Ancram Writing

Chains of Freedom

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I have fenced you round.
I have watched you ride the wildness of the storm,
The racing tide,
The mountainside.
I have seen you warm the coldest ground
With your free soul
And leave the mightiest glaciers melted in your wake.
You have proved a spirit which if left unbound and whole
Had rushed and spinned,
The tossing stallion of the wind
To make or break
But not to build and mend.

I have fenced you round
Better to harness the power of your mind,
The courage of your heart,
The restless part of you which I designed
To share my pride,
To stand my ground,
To plant my purpose in a world where doubts abound.

I have bound your hands.
I have watched your hands untied and fired by love,
The words you wrote,
The sounds you played,
The lines you drew and danced on in the sands,
The note which echoed but which could not fade.
The chords which float above the dusty ground
And winging past give joy and disappear.

I have bound your hands
Better to direct your thoughts and will
Towards the crying lands,
The echoing loneliness of empty forts
Whose brave crusade is done
Unless someone
Takes up the challenge and confronts the fear
To bring back love to cold and unloved lands.

I have chained your feet,
I have watched you dance the dervish dance,
Advance responding to the beat,
Spin, whirl,
Unfurl the standard which resides within,
Confound, amaze,
The turning of the stars in space
Appearing free yet bound by circumstance.

I have chained your feet
To set you free
Because through me these chains are so designed
As to unbind and draw the sting of pains
To warm the cold.
My chains are formed of links
In each of which the seeds of freedom be.
Yes, these are freedom's chains,
Each link programmed to make true life unfold.

I have clipped your wings.
I have watched you soar in unrestricted flight,
Riding the thermals in the fading light
Circling in rings, knowing no bounds
Beyond the very edge of space.
Aimless, indulgent, blameless,
Leading the chase, heading the hounds,
Sparkling face wildly sings,
Breaking wide the night.

But freedom does not live among the stars
Or in the eagle's wilderness of scree.
His freedom is illusory
And bears the bleeding scars of scavengings,
Ever hungry, ever on the hunt,
Slave to need and never ever free.

That life was not the one I chose for you.
That space, that dance, that dream were far too wild
To let you grow the acorn talent which I made,
And when a child I planted in your heart;
That husk from which great oaks will spring anew.

You are a stream
Which running free meanders without force,
But which contained
And set within a course can drive
The heaviest wheel to hone the sharpest blade.
You are a sprite which left untrained
Plays only Bottom's part,
But which when lightly chained
Makes come alive, pours forth in art
The deepest purpose which I planned for you.

My chains are not to bind,
Rather to help you find
The glory midst the pain which weighed you down.
My gift to you the crown
Made from the precious links of Freedom's chains.

Heavy now, perhaps, but know with me
This crown, those chains, these links, my love will set you free.


Copyright 2006 Michael Ancram
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