I made it through the crowd,

Bleary-eyed and proud.

It took me moments to regain my composure,

For only moments earlier I was caught in the jostle of human opinions and emotions,

Trying to find my way free of the oppressive shoulders that were pushing me away,

And the hands that whipped out from all directions

Trying to sway my balanced approach.

Forthright, my intent fixed beyond the sea of faces,

I strove to carve a line of reason through the mire.

Then I stumbled on a stone, falling to one knee

Angry faces forming a canopy over me.

For a moment I was alone as if in a dark wood, vulnerable,

My footing lost, my flame flickering and guttering,

My will bent and coerced into submission.

Then I remembered my voice, I re-mustered my intent

And with an almighty shout I got to my feet

Forcing the leering expressions away with my defiant palms,

Sending my aggressors backwards, toppling with the shock

Of my repost; and I strode on as before with my eyes fixed on

Freedom, with open mind and open heart,

And a very large bat to strike the rocks from beneath my feet.

17 thoughts on “The Madding Crowd

    1. πŸ™‚ Absolutely right. You know where I grew up in the armpit of London there was a pub called the Ship which was exactly like that, not that I ever went in there, far too scary. Besides I was only a kid at the time. No by the time I reached drinking age (16..but don’t tell anyone!), I’d moved from the armpit to the nose-hole! πŸ˜‰


      1. I only ever use a few forms other than free verse: haiku, tanka, quatrain, and iambic pentameter. I’ve taken free verse poems and re-written them in iambic to surprising results. I always have to re-word everything, and end up with pieces I like better. I once started an entire series of “urban contemporary” poetry using quatrains. Some folks encouraged me to continue, but … meh.

        Still, there’s something interesting about the contrast between free-flowing thought and restrictive metering.


        1. I used to adhere to strict poetic forms when I was really young, and also when I was writing songs, where rhythm and meter is crucial because you’re weaving words with music. But I found that if I didn’t think about it too much and let the words flow that they would find their own natural rhythm and meter based on how I perceived the intent and energy within them.


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