While watching the baseball game, I saw a promotion where you get a free taco if someone steals a base. What can you think of that’s free? We’re freeing up our muse and writing a “free” poem. It won’t cost you a thing.




You stand in line
you’re looking fine
you haven’t had the chance to whine.

You can’t decide,
you want to hide
you’re shaking like a leaf inside.

You see me there,
you start to stare,
but this is more than you can bear.

Those canes of candy
they look dandy,
but you don’t have a nickel handy.

But soon there’s glee
for you can see
I’m giving them away for free.

You stop and pause,
but you come because
it’s me and I am Santa Claus.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik - 2021


Tomorrow starts a new round of the November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge at Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. It is always an exercise of poetic endurance and indeed is a challenge. For those of you who plan on participating, good luck and stay the course.We look forward to reading where we can.

88 thoughts on “PROMPT #358 – FREE


    Freedom is the air that we breath.
    Day and night it flows unabated.

    Inhaled and exhaled.
    Exhaled and inhaled.

    It takes no conscious thought
    to roam about the human race.

    It flows in, through, and out
    of every living being.

    It needs no permission to
    carry out its mission.

    Benjamin Thomas

  2. Happy Sunday morning, all. I’m sorry, but I’m sick. I can’t think, and it hurts my head to even look at the screen. 😦 Un-infectious cyber hugs to you all.

  3. An Afternoon in the Park

    an afternoon in the park is free
    winds from unknown places free

    an island in the streets
    a spread of grass and trees free

    mothers walk children play
    weekend day time is free

    a time of leisure spent
    from burdens of life freed

    ducks in the lagoon take to air
    a vast sky unbound it’s free

    clouds, the visions of lambs and lions drift
    above realities’ constraints endless and free

    a poet’s stance a whisper of dreams
    new lines on the page rise from old refrains, freed

  4. I wrote this poem last December on the date of my rapist funeral. The pandemic was on, but I would not have gone anyway. I would have been too tempted to scream, he raped me… I love his sisters… I could not do that to them. I posted this on facebook and instagram and on Instagram I posted one word free…I knew he would not hurt me anymore… but I would not be in a restaurant looking up to see his sardonic smile.

    I Am Free…

    I am free in a way
    Most of you will never understand.

    I am free from the darkness
    That huddled in my heart.

    I am free from the fear
    That lurked in my mind.

    I am free from the prison
    That kept me chained to darkness.

    I am free as the wind
    That blows through my forest.

    I am free as the stars
    That dance on clear nights.

    I am free to sing
    Those songs of joy I tucked away.

    I am free
    And my life
    Is no longer owned
    By another.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 9, 2020

  5. Walt, I love your Santa spirit, but I fear I feel the Grinch rising in me…. too many years working in child protective services…


    Let’s hope Marie
    will soon be free
    of headaches’ key
    so she will be
    healed up, and we
    will read with glee
    her poetry.

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  8. A Ride On The Ferry

    Climb aboard
    Staten Island ferry
    for free. If you time
    it right, you can catch
    red sundown gleaming
    across the water
    like liquid fire. Wave
    to Ms. Liberty as you
    pass by. She is burdened,
    trying to live up to
    the vision of Emma Lazarus.

  9. Philosophy

    Only we ourselves can free us,
    as no one else can be us.
    What we think, we’ll truly see,
    assume it is and it will be.
    I am living in a lovely life,
    with a more than wonderful wife,
    not fully free of strife,
    but free now, at peace,
    more often than not at ease,
    mostly happy, often joy filled,
    grateful to be word skilled,
    always found in prayer,
    certain I should stay there.

  10. Roommates

    I awoke
    to see
    an NVA soldier
    or was he
    a wounded VC?

    He was
    seven feet from me,
    or was it
    only three?

    He was
    badly hurt,
    wrapped and tied,
    or was he
    really free?

    He was
    the prisoner,
    or was it
    truly me?

    He was
    or dying now,
    trying to get free?

    I awoke
    to see
    my enemy,
    and he was
    actually me.


