A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

December 2009
07 May 2012


Freedom of what? Thought and reason;
Floating and circling, free from censorship.
No consideration or barriers,
But a string of words made by one

and meant for one.
No time limit or restriction;
Not pinned down or making to understand;
But the simple act of thinking,
Enclosed and forever sealed.
No sound but still the volume of a life.
No one can stop it;
No thing can quiet it;
No man can perceive it;

Being, living and free.

Roseanna Cooke


Means running without fear
and crying when I feel the tears
Laughing when I am glad
And sympathy when I am sad

To sit and gaze when time is lost
Without counting minutes cost
To gasp with joy at a butterfly's wing
Or hear the glad birds sing

Freedom is to say what's to be said
Without cautious words of someone else's dread
It all adds up I think you will agree
That freedom means being true to me

Cynthia Price

Stevenage Survivors Poetry


Freedom is a state of mind, a kind
of thought, idea or fantasy
that you would like to do or see,
except that when you really see
where this or that has led you to
you are amazed, dazed,
and don't know quite what next to do
that can compare with the glare
of FREEDOM against the Serfdom
you left behind...

For when your free
you've taken all the rights you need.
No need to heed
the the choice of others
or their mothers.
All your choices are yours alone.
It's here that you begin to hone
who you are,
whether you go near or far or
up or down or round and round
and if you choose to look or listen
whatever you hear whatever you see
                                      you're free.
To act or not, for them or those,
or strike an independent pose,
the choice is yours, and yours, and yours - alone

Now the onus is yoked upon us
as freedom does what Freedom will
do you do good? Or do you do ill?
Do all things suffer in your wake?
while you, the wanton, take
the right of freedom to its end
and lose all those you once called friend?
or, does it work you like a charm?
and bid, what ere you do, you do no harm.

Dave Chambers

Newham Writers workshop


I'm free

no prisoner me

what else could I be

since we are we


pure energy





Life's truth


no need for proof

All One

shadow and sun

cloudy and sunny

forlorn and funny

congealed and runny

that's me

how else could it be

I'm free


Wind, rushing towards me

through me, on and on

scented with oceans, deserts

pine and cinnamon

carrying stardust,

city dust, smoke and dead rust

carrying hope

and far-flung tomorrows

trails and seasons that follow

freedom calling

our souls evermore

to be here now -

to let life pour

the winds of time

and space

freely, lovingly,

peacefully on.

Lucia Birch 

Stevenage Survivors


All over the world people's freedom is restricted or plain non-existent. I feel grateful for the freedom we have in this country, especially as a woman. Freedom to vote, to work, to speak freely. These freedoms are enshrined in our democracy and fought hard for by our ancestors in 2 World Wars. I sometimes muse what it would be like to live in another country without our freedoms, maybe another country like Iraq, at war. We see the bombings, the destruction, on our news and I thank God that all this country has known in the last 60 years, is peace - at least on our soil. We have not been free from bombings by the IRA or Al Quaeda or national disasters, but at least people are free to go about their daily business much as they have always done. I think many people take this for granted and fill up their lives with petty grievances and moans.


Freedom to create your dream, your goal.

Good health is freedom.

To have love in your heart for life and others and all life.

Freedom is money to have

to travel

to create

to walk down the road

to have choices

to be oneself

to have secrets, good ones.

Faith in a God

faith in oneself, freedom of expression to express how you feel, to read what you want to read, to go where you want, to write what you feel, to create what you feel. To love who you want to love. To be in nature etc etc etc

Patricia Lewis


A big cave, empty, quiet yet calming.

All noises bright and tall are forever

no more and small.

Day passes in to noon,

the sounds of the birds, the trees, leaves

and distant dreaming are hummed in a long tone.

No more calling or delay in the wind

just a hint of rain is like a love story in a film,

to express it is to find the time to be in a place

like no rest and to know nothing of stress,

no more and no less.

A middle placement, in touch with my north, south, east, and west.

All my traits are sculpted in one soul,

they have been given by a theory to just let go,

be in control and unfold.

The journey is to go on and on,

like this marble in my hand,

which I call the Fate Stone.

