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Passions in Poetry

Freedom

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Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


0 posted 06-30-99 03:40 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

With America's Independence Day just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to dust off the results of a challenge - and bring a few said results to the top. I invite everyone to join in our celebration of the 4th of July...

Freedom




I was fifteen when Grandfather died,
his twisted body vanquished by too many years,
his mind confused by too many diluted memories,
his spirit still as strong and indomitable
as the day he first killed another man
to protect the life he loved.

It was hard for me to see the war hero he had been
within the wasted remnants of a wispy old man,
his flesh sunken between fragile bones,
his smooth, soft skin bleached paler
than the sheets that wrapped him
like a premature burial shroud.

It was hard to see the war hero he had been
until Grandfather opened his rheumy eyes,
the blue as pale as a winter sky,
as hard and cold as tempered steel.
When he opened his eyes and looked into your soul,
only then could you see it. Then you would know.

Those eyes were a pool of profound strength,
with unwept tears of pain and death floating
just below their placid, unbroken surface,
like ocean debris trapped within swift currents
and forever forbidden to emerge,
forbidden to pollute the sea that was his life.

But, still, the soiled debris was a part of him.
Grandfather survived the German occupation of his land,
fought life and death struggles in an Underground
that would not, could not accept the domination of others.
And when it was over, when he had outlived the death,
he had moved to a new land, a land of new-found friends.

In America, Grandfather built a new life,
while never forgetting the lessons of the old.
His melodious French was replaced with broken English,
the rifles with shovels, the knives with hammers.
But nothing ever supplanted his implacable courage,
nothing ever usurped his enduring strength.

Grandfather was a warrior, but he was also a teacher.
I listened to his words, saw his examples,
learned from the stories and histories he shared.
He showed me that courage and strength aren't independent qualities,
but rather are the inevitable results of abiding love.
"What you truly love," he would say, "can never be surrendered."

And Grandfather, more than most, loved Freedom.
I have since learned there are many who say it,
but few who really feel it.
And fewer still who understand it.
Grandfather once told me he never fought for Freedom.
He said, instead, he fought against domination.

We were sitting in the old wooden swing,
its paint as wrinkled and weathered
as the skin of my grandfather's aged face,
the sound of the river flowing through his yard
a backdrop for a classroom
with neither desks nor chalk boards.

"A man can never take away your Freedom," he told me.
"They can only take power and make you pay a higher price
when you choose to exercise it.
Hitler wanted to make that price a man's death.
There is always a price to be paid for Freedom,
but when the price becomes too high, a man must fight."

I remember he paused then, his irregular breath
like a clipped whistle as it wheezed past swollen nostrils.
I was used to his long lulls, a habit so many found irritating.
Grandfather was giving me time, I knew,
to ponder, to absorb, to believe.
And I knew, too, in knowing him, there would be more.

When he finally continued,
Grandfather's voice was almost a whisper.
"It works both ways," he said, leaning closer,
his minty breath an envelope around my face.
"A man can never take away your freedom,
and a man can never grant it either."

Grandfather's voice had many tones within it,
and I had learned them all through the years.
"The laws of this country are good ones, mostly,"
he said in a reverent tone, an awed tone
that spoke of important lessons
to be learned.

"But you must always remember that its Constitution,
and all the laws Congress has passed since then,
don't give you one bit more Freedom
than you already have.
Laws are made by men. Laws change.
Your Freedom is part of you. It's forever."

I remember nodding my understanding,
and I remember Grandfather's hand falling to my shoulder.
He squeezed briefly, and I can only assume he was pleased.
It would be another two years
before he would lay in a death bed of virgin white,
and another two decades before I would really understand his words.

The Freedoms written within our laws are always conditional.
Freedom of the Press is amended by libel statutes,
and Search and Seizure laws are cast aside for Probable Cause.
All the laws, all the guarantees,
exist only at the whim of the courts and Due Process.
Grandfather understood.

Any government based on unconditional Freedom
would necessarily be a government of unconditional anarchy.
Our laws don't grant people Freedom.
Our laws only set the price that must be paid
when a citizen chooses to exercise our Freedom.
But the Freedom comes from within.

Grandfather was not a religious man, but he was a Godly man.
And I think he knew.
Our Creator gave us not only our existence,
but he granted us Free Will,
that we might choose between good and evil.
And that power of choice is what Freedom is really all about.

There will always be a price to pay for Freedom.
The price is set by the hand of man, by the laws we make.
When we are wise and good, the price is one we can bear.
And when we are neither wise nor good,
there will always be men like Grandfather,
with the courage and strength to fight for what they love.
© Copyright 1999 Ron Carnell - All Rights Reserved
Tim
Senior Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 1801


1 posted 06-30-99 03:47 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Belongs in a place of honor... top of the list.....
Nimrod the Hunter
Member
since 06-10-99
Posts 63


2 posted 06-30-99 04:02 PM       View Profile for Nimrod the Hunter   Email Nimrod the Hunter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nimrod the Hunter

Your grandfather was, and still is, a great man. The fight for freedom seen as a fight against domination is how I view it. Freedom's a part of us that cannot be taken away by men, it's a part of us. I salute you for this poem. I give as many stars as are on the American flag for this one.
ac
Member
since 06-17-99
Posts 132
Cayey, PR - USA


3 posted 06-30-99 05:21 PM       View Profile for ac   Email ac   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ac

I bow to your grandfather, my grandfather and any other man or woman who has risked their life for freedom and the love of the life we're all lucky to have...even if only for a short while...I raise my glass to FREEDOM and all those with the courage to keep us FREE...you too Ron...for poetry too sets us free...

