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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.


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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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