Jessica Naully


Freedom to do what's good for me.

Freedom from cultural conditioning of guilt, shame.

Freedom from loyalty.

To be free to decide, to have a choice,

to be able to give myself permission to be free, to love myself.

Not to be bringing unnecessary burdens, not to take others problems on board, to free myself to think and to take advice if I'm confused.

To be free to say no I don't want it, free to think what's in this for me, to be free to hold my confidence.

To be free from things that are not good for me. To be free from things that are bad for me. To be free from manipulators and bullies, to be able to stand up and not be intimidated. To be free to say Back off. Free to stand back.

John Sheehy


To walk alone without fear

to walk away without fear

to cut the tie that binds without fear

to not do things that damage the soul

to wander where I choose

away from abusers users and

toxic skyscrapers

looking down on me

to walk freely down the path

I choose good or bad

to learn remembering

I have a choice

to not go into environments

that cause anger, rage, pain

Silence without fear

free to stop the course where it is

not letting them down if

I don't return

I can be replaced

Freedom to walk away without fear

allow the child to explore

find, search, seek, be where I am

now holding

a blue stone in the palm of

my right hand

bus breathes

a whale,

I'm in the sea floating freely

free free free

freedom from the bondage of self

other self other

to wander wonder walk away

without regrets not easy

but possible to choose to continue

the damage or walk away

without fear

freedom to sneeze bless U

and sneeze again bless U

freedom to stop.

Alyson Torns


In the classroom my seat I take,

outside position by work of fate,

One by one the circle gathers round,

By promise of Reiki and healing they are bound.

Now formed, the circle's ready for liberation,

only two glaring eyes mark my incarceration,

O let them go from more to more,

Let my scepticism be shown the door.

For the world is vast and the people are many,

let I not be aghast when each coin isn't a penny.

Twas better to have hurt and healed,

than never to have hurt at all!


Freedom is something we all wish for but we never really get it. We are all bound by circumstances around us whether its work, imprisonment or company but then when we are free we spend it on TV or hobbies or with others because we feel this is how we should spend our free time but really this is an addiction to an activity so we are still never really free.

I think the idea of Freedom is what we seek and not freedom itself.

Freedom in my mind

Meditation to me I gather so much with shutting off from the real world. Calmness peacefulness tranquillity I shut my eyes the soft sound of the music brings joy and happiness I picture myself floating above to the wonders of trickling water soft clouds above taking me into another place of harmony, I lose all my frustrations and I fill myself with good and wonderful times floating with me.

A Black Knight on a horse which watches over me the endless energies around my body fade into a heaven of highness trees waterfalls so quiet as the music slows my body is so peaceful relaxed and makes things that every one of us should have peace of mind a world of joy laughter and of course kindness to all mankind - The world is such a lovely place but the humans have taken all this away from our precious time on Earth

Janet Humphreys


Kill my freedom

and feed it to the dogs -

I won't come back

I want you strong

Tunes fade away

no voice to speak

a wingless bat

will get a kick

To look at night

no need for fire

a strong desire to admire

a single step in depth

Svetlana Sajeaidak


As a child, freedom
was tempered with love,
As a teen-ager
I marched for freedom,
As a woman
I respected the rights of others,
As a mother
freedom was a threat,
As an older citizen
I fear the government
that goes to war
sends troops abroad
and wonder what for?
young men in their prime
fathers and sons
on foreign soil
armed with guns.

Is a million miles away.


Flight of Two Worlds

Freedom thus unfurled

In flight of outstretched pinions

Trapped in earthly sky

Till only death delivers,

The key that opens heaven.

Jan Hedger


Farewell old friend

Farewell old friend

Be free, go fly

Now you're unbound

Your whole the eye

Through which to see

The world anew

Go fly, be free

Old friend, adieux

In loving memory of Fred Rose (died 11/11/2003)

Ashley Jordan


A Circus

Mysterious coincidences,

Connecting us all,

Karmic strands

Stretched across

Space and time,

Criss-crossing below us

To catch us if we fall,

Tethering us into roles

We need to play,

Lives we must live

In order to grow.

