4 Square Conference

I am my own Jailer

(I wrote this yesterday on the train between Frankfurt and Dresden)


calling softly
so that no one will hear
my voiceless cry for freedom

i am my own jailer
i have locked myself
in a prison of goals
and have thrown the key
beyond reach
like the expectations
that cuff my wrists

I would eagle glide
if I found the gusts of wind
to lift me tiptoe
to tilt me onto downward slope
with seagull swoop
with fred astair slide
with peter pan joy

i am my own junk-collector
an iron monger
who buys but never sells
heavy trinkets
and shackles
that rattle out
the jingles
of my self-promises
and pathetic chants
for someOne
to buy me
the load
i have sold myself
but i would skip
if someone traded
my funnels for a filter
my anchors for air
i would jump
with antelope stride
with ballet grace
with michael jordan float
with bungee whoosh
if someOne
would trade
my tonnage for training wheels
that hold my lean
a tow rope to forwards nudge
a yoke to govern
the pace of peaceful paths
a rhythm recorded
by Another
less driven
than i

i am the master than throws the stick and
i am the dog that fetches it
i am my own fagan and
i am a hundred oliver twists
i am my own gravedigger
and i am the first volunteer
to fill the hole
when the mourners
have left

I would trade my
backyard of broken projects
for an empty field
with buried pearl
of promise
that there is an easy way
a wind to fill my back
eagles wings
to raise me


I Am My Own Jailer,
by Andrew Jones

The phrase "calling softly so no one will hear" is inspired by a similar phrase from Dylan Thomas.
This poetic prayer, if i can call it that, is a response to the encouraging words given to me by the 4-Square people in Germany, a few of them saying that God wants me to glide like an eagle, and that i should not work so hard but take it easy.
Good words. Good advice. May God hear my prayer and remember me.
Andrew Jones, Jan 30th, 2003