Category Archives: identity

Truly Free – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo (found on everipedia.org): Inside the former HM Maze Prison (formerly known as Long Kesh Detention Centre) in Northern Ireland where during the 1970s the British forces interned both IRA and Loyalist prisoners, and in 1981 where Bobby Sands (along with nine other prisoners) died while on hunger strike at the age of 27. The Prison has since been demolished except for a portion retained as historical. Part of the former prison was offered for use by the Eikon Centre for events.

“They may hold our bodies in the most inhuman conditions, but, while our minds are free, our victory is assured.” Bobby Sands

Truly Free

Prison walls incarcerate only those 
who willingly surrender their minds
in easy rapprochement, but the minds
who can transcend the ill facade with
songs of solidarity on their lips, and 
poems of promise in their hearts,  
prophesying to the end of evil; that is 
the mind no longer held, they are truly 
free, even in the last breath.


Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Filed under Free Verse, history, identity, injustice, life, poem, politics, protest, quote

The Big Questions – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: shutterstock.com

“…. identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results.” Judith Butler

The Big Questions

What are the narratives that matter most of all,
how do they form and shape our fragile lives,
and, when do we know ourselves as ourselves,
is fate our lot or, is fate a story about our lot.

How do they form and shape our fragile lives
these harbingers of unseen inner truths,
is fate our lot or, is fate a story about our lot,
what is it that we think we know of knowing.

These harbingers of unseen inner truths,
we must learn to live with what we have created,
what is it that we think we know of knowing,
is this the demise rooted in our blindness.

We must learn to live with what we have created,
and, when do we know ourselves as ourselves,
is this the demise rooted in our blindness,
what are the narratives that matter most of all?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Allowing Ourselves – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: found at shutterstock.com

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hilary

Allowing Ourselves

Changing our relationship with the past,
refusing to keep it alive in the present,
the embers of yesterday are passing,
allowing ourselves to dwell in possibility.

Refusing to keep it alive in the present,
not letting the incomplete shape us,
allowing ourselves to dwell in possibility,
accepting the strange value of ambiguity.

Not letting the incomplete shape us,
stepping back from self-defeat and doubt,
accepting the strange value of ambiguity,
creatively embracing silent imperfections.

Stepping back from self-defeat and doubt,
the embers of yesterday are passing,
creatively embracing silent imperfections,
changing our relationship with the past.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under awareness, creativity, dreams, identity, life, Pantoum, poem, psychology, quote

The Watcher’s Questions – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse, Linda is hosting Open Link Night where we are invited to post a poem of our choice.

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night

Photo: Southern ocean, off Augusta.

“I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.” Edward Abbey

The Watcher's Questions

Did it matter that the day was grey, that rain might come?
I watch the tide come and go and I have no part in it
other than as a watcher of waves and birds. 
The morning birds are fast and noisy, they always seem to
want to be somewhere, perhaps they are hungry or simply
seeking new horizons. One gull flew past, and I'm certain 
s/he looked intently at me as if to ponder my inner thoughts.

Why did I choose this place of two tides where birds come
and go? The seem so free, and yet the eye may not see that
in fact they are more like me. I feel that I know them,
knowing their searching. Where might it end? I wonder just
how I would I feel if the birds missed a beat on their 
morning venture, and what does that say about me? What is
my beat, and where am I in this moment?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under identity, life, mindfulness, nature, poem, quote

Hopeful Fire – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: istockphoto.com

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” Rumi

Hopeful Fire

Passers by as books unread, their pages unturned,
unnoticed icons in microcosms of suburban worlds
drifting typecast in local dramas of someone else's,
while I'm running erratically full of hopeful fire.

Unnoticed icons in microcosms of suburban worlds,
that vertiginous challenge of self-making ex nihilo,
while I'm running erratically full of hopeful fire
past the the vendors of pleasures and values.

That vertiginous challenge of self-making ex nihilo,
tearing up my mundane existence playing out
past the vendors of pleasures and values
who pedal their own sad delusions of fantasy.