It is when we feel most

Trapped that we are closest

To being free.

It is our fear of true freedom,

And the responsibility it will bring,

That holds us.

Actors all,

Some reserved and holding back,

Waiting for knowledge,

Insight, their moment.

Others brash and confident,

Sure of the part they are to play.

We tread the boards together.

Intricate plots,

Scenes within

Scenes within


A circus

Ashley Jordan




And three is in the essence of an Irish riddle,

(three being the Trinity, three being one more and

much less than the number you first thought of).

So what are the three freedoms ?:

the 'threedom'to say what you want,

even tongue twisters,

the freedom to want what you say

and for safety sake keep on wanting,

the freedom from safe keeping.

Bruce Barnes

Friend of TheFED


"No?" She asked incredulous.

He looked up from what he had been doing, pretending to do.

"No." He said flatly.

"What do you mean no? That's it, just no?"


He could tell by the look on her face she was going to insist. He felt a flurry of anxiety in his belly wanting to spread. He did not let it.

"We're not even going to talk about it?"

"Talk about what?" He felt a coldness spreading in him. Anxiety turning to a low grade fear. It angered him. He could tell she was anxious too, afraid. It did not make anything better.

"I want to take a little break. That's all. I feel so..." She groped. "Stifled I guess."

"I heard what you said."

"I know damn well you did." She replied hotly.

"And I said no."

"Why?" She was honestly at a loss. "It wouldn't be forever.  Probably."

She was going to force it, at least the talking about it. He did not want to talk about it. He felt suddenly hot, his temper close. He wanted to yell. He wanted to smash things. He did not want to talk about it. He bit down, checked himself.

"Because." He said finally.

"Because." She said contemptuously.

His anger flashed. "Yeah. Because. I'm not sitting here waiting for you to make up your mind. Hanging by a thread. You're in or you're out."

"I just want to do some things on my own. That I don't get to do."

"What don't you get to do?" He flared and her eyes flared back. They both looked away knowing where that would go.

"Look. I'm not waiting for you to come back and then run into you somewhere with someone else. Or have Doug or Gerry tell me they saw you with someone else. I am not sitting here like a Goddamn fool. You understand? I won't do it. You're in or you're out. We make it work or we call it quits for good."

He looked directly at her, and she at him for a long time. Then she looked away and nothing more was spoken of it.

That night, in bed, they lay back to back. Each very aware of the other.  It was a very long time before either of them slept.

Thomas Ritchie


Price of freedom

He wasn't the brightest bloke

But in some things he was clever

And he had a huge heart

Had my friend Trevor

And when it came to loyalty

Trevor was the best

When his country called

His loyalty was put to the test.

They gave him a uniform

A gun and a tin hat

Shipped him overseas

A soldier; fighting in Iraq.

He did his job with pride

And he did it really well

But he said that this place

Must be very close to hell.

And when he lost his legs

To a bomb near Baghdad

He'd really served his country

Given more than most had.

They nursed him for a while

Sent him to Headley Court

Then they forgot our Trevor

And how hard he'd fought.

Now he's fighting for some compo'.

For simply doing his loyal bit.

From a government that sent him

And who now, don't give a shit.

This is one of several poems I included in a book sold to help funds for the soldiers Christmas party

Jim White

Growing old

Two dry leaves are playing

hide and seek on the street.

Grey beads of days

create a necklace.

Peaceful feeling

about not attracting

anybody anymore.

Freedom, more freedom

I ever wished for.

"Today are only few things

which could hurt me."

He sounded good when he said:

"Last Sunday I threw a weapon into the lake."

"Was it frozen?"

"Nobody nowhere" isn't about me.

Why I feel so soft hearted then?

Marie Neumann



When I sat upon the bench

behind the rows of machinery

I dreamed of all the things

that I would rather be.

I heard the rumble from above

the traffic on the highway

down in the basement factory girls

like me, were looking for the rainbow.

The rush when day was over

so much there was to do

the childrens' wants were foremost

the days just simply flew.

Retirement made things easy

no looking at the clock

time was mine to squander

then "Freedom" turned to mock.

