by Claude Jones
On my morning walk, I passed a horse
I knew it was a horse by its long face, of course
Its head hung over the barbed wire fence
I saw it last year and almost every day since
What did it feel, all fenced in and confined
Some surveyor had driven a stake, with his transit he had aligned
And boundaries were established, marked by iron pin
The horse could never leave, always fenced in
It is for the best, he is safe, they say
There is plenty of water, and once a day, hay
But what of his freedom, he was born to run
Gallop and kick, buck and have fun
Which choice would he make, if he could choose?
His freedom or fence, lots to gain, lots to lose
Security is nice, but is content really peace
Or rather stagnation, where true life will cease
The horse canít decide, heíll stand and heíll stare
But what about me, I can say when or where
Could I be confined, because I dream and donít act?
What do I miss, is it truth, or fact?
Are my bonds self-imposed, by fright or fear?
Am I limited by seeing, or what I may hear?
It is truth we should seek; it is truth we should know
If we arenít true to ourselves, we are our own worst foe
We are fenced and confined, stagnant and stale
Not even ourselves, but someone elseís tale
Oh horse, I am glad I saw you this morn
You have opened my eyes; I am feeling reborn
by Claude Jones
Crossties lay on wet gravel and ground
Looking up at trains, not knowing where they are bound
Caring only, how heavy is their load
Feeling each wheel as its weight does abode
Preferring the peace that comes with no train
No mash, no squash, no pain, no strain
If only the train would stay off their track
Crossties would be straight, no hump in their back
Some rot some split some spit out their spikes
And the rails get crooked, like tracks of a trike
People ride the rails, they proudly declare
No credit for crossties, only the wear and tear
The bear the weight, keep straight the track
Though rotted and old and even with a crack
Cursed when old and laid out by the track
Carried off to a flowerbed, never to be back
Who have we passed in life without a thought?
It is them we should thank; it is them we should have sought
Like crossties half buried in gravel and dirt
Like beggars in torn pants, and frayed, dirty shirt
We seem so useless, helpless and dead
How can we find hope and cheer instead?
To often we see the big train roar by
And think of its glory and donít think of crosstie
But without it no train, no horn to hear blow
Without it no track, no train could go
We may not see fame, our name in bright light
But we hold the worldís train, both day and night
We are poor, we are tired, we work every day
We struggle and fight to live on low pay
But we are proud and happy, thatís truth, no lie
And when we feel low, we can think of the crosstie
Claude Jones writes:
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.
Want to leave a comment about Claudeís poems?
Please visit our Message Board
or write Ye Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to read more of Claude's stories and poems here at USADS?
Click these links:
Who Has The Edge?
Young Dreams and Old Realities
Back to USADEEPSOUTH - I index page
Back to USADEEPSOUTH - II index page