Tearing up my mundane existence playing out,
drifting typecast in local dramas of someone else's 
who pedal their own sad delusions of fantasy,
passers by as books unread, their pages unturned.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under identity, life, Pantoum, passion, poem, quote

The Theft Of Truth – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo” A statue of Captain James Cook stands in Sydney’s Hyde Park on August 25, 2017, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelled calls to change colonial-era monuments and the date of Australia Day, in attempts to better reflect the country’s indigenous past, as a ‘Stalinist’ exercise in re-writing history. A cultural debate intensified this week when prominent indigenous commentator Stan Grant dubbed the inscription “Discovered this territory 1770”, on a Sydney statue of 18th century British explorer Capitan James Cook, a “damaging myth”. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST

“But the fear and contempt for Aboriginal people and culture, which perpetuated the lie of “Terra Nullius” for more than two centuries, is deeply institutionalised and far from quashed.” Sharon Collins

The Theft Of Truth 

His brass visage looked out to the 
east without emotion or recognition,
his eyes were dead much like his 
vision of a world his own,
a sparrows nest of lies and 
make-believe, all self-possessed,
like a smug little advert offering
heaven for a pfennig on a Sunday,
wild claims of the miraculous
wrapped in manure and given to 
a king as proof of something not
his to give or own and denying life
as it was, overlooking history before
him and claiming it was all his for 
the taking, denying breath and blood
despite the very rich history of 
plus 40,000 years of occupation
by the very real and first among us
in Gondwana, you thief of life
and meaning and all who have 
worshipped at your feet, be
damned.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: Captain James Cook on an expedition navigated Australia’s east coast in 1770 which paved the way for British occupation. In 1776, January 26th Captain Arthur Phillip claimed sovereignty by the British crown over Australia. January 26th continues to be celebrated as “Australia Day” which remains a lie that denies the existence of Australia’s First Nations people. The High Court has ruled Terra Nullius” is indeed an obvious lie, but the process of undoing two centuries of entrenched racism is proving to be very difficult. While Cook contributed much to our understanding of the geography of the world, he also played his part in denying First Nation peoples their rightful place. Terra Nullius is Latin meaning “land belonging to no one.” Hence the lie.

Video: Midnight Oil feat. Jessica Mauboy and Tasman Keith “First Nation”

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Filed under Free Verse, history, identity, Indigenous, injustice, life, Native Title, poem, quote, Racism, Stolen Generation

Je m’accuse (I Accuse Myself) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – The Other side

VJ has invited us to write from the other side, which involves us reflecting and writing from a perspective of ourselves.

Image: found on pinterest.com

“Self-doubt imprisons those that never overcome it.” Obiora Embry

Je m'accuse (I Accuse Myself)

The darkened cell shrinks and enlarges 
with every swing of the yellowed light
overhead while my hands are restless
upon the greasy table as my narrowed 
eyes stare back at me, interrogating my 
every emotion, there is nowhere to hide,
I know myself even when I don't, at 
least I know that which I most want to 
deny of myself; what is this rage that
coddles within me when it suits, to
justify my wounded, fragile self, by 
hurting others, of this I accuse myself,
of this I absolve myself, I reach for 
water and begin again.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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We Walk Together – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: found on quora.com

“Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the centre.” Kurt Vonnegut

We Walk Together

I didn't set out to be different or
to speak plainly, or set myself apart but,
the people and places I inhabit are the
geographies of the borderlands, life at the 
margins, where camel hair is fashionable
and locust with wild honey is a delicacy,
and truth pales to insignificance where
unspoken trust is second nature and no
one is judged for being themselves
because, although we walk in different 
directions, we walk together on the 
fringes of life.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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The Question – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: found on pinterest.com.au

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to se me.” Ralph Ellison

The Question

When did someone last 
speak to you in sounds of love,
with eyes of invitation
and tones of welcome
that broke the dam of your
invisibility that overwhelms,
when did you last tell your 
story outside of yourself to
a world of someone who
listened to your deep?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Her Warrior Code – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Warrior

Photo: found on pinterest.com

“She wasn’t looking for a knight, she was looking for a sword.” Atticus

Her Warrior Code

In the fog faintly came a path,
a clarity of who into doing,
born of the finest of blades,
a natal instinct so sharp it
would pass through love
unharmed, undivided, yet
the slightest sting, the steely 
eye, the voiced tone, just as the 
cradle rocked out she desired 
to nail the dissonance
arraigned against her sacrifice
of flesh to breath for a 
posterity of loved immortality,
birthed in a raw need to  not
be alone in the rags of polished
lies of promises long laughed
as known deceptions of self
flaunted as normal, but no,
she floated past the asphyxia
and sliced through the harm
laden treacle of judgement,
her warrior code carrying her
sacred child to templed life.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, identity, life, poem, quote, relationship