The hands are tied, mouth gagged,
The criminal dragged to his cell.
Who will chain the thoughts running,
Through the tunnels of his mind?

Forgotten lay the bodies of the prisoners,
Innocent in the midst of their crime.
None can hold down the will of a bird,
Though the bird may be fierce and wild.

There is no jail to bind the thoughts,
For they are already bound by reason.
Free run these words we speak carelessly,
So meaningless and always so broken.

This prisoner’s only mistake was,
To speak the depths of his thoughts,
With words that cut as sharp as knives,
Icy cold, but only with the voice of truth.

These mistakes we make so kindly,
As though a lesson must be learned,
Yet learn nothing in the wake of darkness,
But the truth remains naught but the truth.

Yet, what is this truth spoken so bluntly,
When the words cannot move the world?
Nothing stands at the feet of power,
Where truth can be turned into lies.

No one cares to remember mere  mortals,
When Gods are born to rule the world.
These Gods who hold power in their fists,
Yet care not as they sacrifice innocence.

Are they crimes committed in the face of these lies?
Or is it the voice of justice striving to be heard?
No matter the cause, the prisoners are lined up,
And shot in the head, one by one, for their voice.


I guess I was inspired by George Orwell’s book, “1984” to write the above piece. I still remember the nightmares I got while reading it about the Thought Police. Brilliant book though! One of my favorites. Well, pondering it over a little more, I guess I’ve been inspired by history as well. There is so much massacre in every revolution, every uprising. It is quite a wonder.

I am going to shamelessly advertise my photography blog again (don’t mind): Ripples Through this Imagination

I have entered the above for Thursday Poets’ Rally Week 29 hosted by Jingle

35 thoughts on “Prisoners”

  1. Whoa…intense as ever, DP!!
    I agree with each and every word you have written here… truth is sometimes meaningless, especially when the so-called “guardians” of truth are in fact the ones manipulating it!

    “There is no jail to bind the thoughts,
    For they are already bound by reason.” — these lines totally did it for me though!! Why?! Cuz those are my thoughts exactly as well!! I remember telling the VERY SAME WORDS to a friend a few months ago.. and it’s really strange to find the same words in your poem today…am touched actually!

    Keep writing thus, DP.. you are simply amazing!!
    Love ya!!

    P.S: Pardon my sloooooooooow and scanty visits.. In-laws keeping me busy.. and plus, it’s NYC…sightseeing n all.. grrrr!!! 🙂

  2. Nice call-back to Leonard Cohen’s “A Singer Must Die” (which if you haven’t heard, look up the lyrics sometime. I admire the questions you pose in this poem; great read.


  3. This stanza: so intense –

    >>> This prisoner’s only mistake was,
    To speak the depths of his thoughts,
    With words that cut as sharp as knives,
    Icy cold, but only with the voice of truth.

    Disturbing (*effectively written*) words…

  4. true.
    despite the Miranda principle, (in literal sense) the justice system screwed itself; legally murdering these people. Of course, the poem could be interpreted in other ways too, and it’s truly beautiful poem.

  5. This hurts !! the reality and horrror of it , the history in itself .. too much to think .. and you wrote on it !! Kudos to you for this brave poetry .

  6. Such power, such potency. This is a vivid piece, reverberating all the more heavily for reality of its horror. Intense work–you have made quite a thing here. It’s a fine addition to the rally.

  7. You know what made this so powerful to me was that voices continue to be shot down through bigoted laws and attitudes today. The bloodshed happens also in the hearts of men.

  8. Language makes us free,
    and thoughts can be very dangerous.
    The truth doesn’t always hurt,
    that only happens when one has expectations.
    We all belong to the Royal family. Bar none!

    Really good work here! Looks alive and well to me 🙂
    God bless your madness. Peace, UT

  9. Hi! I read this book 1984 just about two weeks ago. And while reading your poem I was thinking – wait, doesn’t that match to something I know… And than you mentioned it. It is a big question – is it better to fake or to tell the truth? I guess it depends of a person… Can you live with lies or do you rather risk your “peace” and say what you are supposed to say.

  10. Well thought out and powerful poem. Interesting that you were inspired by Orwell’s 1984 novel set in a dystopian society. I read that book as well and the question I pose is and it may be a fairly trite but important point — if the conditions described in Orwell’s 1984 actually existed in the United States and Australia and others places as well?

    Just musing no need to answer.

    Provocative write….


  11. Wow this was so powerful….especially the last two lines!! And,
    “No one cares to remember mere mortals,
    When Gods are born to rule the world.”

    But I loved each and every word in this poem and the message that came across. Very very nice!!

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