Poetry: Anthony Wade

Anthony Wade
Paths To Freedom

Tearful Jewish women in Germany
consigned their children to the trains
that hopefully would transport them
to freedom in another land.

Fearful Muslim women in Afghanistan
passed their babies and toddlers
across razor wire to foreign soldiers,
trusting in the hope of freedom.

Orthodox women in Ukraine
pass their children into the care
of Catholic women in Poland
as the only path to a free future.

Is this the path of reason?
***

The Struggle For Freedom

Freedom is vital to the soul,
as vital as breathing to the body,
a struggle that begins as a child
against the tyranny of parents,
then school, then society,
against all that encroaches and
is policed by the many righteous,
or imposed by any tyranny,
benign, or malign.

Freedom is knowing
there is no need to be afraid.
***

The Masks Of Freedom

Liberty was once the right to act
without interference by the State,
without prescription of any authority,
to mine one's land for coal to power
the new trains, to quarry the land
for stone for the new roadbed,
to denounce the perceived errors
of others without fear or reprisal.

But what freedoms were there
for those who worked another’s land
for scarce a pittance, and subject
to dispossession on a whim?
What use was liberty if there
were too few potatoes for the pot?
And what use was freedom of speech
to those who could not read or write?

So other rights were called into being,
rights over land, the right to work,
the right to enjoy an education,
and now a freedom from want,
gifts bestowed by the State by
exacting ever-increasing tolls,
and the price given is to be bound
by prescription, curtailed by edict.
***

Bio: Anthony Wade, a Forward Prize nominee, has published in poetry magazines in Ireland, Britain, India and the US (including Setu Bilingual), both in print and online. Irish, he lives by the sea in East Cork and is an active member of the local Writers’ Group. twitter.com@anthonywadepoet

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