Sunday, June 01, 2008


The theme this week at One Single Impression is FREEDOM.

Normally I'd create and post a haiga, but nothing's compulsory so I used my freedom to dig out an old poem.


She kept a bird in a gilded cage
He sang so lovely a joy to hear
And she loved her bird in the gilded cage
until people told her it was cruel
to keep a bird in a gilded cage
Birds like yours need their freedom — they said
Set it free, let it roam, let it scavenge for food
So she opened the door of the gilded cage
but the bird stayed inside, sang louder
See — she said to her taunters — he wants to stay
You feed him too well, you are cruel
When the bird grew hungry he left the cage
found food and then returned to the gilded cage
The bird sang louder, happy inside
She was happy too
since the bird returned always to the gilded cage
It was free to roam and free to return
But the bird will one day not return,
find food in another's cage,
sing for the new provider of his food,
sing louder still though the door be shut.


Although composed in 1973 it was first published in Z Miscellaneous (USA) 1987 and subsequently in Lo Straniero (Italy) 1991 and Ultimate Ceasefire (Australia) 1998.

It is also included in my collection Stealing Kisses now available to readers of this blog for the cost of postage only.


  1. A fable or parable in poetry form...thank you Gerald I appreciated that! :D

  2. Of course Gerald, you can join me on the riverboat down the Mississippi! :)

  3. I enjoyed how your poem illustrated how freedom can sometimes be subjective and how people don't always understand why someone would stay when they can go.

  4. What a wonderful tale. Interpretation of freedom is a very subjective thing.

  5. thank you for exercising yr freedom... it is a beauty!