
Talk about controversial topics to not only your best friend.
To be taught about our rights at the schools we attend,
To be able to express ourselves in non-conventional ways. Be free to roam our fields, swim in our rivers, enjoy a moonlit sky,
Without having to think of others or worrying about our lives.
To be free to allow our kids to play in the park alone,
Take a bus ride or go outside all by themselves, without having to fear about
Lives being lost or never seeing them again.
To be free to say no to our leaders, stand up for what is right,
Not having to pretend that, although we are not “enslaved” , still
Our own lives we cannot defend, as the ever-so-powerful few among us, Have a lot of control over us….. the majority.
They own our houses and the businesses that we support,
Many have even taken us to court
For being poor, squatting on lands,
Although many can lend a helping hand.
They are in politics, education, the business sector,
Some even help write legislation; make laws to suit themselves, while doing it under false pretense, that “its for the good of the nation”,
while in their hearts they know they make no sense, because humans are creatures with the will to be free, who will often risk their lives or go on spending sprees without thinking
of later consequences, that could arise due to temporary loss of their senses.
Oh to be free from worry about the future of our kids,
Where we will get our next meal from or how we will pay our bills.
Oh to be free from wondering if our race will get us killed,
To be free to worship in any nation or in any way that we please
without having to worry about our lives or where next we will reside.
To not worry about all these new infections that we’ve been hearing of; to raise our children with discipline, love and kindness as we were brought up without wondering if the authorities will have us locked up.
Our society could be as bad as ever,
Full of hate violence and guns. Kids can kill each other, disrespect teachers and may even stab your son.
School rules have no effect as they cannot be enforced,
And if the principal uses her initiative, the parents will just take her to court.
The police can search your house without having a search warrant
And if you deny them access due to your so called “rights” they may just shoot you as you were being defiant.
You dared to “diss” the man-made dons, that are controlled by our politicians Who are supposed to be the ones you can depend on to lead and to serve, As they are by the people, of the people for the people… that I don’t see yet.
Enlightened self-interest is what most of us see,
Get into politics so your wife and kids can take “shopping sprees”,
With taxpayers money, yes their hard earned cash,
That they have to work so hard for and that’s a fact.
Oh to be free…
Will we ever find out?
In another place, at some other time,
But I doubt I will find out the true meaning while I am alive.
Freedom…..what is it really??