Land of the Free

The U.S. Bill of Rights

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Dwelling in the land of the free,
feeling caged, shackled and despaired,
how is it thus we are decreed?
Bureaucratic laws have us scared;
political greed leaves us snared.
Liberties and rights do retreat,
our soul suffers in deep despair.
In trust we give, do not mistreat. 

If we but band all together,
we may a chance of bringing change;
deference will keep us tethered.
Power is ours to wield downrange;
sincere discourse must be exchanged.
Polite demand, but firm and neat,
we will not stand to be shortchanged.
In trust we give, do not mistreat.

Understanding will bring us close,
our only chance for future growth,
no room for ego-swelling boasts.
Swearing allegiance by your oaths,
political servants, our hosts.
Humility, no scheming cheats,
will aid us more than grandiose.
In trust we give, do not mistreat.

We must not fall to depths of loath,
and bleak, unscrupulous conceit.
Lift, elevate, you and me both;
In trust we give, do not mistreat!

My entry for dVerse Poets FormForAll–French Ballade:

See the rules for this challenging form as described by Gay Reiser Cannon and give it a go.

Also entered at The Poetry Palace–Thursday Poet’s Rally # 61:

Blue birds flitting amongst the magnolias,
trill a loving, thankful song.
Life is good at The Poetry Palace!

Many thanks for the Perfect Poet Award from the Thursday Poet’s Rally:

I nominate Old Raven, a blogger of deep spiritual inspiration through poetry and memoir.

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  1. Vote Ron Paul. He understands these thoughts quite well. Thanks for sharing!


  2. heck yeah…that rocks…love the message within…and i am right there with you…banding together for change…sign me up…and well done..your repeated line is perfect and great allusion to the in trust on our money as well…looks good to form too…though i am no expert…ha…nice…


    • Our only hope is to stand strong…together…I knew you’d be on board! Thanks, Brian.

      I have no idea if I stayed true to form or not…Gay…where are you?


      • smiles…i still love the strength in our voice in this…and the message….great choice in the one you brought us back to…and thank you for being part of dverse…smiles.


  3. ManicDdaily

     /  January 28, 2012

    Very ambitious. The crazy thing is that everyone wants to stand together, but not on common ground! But you describe the yearning really well, and the hope.

    I think you do a very good job with the form, but I think that you may have a couple of extra rhymes maybe? (I mean, different rhymes, in terms of different A and B lines? My sense is that the A and B rhymes stay the same throughout, but like Brian, I am absolutely no expert!) K.


    • Thank you, K. I had wished that I could find a poem to follow…not one translated from French…but couldn’t find one. I very well may have not followed the correct pattern.


  4. The message and your effective execution of this complicated form are both amazing. Gayle, you rock! 🙂


  5. Brilliant and exalted use of the form! Clearly thought, carefully explored, poetically executed. I don’t think you could have done better. I have the tiniest picky though – I’m pretty sure “altogether”, in this sense, should be written “all together””. This has nothing to detract from your excellent use of form for this timely plea. It should be posted in the halls of congress for it echoes the foundation of the Republic, the basis on which the model is based – the idea of the “rights of the people”, the overthrow of tyranny, and justice of compromise.


    • What a generous critique, Gay. I’m very pleased that I pulled this one off…it wasn’t an easy form…at least for me. You’re right about the word altogether too…I hadn’t caught that. Thank you for your kind comments for me.


  6. I didn’t know this form of poetry. Loved reading it. I am not someone who writes long verses, but I loved reading them. I write haiku and other Japanese poetry forms.


    • I didn’t know about this form until just a few days ago and decided to give it a go. I love haiku as well and have tried my hand at that form too. I love the simplistic form of saying so much with very few words. Somehow the impact can be greater that way.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing with me.


  7. Androgoth

     /  January 28, 2012

    You always add something extraordinarily wicked Gayle
    and this fine offering oozes quality my great friend 🙂 😉

    Have a wonderful rest of evening…

    Androgoth XXx


    • Thank you for your wickedly, generous compliments, Androgoth, and I’m glad you liked my mild political rant. 🙂

      Happy Sunday to you… xoxo


  8. how powerful… motivating and true!

    This was one of my favorite poems read this year! Very powerful and moving….



  9. Ever since the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people, “We the People” hasn’t meant what it used to…that’s a big part of the problem…


  10. We the people polluted with we the corporation…but this is a rally cry to unite to be the change we wish our nation to become….nice work!


  11. ah, election year. 🙂 (no, i am not from the USA)


    • Maybe you’re not in the U.S. but our leadership has that “ripple effect” that moves throughout the world, and we all affect each other. We need to be mindful of each other’s ways of being.

      Thanks for coming by!


  12. Beautifully written political poetry.


  13. Very well said, Gayle! I am also extremely impressed that you rose to the challenge of the form! I know it can’t have been easy at all. But you pulled it off, and managed to pack quite the punch in your lines. I wish that more people would wake up faster, but I know that change takes time…but it’s heartening to see so many people finally waking up and realizing the power that “We the People” DO have!


    • Thanks, Corina! Yeah, it was a tricky form alright…lots of counting of syllables and thinking up rhyming words…thank goodness for that handy, helpful rhyming dictionary. 🙂 If people realized how much power they did have…man, watch out! Think what we could accomplish…

      I really get charged up by your enthusiastic comments…thanks for that.


  14. Wow! That does seem like a challenging form. Your verse flows well, though – very natural!
    I’m all for starting a band with you – that’s what your second stanza is about, right? =)


    • Thanks so much. I’m glad it came out natural sounding…it’s tough to get there sometimes.

      Yes, that’s exactly what that second stanza is about…uh, can you play an instrument or sing? 😉


  15. Well described and written beautiful. Bodhirose.
    Love it.


  16. You always manage to accomplish these challenges with stellar
    power. As always a very remarkable poem.
    Izzy xoxo


  17. very nicely you depicted the tagline in your poem…loved it…very neat…:)


  18. as long as we dont unite no concrete result will come to our hands.

    love and hugs.


  19. Good politics here!


  20. A strong and worth while message in this poem! Glad you shared this a second time.


  21. ‘deference will keep us tethered’ Such veracity in a poem full of hard truths so well presented in your form. May I please join your choir :)!


  22. Great work on the form as I didn’t even get to do this ~

    I also like your passionate voice here….relevant to our times, and something we must not forget ~


  23. Far too many politicians have disappointed. Where I am, it’s not so easy to speak out — I firmly believe one should speak out whenever one can. Openness will build trust, perhaps enforce it and make deceit difficult. Thanks for linking to this.


    • Yes, I agree..too many politicians are a say the least. Sorry to hear that it is not so easy to speak out where you are. That is another thing that I find disturbing. We must demand transparency in what our politicians are doing and how they are behaving…and if we don’t like what we see..out they go!


  24. I’m right there with you (see my July 4 poem) – we have lost deference, median and honor in this country. Democracy has always lain in the middle at the center of compromise. If we the people begin to move to the edges we will be where Syria is now in no time. No one wants that. Let’s pull back, and figure out how to create a civil arena where we can dwell. Beautiful and timely poem!


    • I’ll check out your poem, Gay. I agree with you..democracy is found on the middle path. I fear we are losing our sense of equanimity and swinging too far one way or the other. I don’t agree with either extreme. Well said, Gay…I’m with you!


  25. i much like the musicality and flow of this.. can’t believe i’ve missed it


    • Thank you, Claudia…well it’s hard to visit everyone’s postings with our busy lives..I’m glad you visited today though.


  26. Well written, Gayle. High ideals. They are real. xo



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