    You are free.
    You are a flower of Eden.
    Your petals flap freely in the wind,
    like living wings of heavenly fowl.

    You are free.
    Without the shackles of restraint,
    the gloom of high cost,
    or the doom of purchase.

    You are free.
    You are a lily in the valley,
    among thorns and thistles,
    the upmost beauty of the garden.

    Benjamin Thomas

  12. Free to give…

    My vote is free for me to give,
    But I will not sell it
    No matter what your promises are.

    My vote is free for me to give,
    So, stop pandering to me
    With promises you will not keep.

    My vote is free for me to give,
    Promises, Promises Promises,
    Empty words and broken you guessed it promises.

    My vote is free for me to give…
    This is a country not an agenda,
    Run the country fairly and I will vote for you.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 1, 2021

  13. When the Wind Speaks…

    I was four when the wind spoke to me…
    Up in a tree, and as I turned loose
    To walk out on a limb…
    I was free, and light as the air,
    As wind whispered…
    “Be brave.”

    I was lost an alone,
    And I went to a treehouse
    In the middle of the night
    Which hung over a creek,
    And there I cried
    What can I do…
    Who will help me…
    The brushed against me
    As the moon hung
    In an early spring sky…
    It was cold, and
    I had just turned fifteen…
    The Wind spoke,
    “You will be free.
    Trust me.”
    Before the dawn,
    I slipped back
    Into my house
    Without my parents knowing
    Of my nighttime wanderings.

    I was in college,
    And one night I wandered,
    As a rainstorm had ended
    Leaving just the wind…
    I was lost and alone,
    And weary,
    And the wind spoke softly,
    “Follow me, I will make you free.”
    I did do exactly that.

    I am much older, some would say old,
    But my heart is young, and
    The wind still speaks to me,
    I stood under the stars,
    And heard the wind rustle the leaves.
    My heart sang to the wind,
    “Thanks for making me free.”
    I know it is that wind that walks with me,
    Each day and cares for me,
    And I am not alone.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 1, 2021

  14. No Charge

    Night has turned over
    morning now slipping
    ever closer to dawn

    when the concert cracks open
    glittering stars and meteors shower
    past a gauzy All Saints’ moon

    notes racing up and down scales
    from the bandshell beneath
    curving hedge limb and cedar bough

    alto and bass mezzo soprano
    trilling from silver throats wrapped
    in furred mufflers against the frost

    jazz and pop a bit of rock
    trembling windows so that
    I think I see the wolves in Ely

    slinking around the ice slickened trunks
    of bare winter trees almost hear feet padding
    over snow the silence of it deafening as we wait

    for just such a moment as this when
    they look at each other and lift their heads
    in joyous cacophony leaving me

    to try and count these coyote voices
    press against the pane to see yellow eyes
    loping down trail feet stepping into my prints

    from earlier in the day, the lot of us joined:
    wolves, coyotes, woman loving the night
    and this simple camaraderie freely given.

  15. Nothing left to lose blues

    Been at the bottom most of my life…
    Kept my head up
    To keep from drowning in my tears…
    Dignity stolen,
    But no one seems to notice…

    I have nothing left to lose…
    Except my freedom,
    And I am singing the blues…

    Dark skies falling down on me…
    Can’t even see
    As I walk down the track
    Of the tears I have let fall
    But no one seems to hear me…

    I have nothing left to lose…
    Except my freedom,
    And I am singing the blues…

    Sometimes I roll in my bed,
    Dreaming of someone…
    He doesn’t make me cry,
    But here I am crying cause
    For no one sees what alone is like…

    I have nothing left to lose…
    Except my freedom,
    And I am singing the blues…

    The nights seem bluer
    That when the sunlight shines
    Tomorrow will be a good day,
    And I won’t care
    That no one notices me…

    I have nothing left to lose…
    Except my freedom,
    And I am singing the blues…
    Yes, I am singing the blues
    Cause my freedom
    Is not back there…
    It is out there,
    And one day,
    I promise…
    I won’t be losing,
    And I will be free…

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 1, 2021


    I’d love to be free, bump elbows
    with a crescent moon; its moon-dust
    rubbing off against my skin.

