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by Claude Jones

My mind can compose, my fingers guiding pen
I know where I am, I know where I have been

I grip this instrument of ink and rolling ball
Imprinted in my fingers, like a corpse in a pall

I grip tightly, and I write to survive
To tell my story, to communicate, I strive

Never let my mind fail, to conceive and to think
Thought and observation are lifeblood to drink

Set no limits on self, no bounds, no stops, nor molds
Set no limits on self, neither give in nor up, no bends nor folds

Note from Claude:
I wrote "Compose" to protest our becoming e-massed into a non-thinking glob of humanity and becoming complacent and marginal in our individuality. I fear humanity's becoming dominated by a few with glibness of tongue and physical appeal. I wrote to remind "me" of my abilities and the need to stiffen my back. Refusing to conform is freedom's biggest asset.

I write poetry for the pleasure of writing. Writing is my escape, often my very best friend. I read and love free verse poetry but for me to write I seemingly must write in meter and rhyme.

I was born, raised and lived all my life in Pontotoc, Mississippi. I was raised on a farm where we milked cows, raised cotton, corn, and had a peach orchard. I have worked for Pontototc Electric Power for 31 years. My wife Ann and I have two sons, both are pharmacists, and we have two grandchildren.


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Want to read more of Claude's stories and poems here at USADS?
Click these links:
Who Has The Edge?
Two Poems
Young Dreams and Old Realities

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