Being the land's reply to the sea - see note below
This is where your freedom ends, the land
said to the sea. My cliffs and beaches are
the bounds you sometimes go beyond,
tsunami-style, but even that
is down to me,
my shuffling of plates.
I am the prestidigitator of your fate.
you lie on me and when I stir,
turn in my sleep,
heave up my restless back
or cough, you are the one who's spilt.
You may occasionally push me back
an inch, a foot or two, a meter now and then,
but what have you achieved?
A dislodged rock, a heap of pestled chalk?
At other times you are constrained
by forces from outside:
by winds and moon,
the drivers of your tides.
Our so-called freedoms are illusory, my friend,
for freedom speaks of self determinance, the lack
of interference, states of minimal restraint;
yet still you nibble at my shores.
Your vaunted freedom is to roam at will;
my liberty, the right to stay
inviolate. Impossible, are both.
We play around the edges,
neither of us having what we crave:
the freedom to make choices.
This poem was suggested by Jim at The Truth About Lies in his comments on my earlier poem Said the Ocean to the Shore Jim mentioned that he had been expecting the Land to reply. The remark was picked up.
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