A Desperate Bid

This is where you may go

This is what you may grow

This is where you may drink

This is when  you may wink

This is what you can wear

This is what you may bare

This is who you may love

This is how you stay above

This is what you must pay

This is where you may pray

This is how you may worship

This is where to send the  warship

This is what you may smoke

This is how you may joke

This is how you may breed

This is what you may read

This is where you may go

This is who is now your foe

This is how you must heal

This is when you may appeal

This is where you may speak

This is what you must seek

This is how you may work

This is where you may walk

This is who you may elect

This is who you may suspect

This is where you may apply

This is where you may fly

This is what you may possess

This is how you must dress

This is what you can read

This is the most you may speed

This is all you may say

This is what you must pay

These are few of our decrees

This is how freedom feels

This is where you are free

This is where you must agree

GBOLABO ADETUNJI/ AYOKA
image link

photo credit

knackered

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88 thoughts on “A Desperate Bid

  1. I don’t know if you have ever read the writer Jamaica Kincaid. She has a similar prose poem in her book “At the Bottom of the River” with all of the things her mother taught her. Your work of imprisoning lines reminded me of that.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Her work featured recently on the New Yorker Fiction podcast. I have listened to that poem before. I love her style of communication. It probably inspired this one. Haha! Elizabeth, nothing goes unnoticed by you. I like you and respect you a lot!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. @Gbolabo I haven’t read the said poem but when I was reading yours, I was feeling wow this man has noted down every instruction given by parents till now till I reached the end. Great post !!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. You are right. It does read like a parent giving instructions to a child. Ever since reading your thought-provoking poem entitled “Unspoken-The Unheard Voices of A Daughter”, dated April 20, 2017, it occurred to me that right from in-utero, children are constantly yearning for love, acceptance and freedom. Right after they blow the birthday candles that makes them an adult, and walk outside of their parent’s homes, they are in for a rude awakening. They are walking into the arms of a new parent- the big government with its oversized pyjamas- the one that censors them and makes them realize that society will only love and accept them if they give up their tainted idea of freedom. Probably freedom is over-rated. Thank you for stopping by. I deeply appreciate your comment.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sadly that’s a truth of life. Thanks for reading my blog posts and appreciating them. All we can do to make the change is to be more empathetic and loving towards others in our life.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. This is probably one of the deepest questions anyone has ever asked me on this blog. You are no ordinary man. Does freedom exist in the world? To some extent perhaps but not fully. However, freedom can exist in varying degrees and different circumstances to different people. Therefore the possibility for it to exist makes it real and not just a figment of the imagination.
      The bottom line is that conceptually, freedom is a state of mind. There are people who are free in their minds despite being in actual chains. Remember the concepts of Nelson Mandela while in prison for decades? Freedom does exist–inside the confines of the human mind. There are people walking around the street who are in great bondage of various kinds- either self- imposed or as a product of the society they find themselves. The FDA tells us what we can and cannot eat. The TSA tells us what we can and cannot take on a plane. The NTSB tells us what can and cannot be driven on American roads. To a large extent, the only place where true freedom exists on this planet is inside our minds. No one can tell us what to think, no matter how much governments tell us how to live.
      Generally, in America, people feel there are too many restrictive laws almost to the extent that their lives are being choked. That is in exchange for the high and lofty livelihood that the rest of the world are dying to have. In Africa, there is, by contrast, fewer laws, lesser law enforcement and a general laissez-faire attitude of government towards its people. That looks like more freedom on the surface but by contrast, the quality of life and access to infrastructure pales in comparison to what exists in the western world. So it’s a give-and-take kind of situation.
      If you have read this far, I think I can at this point say that genuine freedom comes with a form of spiritual awakening. Something that exists even though it is not palpable- it comes from forming a relationship with a higher being. It comes from the knowledge of the one that once said: “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”.For mainstream purposes, this true freedom can be further explained by contacting me directly. I am on the Web. Thank you for reading. Your comment made me think deeper.I really appreciate it because, as you pointed out in your most recent post. learning is a continuous process. Your insight into this issue is welcome. Remain blessed.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Good post. Freedom means obeying all rules and laws which protect everyone from abuse, being the victims of crime, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, and all the other awful behaviour that humans so readily and thoughtlessly engage in. Only if WE ALL obey the rules and laws, are we truly free.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I want to thank you for reading and taking the time to contribute to this discussion. I see your point of view and I must say that on surface view, it seems that if all people in all places obeyed the existing laws, then true freedom will abound.
      On a deeper reflection, however, one would find out that human laws are never absolutely perfect. Sometimes morality has no place in the laws of the land.Some laws are outrightly immoral, and as such, enforcing them or obeying them puts people in outright bondage rather than freedom.
      As at today, in some parts of Nigeria, the existing laws has the lowest the legal age of sexual consent. For girls, it is 13. Teenage girls are forced into marriage (more like bondage) by “law-abiding” citizens. Some laws are immoral, usually because they are unfair but sometimes because they are counterproductive or harmful. Obeying them actually brings bondage to people rather than freedom.
      Some laws are outrightly atrocious and worthy of condemnation. Many laws about Jews in Nazi Germany and many laws concerning women and blacks in early U.S. law were morally wrong. Many apartheid laws in South Africa were morally wrong.Obeying those laws actually put millions of human lives in bondage, jeopardized basic human rights, and resulted in unnecessary death and incarcerations. Certainly, those laws did not bring freedom. They did the opposite.
      One might argue that those deplorable laws have been replaced by more reasonable or morally upright laws. True, but not absolutely true. In the western world today, there are government programs set up by law that simply mistakenly harmed the people they were intended to help. One that readily comes to mind is the promulgation of the welfare rules that ended up trapping people in poverty rather than assisting them to escape it.
      The procedure in courtrooms often lead to acquittals of obviously guilty defendants, and sometimes to convictions or continuing sentences and punishment of known or likely innocent ones.How many times have we read about citizens put in JAIL for decades for offenses they never committed? Before the advent of the DNA technology, lots of blacks were sent to jail for rape sentences despite being innocent. Where is the freedom in that kind of society? Do we know of people who are guilty but walking free because of our legal system? Where is the freedom in that system? When laws are immoral, injustice prevails. Where there is an injustice, people cannot feel a sense of freedom. There is no reason to believe that just because a law passes, it is for the best or that it is right or moral, or that it will bring freedom, even if the people passing it think it is. If one were to be charitable about legislators, one might perhaps be able to argue that they pass those laws they believe to be right, whether those laws actually are right or not, but I believe there is sufficient evidence legislators will often pass laws for political reasons — to win or keep political support from those whom the law favors or to whom it panders — even though they know the laws are bad or wrong. Either way, however, sometimes bad or immoral laws get passed. They restrict true freedom on final analysis.
      The laws may never bring absolute freedom. For one thing, the concept of what is right and what is wrong will forever be “debate-able” on too many issues.
      Having said all of these, I am in total support of everybody obeying the laws of the land as we continue to evolve as inhabitants of the earth. For without laws, what are we as a people? From time to time, animals have chaos in the animal world. .Without laws, humans will have both evil and chaos co-existing side-by-side.It is an imperfect world but we can make it better for future generations.Thank you, Kim, for your insight.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree totally Gbolabo. Goverments often make laws to suit themselves, to make them themselves rich and more powerful. South Africa’s government is a prime example of this. It is disgusting how people are brainwashed and threatened by governments. The same goes for some religious laws concerning sex, marriage etc, like the one in Nigeria making the legal age of sex 13. Its unbelievable that people allow their governments to make such laws. I was really referring to the moral laws that the 10 commandments refer to. They just seem like natural manners, common sense, fairness and empathy and shouldn’t really be connected to religion.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I found it interesting that even the freedom statements indicated by your use of the word “may” were also very restricted due to the words like ” where” and “how”. Sobering. The cadence not only called me to start reading but also kept me reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can not reply on ur post.your every posts are amaging ,lovely n wonderful with beautiful wordings.bt in ur every posts show when i reply-“comments r closed.why?plz tell me d name of ur country .

