R. Glenn Disney

The Red-Winged Blackbird

My hands are loosed from chains
The field awaits my presence today
A while longer, the sun's heat remains
The toil, my bones in pain do pay

I stretch my arms, present my hands
Another night in bound condition
And dream of oasis in welcome lands
That cools my skin and reverse attrition

My heart leaps with sudden sound
The wake up noise of the morning guard
The dream is vanished, my hands unbound
Again the heat, again the the stone yard

A small relief as my muscles surrender
The tenth stone positioned to the master's word
Glancing upward I see a hawk's flight plunder
Chased away by a smaller bird

Oh, what may I know as I study the sky?
May I smile, take courage, and death do defy?
Why is the red-winged blackbird so brave?
Has the hawk been bewitched, has he lost his fight?
To whom is my worth, what makes me a slave?
My racing thoughts or chains in the night?

Now ends the day, here are my limbs
Again to be bound as the light dims
But new hope unfolds as I see with my eyes
The heart of the small bird rise

To do what it must in spite of the foe
It darts at the hawk, reclaiming it's meadow

And so fear reigns no more, nor will I behave
As if I believe that I am a slave
Fear not the chains, nor my master's stone cart
I'll ponder the small bird, it's fighting heart

For he is no slave whose mind is his own
Though his body be bound, his work to be shown
The hawk's courage rests only in the shadow cast
I was free and am free and freedom will last

Poem Submitted: Saturday, June 2, 2007
Poem Edited: Saturday, March 5, 2011

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Comments about The Red-Winged Blackbird by R. Glenn Disney

  • Jade Leven (6/19/2007 8:51:00 PM)

    Creative and flowing. Great rhyming skills. Keep up the good work.

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  • Sandra Fowler (6/3/2007 5:21:00 AM)

    Beautiful, elegiac and well worth remembering. This is a poem worthy of the name.
    Take care.

    Kind wishes,


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  • Patricia Gale (6/2/2007 6:16:00 PM)

    Stunning work, stellar penning, awesome meaning!

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