[This message has been edited by ac (edited 06-30-99).]
Soleil
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since 06-12-99
Posts 114


4 posted 06-30-99 05:45 PM       View Profile for Soleil   Email Soleil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Soleil

Thank-you. You have an unbelievable memory.
Andrew Scott
Member Elite
since 06-24-99
Posts 2655
Redlands,CA,USA


5 posted 06-30-99 06:06 PM       View Profile for Andrew Scott   Email Andrew Scott   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Andrew Scott

I am stunned! By far, some of the best writing I have ever come across. Thank you for sharing the greatness of your grandfather. You've created one of the most beautiful memorials I've ever encountered. I think this should be ran across the country in every newspaper. I bow to you.
Poet deVine
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Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


6 posted 06-30-99 07:37 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

It's no secret to see why you are the kind of man you are. To have a grandfather like this! We should all be so lucky!

Love and appreciation of freedom is not passed down from generation to generation anymore, therefore we seem to lose some of our patriotism with each passing generation! How sad!

Ron, your poem is wonderful! A lot of the newer members might not know that you are Saint Ron the Poet!

doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


7 posted 06-30-99 08:07 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Can I have permission to print this out and distribute it to some people I work with as a tribute to Freedom, the 4th, your grandfather, and of course, you? I read this when several of us participated in the Freedom challenge and I still think it's the most well written of them all. You tell a story with passion and I envy your talent!

BRAVO!
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


8 posted 06-30-99 08:09 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Can I have permission to print this out and distribute it to some people I work with as a tribute to Freedom, the 4th, your grandfather, and of course, you? I read this when several of us participated in the Freedom challenge and I still think it's the most well written of them all. You tell a story with passion and I envy your talent!

BRAVO!
Nan
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Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


9 posted 06-30-99 09:04 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

MAESTRO


Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


10 posted 06-30-99 09:43 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

You should send it to the local Colon paper..
Fred Hobbs
Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 353
Tallahassee, Florida, US


11 posted 06-30-99 09:57 PM       View Profile for Fred Hobbs   Email Fred Hobbs   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Fred Hobbs's Home Page   View IP for Fred Hobbs

Ron,

Congratulations on having created the perfect Independence Day tribute. As both a poet and a veteran and you've really made my day.

fh
Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


12 posted 06-30-99 10:33 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Maybe you should e-mail this to the White House...? Billy Bob could use a lesson...
Balladeer
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Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


13 posted 06-30-99 11:04 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I can only humbly add to all the accolades posted here. A worthy and well-done endeavor creating a wonderful tribute to freedom and your writing abilities. Well done!!
Nan
Administrator
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


14 posted 07-01-99 06:43 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Sally S.
Senior Member
since 06-07-99
Posts 887
Ohio


15 posted 07-01-99 08:19 AM       View Profile for Sally S.   Email Sally S.   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sally S.

Ron,
What a wonderful tribute to freedom.....and your Grandfather. I share the feelings of many others who have seen this piece....you have enormous talent. My Grandfather, too, fought for freedom......if he were still with us..he would find this piece very moving. Thank you Ron, for so many reasons.
Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


16 posted 07-01-99 09:48 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Without Ron, there would be no Passions Forum. No freedom of poetic expression! Let's hear it for RON!!!!


jfreak
Member
since 06-17-99
Posts 311
Yuma, AZ, USA


17 posted 07-01-99 04:31 PM       View Profile for jfreak   Email jfreak   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jfreak

As a current Marine, I must say that you honor your Grandfather well with this. I do believe he would be proud. You have truly come to understand all that your Grandfather fought for and all that he strove to pass on to you. You are his legacy and you honor him. Bravo. This poem is Oh so SavingPrivateRyanesque. You have thoroughly written one of the greatest poems of modern years, I have ever read. Honor is what most military men stive to achieve and uphold. Again you just continue to honor your Grandfather and i know he would be proud.

Jfreak
Nan
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Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


18 posted 07-01-99 07:03 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Poet deVine
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


19 posted 07-01-99 09:36 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Who put the free in freedom?
Who put the poet in poetry?
Ron Carnell, the passionate guru
Let's hoist him up for all to see!



Poet deVine
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Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


20 posted 07-03-99 06:49 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


fjones
Member
since 06-07-99
Posts 101
MS


21 posted 07-03-99 10:40 AM       View Profile for fjones   Email fjones   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fjones

Yes I know what it is like to live with a hero of war. My father fought in World WarII
and it left a large imprint on almost everything he did in his life. I never knew the price he paid for my freedom until I was an adult and understood how war works. This is a wonderful poem on understanding Freedom.
Freedom lives inside us.
Nan
Administrator
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


22 posted 07-04-99 03:32 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Let's hear it one more time
For Independence Day

Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


23 posted 06-12-2007 05:22 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

beautiful and powerful.
what a grandfather to be proud of.

just wonderful write.
Artic Wind
Member Rara Avis
since 09-16-2007
Posts 8075
Realm of Supernatural


24 posted 11-10-2007 09:47 PM       View Profile for Artic Wind   Email Artic Wind   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artic Wind

ron,

never seen that you ;posted poems
thank, that was nice

ARCTIC WIND
 
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