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  5. You my dear friend are a gracious thinker. Your poem with its accompanying image is cathartic. The metaphoric relevance for me is the fluidity of the human mind and its everchanging grasp of concepts. The idea that humans are trapped within the confines of a society whose rules and laws dictate attitudes of behaviour resonates well with my own belief. I am on a journey to smash the bars and see what’s beyond. Some say nothing. Some say a mirror of our own reckoning. Some say a larger cage. Whatever. But I suspect that you also sense that life is precious and sacred regardless of the senseless slaughter and slavery that mirrors the realities of civilisation and its disposable notions of freedom and equality and religious piety so evident today and throughout history. I sometimes wonder that these perpetuating barbarities that dominate the human landscape are nothing else but the processes governing nature; that these things happen in the same way that it rains. I am unsure. But I do contemplate the power in the ability to conjure an idea that inspires. And that to me is my freedom. And thank you for your unassuming, thought-provoking, and may I say satirical discussion, on the figurative notion of slavery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your erudite comment. I have pondered everything you stated over and over again. It has made be rethink my stance to some extent. I guess that in the final analysis, each individual should be free to define what freedom means for him or her. More importantly, each individual should be free to pursue that ideology within the scope of the “larger box”, as you rightly defined it. I go with the idea of the larger box because it seems , as it were, that every form of freedom is ultimately, a form of slavery to a concept, a movement, a government or a superior being. Perhaps it does not exist in absolutes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comment. Thank you!

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    1. It is nice to meet you. Your blog is equally awesome. Yes it feels nice to find a namesake here.. Is yours a maiden or married name if you don’t mind me asking.?I notice the Modupe in your blog name. Have a great day! 🌸

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