    I’d love to go free—surf the surface of
    a celestial sun. Splashing through the heat
    of solar flares.

    I’d love to be set free—travel afar, drink
    liquid of foreign estates, inhale the gas of
    cosmic stars.

    I’d love to be free—wandering without the
    fear of constraint. Unburdened by weight,
    or worry of the pull gravity.

    I’d love to be free, to see the sight of exotic
    nebulae, foreign worlds—Oh, to be hurled to
    galaxies far, far, far away.

    Benjamin Thomas


    Imagination is free.
    You can be whatever you want,
    or desire.

    You can cure world hunger.
    Starve the hunger for war,
    and bloodshed.

    You can see Mount Everest,
    the height of the clouds,
    the depths of the ocean.

    You can be a flying falcon,
    bald eagle, a flittering finch,
    a squawking crow.

    You can be ebullient as water,
    flowing over hills, through
    valleys into raging rivers.

    You can be a magnificent tree.
    Flowering in winter, with roots
    spreading, dancing free.

    You can cease to exist. You can
    be. You can be anything—because
    imagination is always free.

    Benjamin Thomas


    Time is free,
    for a time—until there
    is the need to be redeemed
    at a price, known only
    to the buyer.

    Time is a precious
    commodity; to be treasured—
    measured in kind. To be
    expended orderly, at the
    proper time.

    Time is an elegant mine,
    full of jewels, orbs, gold,
    for us to find—yet not all at once,
    but in due time.

    Benjamin Thomas

  19. Watching Stars Dance

    I remember
    The first shooting star
    I saw…
    I wanted
    To dance
    Across the sky,
    The cosmos
    Brush by me,
    As I flew
    Across the inky black
    Of the night,
    I was
    Free in the thoughts
    Of stars dancing,
    Going out
    In a

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 2, 2021


    My words are free.
    The words that equal poetry.
    The thoughts that abound
    from heart and will;
    but once composed,
    speak—stand still as
    gratuitous poetry.

    Benjamin Thomas

  21. They Told Us We Were Free*

    The south had lost the war…
    The news was spread
    From place to place…
    We were free…

    Word was whispered
    About an owner…
    Who shot those now free
    And as they fell to the ground
    He raged and ranted,
    And those free people
    Ran and hid,
    And left him to lose it all.

    They said we were free,
    But those big farms
    Needed workers,
    And they said
    We would be paid,
    But at the end of the harvest
    We owed money
    For the seed we planted,
    The staples of sugar, flour
    And fatback we bought,
    We rented our tools,
    And even our mule.
    Our homes we rented,
    And even
    Our furniture we didn’t own.
    We were free,
    But nothing else was free.

    They said voting was free,
    But for some it meant
    You had to pass a test
    Which was impossible,
    Or paying a poll tax…
    When we had no money to pay…

    They gave us welfare
    To pay our bills,
    But said we couldn’t
    Live in the same house,
    And we lost touch,
    And my baby’s father
    Don’t come around
    Since he found
    Someone else.
    They say this is freedom,
    But who is fooling who?

    They say get a job,
    But there is no job to get,
    The sign said they were hiring,
    But I walk in, and they are not.
    How can I be free
    When rules keep me down?

    The voices are many…
    They have whispered
    When they have been silenced…
    The voices will continue to speak…
    Until we learn it is not
    Giving money, or righting wrongs
    If we don’t right the wrong,
    That keeps one of us from being free.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 3, 2021

    I am not sure I should have written this poem, but it was the poem that was calling on me to write. This is based on stories I have heard, and on a book of women who were born in slavery, and from my work… So here it is…. MET*

  22. I wish I was free…

    When the storms roll in,
    My head feels the pressure,
    It builds and builds.
    A force of a pressure cooker…
    Until the pain is unbearable.
    My scalp gets bruise sore,
    And I can’t escape…
    But I want to be free…
    Maybe tomorrow the storm will break,
    And the cluster bombs
    In my head will stop
    Blowing up.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 4, 2021

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