From here within my wheelchair

my independance gone

for freedom is a nonsense

"Old age" is just a con.

Sally Flood

Newham Writers

The Seeds are Sown - The Berlin Wall

"Freedom" the cry goes up
the gate is open
the exodus has been completed
and Germany is once more a nation.

I feel the tears sting my eyes
a fear perhaps from the past
hatred built on past events,
I remember another people
who cried for freedom
as gates fenced them in
on all sides.
Memories from my childhood.

My people herded like cattle
exterminated like lice
perhaps even worse
experimented on like guinea pigs,
children pulled from their mothers' arms
ears were deaf to their cries;
Germany has much to answer for.

And now fifty years on
their children cry and are heard,
The world rejoices
but my heart cannot forget,
The nightmare remains.

This poem was first published in a book by the Basement Writers "Joined up Writing" 1990

Sally Flood

Newham Writers

Flower of the Mountain

I would grow beside the cool crystal water

To bear witness to the birth of its being

With its orchestration of musical sound

Pure and sweet in its joy of living

Tumbling and twisting and rushing to be

A winding river that leads to the sea

I would unfurl mine eye to meet the sun

And there in its light an eagle is soaring

With powerful ease and beauty sublime

Bronzed and golden wings far- reaching

Rising and falling and proud to be

Untamed, unfettered and wild like me

For the flower I'd be, is the person I am

A seasoned survivor through adversity

With delicate strength of gentian blue

Uncomplicated in my simplicity

Alone, but oh; never lonely am I

In such beauty, at one with the sky

Jan Hedger



My fingers are torn and bleeding

My skin has shrunk to my bones

I have no strength, such is my hunger

Starvation is cruel and unyielding

And the cold, always the cold

There is no heat here in Ho8

'The tunnels below the earth.'

I swing my pick axe, and a

Small piece of rock falls at my feet

It is not enough; they are angry

The blows from their sticks

Fall upon my shoulders

I tell myself I am immune!

But I am not, and it hurts

I feel unbearable pain

Would my mama recognise me now?

The once proud son she bore?

I think not; I cry out for her

Mama, mama! And they beat me once more.

Close by an explosion echoes

Showering us in red sandstone dust

Now we are not so different

Brothers; eyes locked in fear

For they have a mama too.

The heavy sound of footsteps

Cuts into the moment; they are panicking

I am hauled to my feet

And forced to join the slow moving ranks

Of the lost souls of men

Slaves of the German Third Reich

Leaving their dead behind.

The passage is long and the way unstable

An old man slips and falls

Amongst the polished boots

Desperately his fingers clasp my ankle

He calls to me 'Comrade, I beg of you'

I ignore him and shake him free

In my single-mindedness to reach the light.

Oh! Such bitter sweet relief

To taste the sweet, sweet air

I close my eyes and am lost in its freedom

My mind elsewhere; I see papa!

Working the land of my birth

But no; it is the old man that is there!

Oh my papa! My papa! Forgive me!

I couldn't help him! Dear God, I couldn't help him!

And as the evening sky descends upon me

I fall to my knees in repentance

My darkness is absolute.

Footnote; This poem is for all those who suffered, and for those who lost their lives in the construction of the 'Hohlsgangsanlagen' - What we know today as The Jersey War Tunnels/Underground Hospital - During the German occupation of the Channel Islands.

Jan Hedger


Red Kite

'Look my son! Look

There's a kite flying high'

'Where Daddy, where?

Let me see!

But it has no string,

No tail of red ribbons

It has no one controlling its flight'

'Ah, no my son, it needs no string

No tail of red ribbons

No hand controlling its flight

For it's a kite of the air

A kite that is free'

Jan Hedger


Just a Pebble

I am just a pebble

upon the rocky shore

A pebble amongst pebbles

lost and insecure

No home have I

no one to love

Just a pebble amongst pebbles

upon the rocky shore.

The sea it washes over me

cools me from the sun

my only chance of freedom

I have no legs to run

to catch it as it leaves me

just a pebble amongst pebbles

upon the rocky shore.

Jan Hedger




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