Freedom Calls


freedom calls

a bird at night


freedom calls

a bird at dawn


freedom calls

a bird at noon


freedom calls

a bird at dusk


freedom calls

freedom calls


and only a fool

fails to listen




clouds and rain


soft becomes hard

thunder clouds clash

bang together

boom boom

heads toss

sweat glistens

muscles tense

waiting for the coming

of a summer rain




the secret


the old hide the truth

keep our eyes covered

leading blind children

down the path worn

by their fables

until it is too late

to turn back

or choose another way

then the masks come off

and you know

what they already knew

but wouldn't tell you

kick and scream

as you might

there is no rejoinder

you can make

that will set the world right

as you have succumbed

to the lies shouted

from pulpits

and printed in books

and driven home

by teachers and elders

until your head

was full of nails

put there to keep

your lid on

so you would never

boil over into life.




Pennypack Creek


Along the banks of the Pennypack

yesterday is just beyond the bend.

You can look back by turning up river

and disappearing into the tree line,

find a spot where you can't see the road

or the joggers and can barely hear the cars

honking along Roosevelt Boulevard.

Shut your mind. Close your ears.

Let time drift with the current

and you are there, in the past,

listening for black bear in the bushes

watching for Leni Lenape

paddling by in canoes.



Joseph Farley


Bio: Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Waltz of the Meatballs, and Her Eyes.