The caged bird

This poem caused a deep excitement the first time I read it. An excitement and a recognition. Being from Africa I’m acutely aware of human rights, about some ‘birds’ being free and others not.

by C Fick

And for me, human rights are encapsulated in the African greeting ‘I see you’. That is profound because the powerful never see the insignificant, or the poor. They become invisible.

THE CAGED BIRD

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.

 

 

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