Thursday, September 29, 2011

No 'Free' in Freedom...

Somberly, up the quiet tree-lined street
The steady stream of solemn ranks are led,
As sun-beams dance to the drummer’s beat
Filtering through the branches overhead
Beyond the tears and past the trees
The music of a small child’s laughter swells
Stark contrast to the infantry
Bowing ‘neath the tolling of the bells

Then, as the bag-pipe sound exalts
The melody of sweet Amazing Grace
The banner-covered coffin halts
For it has reached its final resting place
The last note fades, the cannon flies
Echoing across a distant shore
But none as stirring as the mother’s cries
“There’s no ‘free’ in freedom anymore

Put down your banners, lay down your guns
My sweet baby boy has died
Tributes, salutes, many battles won
Won’t bring him back” she cried
“Take away all the roses for nothing will be
Like it ever was before
The price of freedom is too hard for me
There’s no ‘free’ in freedom anymore”

Freedom (part two)

Up the rocky skull-strewn trail
A teaming, screaming throng of hatred surged
Swarming ‘round a form so pale
Upon a place called Calvary they converged
Beyond the tumult, wild and raging
Not a solitary friend is found
Stark contrast to the shouts and praising
As the palm-tree branches decked the ground

Then as the sound of steel on steel
Rings beyond the horror on the hill
As they drive in each cruel nail
‘Gainst the cries of ‘Father, not My will’
And as they raise the blood-stained cross
In victory the maddened thousands roar
As Mary weeps her deepest loss
“There’s no ‘free’ in freedom anymore

Take away your hammers, lay down your swords
My dear precious son has died”
As the lightning flashed and the thunder roared
There at His feet she cried
“Take away all your hatred, your jeers and chanting
For you have slain my Lord
Take away all your weapons, your raging and ranting
There’s no ‘free’ in freedom anymore”

There’s no ‘free’ in freedom, oh what a price
So that we may be set free
There’s no ‘free’ in freedom, love's sacrifice
Is beyond understanding for me
There’s no ‘free’ in freedom, let us value each day
And cherish each living breath
Oh, what a price someone needs to pay
For the cost of freedom is death

Janet Martin

A comment on the previous poem caused me to dig into the archives.

Suddenly I'm thinking of the cost of freedom...


  1. freedom does cost.

    awesome insights.

  2. Wow, a powerful poem, Janet! Both parts tug at my heart. Again, this could be a song with its repeating "There is no 'free' in freedom any more."

  3. Mike, Thank-you:)

    Violet, When I wrote this it was to the 'feel' of Johnny Cash's On a Sunday Morning Sidewalk, and in my mind there was a beat of the drum, and I wrote it, sort of, to that timing and that tune with a twist.Yes, I wrote this one wishing it could be a song, but I don't seem to have a lot of connections to song-writers...I've written, as poems, what I envisioned as an Easter Musical. This was part of it.

    PPPL, Yes, the cost of freedom is never free!

  4. After a night recuperation from the first reading, I have regained a semblance of control.

    I never saw military combat, but I've heard the gun salutes and the bag-pipes play on more occasions than I want to remember. There are friends whose names now appear on the Vietnam wall, and I was on a drug raid where I lost a close friend and witnessed true bravery for the first time in my life.

    There are so many here who take our freedoms for granted. Other than 9-11, they have never experienced conflict. War was something that happened in other lands, something to protest because it cost too much, because of collateral damage, or because too many in our military were being lost.

    Apparently, they never read history where more soldiers died in a single battle than we've lost in all the battles over the last twenty years. The have no concept of the courage it took for our founding fathers to sign their names on documents that guaranteed their death if captured by an invading army. They know nothing of the 'collateral' damage in Europe by Hitler's bombers or the collateral damage we created, ending the war with Japan.

    9-11 touched the lives of 3,000 families directly and tens of thousands more indirectly. My greatest fear is that there will come a day when the battleground will be on our soil and every family will come to know the cost of freedom.

    And here, it’s an ally, a Canadian, who writes the poem explaining it so clearly what the people of the United States refuse to understand. God bless you.

  5. Wow, Mike. You have NAILED some of my thoughts!Let us NEVER forget...or presume that our freedom was paid for eternally by our forefathers. I have watched Remembrance Day ceremonies. That is as close as I have come to attending a military funeral. If there is one thing that arouses serious concern in me it is the future of North America. There is a sense of apathy, and certainly an un- appreciation for our freedom. History forgotten is history repeated!..and we are forgetting. When I was a kid we learned about these wars in grade school. Now a lot of kids don't seem to know anything about the horror and sacrifice which paid for our freedom. Yes, we are allies. May it forever be so, and God help us in the next war. May God bless America and Canada. In Canada they want to take Him out of our national anthem!

    For the first part of this poem I drew on a memory I have of watching the procession for a fallen police officer. I will never forget the sound of those bag-pipes!


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