The Shackled Tongue

Writing can often be a strange journey. Most of the poems I write have a conscious beginning. Some event or random thought will be its starting point. I will make notes or create a rough draft that I can mull over and then rewrite a few times until I am happy with it.

Sometimes a poem will come unbidden. It seems to come from nowhere and is as complete as a poem can be. It is sometimes blocking another poem that I am trying to write and sits there in my subconscious as a defiant gate keeper.  My only course of action is to write it down and then I can move on. This happened a couple of weeks ago when I was writing the final blog poem based on Ian Dury and the Blockheads song “Reasons to be Cheerful”.

Here it is and it’s an odd little poem but I like it.

The Shackled Tongue


Words have imprisoned me

Escaped me when I needed them the most

They have danced before me

And slipped from my grasp

Embarrassed me

Shamed me

Given me access to meaning

Then denied me the truth

They have shackled my tongue


I have tried taming them

Putting them to the whip

They always fight back

Struggle for their freedom

I can never be their Master


© Jeff Price August 2018


2 thoughts on “The Shackled Tongue

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