Elizabeth Shield


The Price Of Freedom - Poem by Elizabeth Shield

We - glorious we -
revel in our freedom
illusion though it is
and cling to it
above all else.

We have burned many
bridges, scorched many souls
that we might have our,
heart's desires, each moment
as they come.

We burn as if on fire,
and our flames consume
any restriction
any objection
any compulsion.
These, we cannot understand.

Who would contain us?
Those who love us?
Scarred they are,
by our desire,
blackened by our need
destroyed by our wants
- selfish feelings claiming
every moment.
We exceed every attempt
to hold us back.

A generation drowning
in itself, and calling that a right.
The pleasures of asphyxiation
outweigh the cost,
and death stalks in darkness
round the corners of our
minds, and bids us come,
closer, into its electric embrace.

We draw nearer, like moths,
to the flame of our passions,
and burn out upon the altar
of our greed.
Us and all who love us,
offered up, and left behind:
charred and singed,
unrecognizable.

Why was restraint
ever something to be feared?
When was enough not enough?
How could such excess and
caprice, breed so successfully
in our minds and hearts?
When did giving become evil
and equal exchange grow
unsustainable?
How can love only go in
one direction?

It cannot. We burn -
wild and insatiable -
but it is not love that burns us.
We feast, but it is not consideration
that we choose as food.
We envelop each other,
and consume.

We want, and think not of consequences.
We take, and think not of results.
And screams of pain mix with pleasure.
Ours is the pleasure, theirs is the pain.
But when 'we' become 'they',
how will we find our methods?

Our right: freedom, yes,
and its close companions: suffering,
grief, pain.
The need for the freedom
to do anything, I fear,
is a kind of shackle in itself:
To require freedom is to not be free at all.

We are not free.
Enslaved, we are, to ourselves.

We have never been free.
We - glorious we -
wear chains of gold,
and bleed.

Topic(s) of this poem: freedom, pain


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 17, 2016



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