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The Web Poetry Corner - Iftekhar Sayeed - A Market for Freedom

A Market for Freedom


Iftekhar Sayeed

There is a market for freedom

In Athens, slaves were sold
In the agora
Those who were free
Were clinically distinguished
From those who were not

As the Roman acquired
More space, so
The slaves he captured
In war gained less

Yet death of Republic
Inaugurated freedom
Under Emperors
The more Oriental the rule
The greater the freedom

For the Orient had
Never made that
Clinical distinction
For the despots were
Jealous of private
Loyalties - and slaves
Were loyal (if
At all) to their owners

In the United States,
Centralisation wrested
The slave from private
Possession into
Collective possession -
The prison became
The black mans home

The west no longer
Permits private
Property in souls -
Only collective property
In the form of blacks
And states, such as mine

In states such as mine,
The modern Graeco-Romans
Promote freedom - they pour
As much money into freedom
In my country as into
Their prisons!

Democracy distinguishes
Free and the unfree;
We have the vote
And we are owned collectively

At least the Greek slave
Had no illusions
Neither do some black
People in the land of the free

But our intellectuals make a lot of money
Out of selling our freedom
They try to fool
Us into thinking
That a dictator is a master -
A Greek faith

Under the despots
Of the orient
None were free
And none were not free

Our intellectuals who
Do their PhDs in western
Universities are the
Latter-day shareholders
In the Royal African Company
True heirs of John Locke
Advocate of liberty
And slavery, who
Made his career
Out of the first and
His fortune out
Of the second

Freedom is a word thats
Bought and sold -
It means nothing here
But looting and killing
And raping

Collective freedom, now
Thats something different
Altogether, that means
Freedom from a word

Only an adjective
Stands between
Us and our dignity

Just substitute
For individual
And we are one
Neither free nor unfree

To visit all of Iftekhar Sayeed's poems, click HERE

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