Variations on ‘Caged Bird’

163 photo 163_zpsc8a0516a.jpg
Each little poem-breath begins with a phrase purloined from Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird.” Maya Angelou died on 28 May 2014.

~~ 1 ~~
On the grave of dreams
place a thousand paving stones—
let no wraiths escape.
~~ 2 ~~
the fat worms waiting
as the tractor keeps plowing—
hundred-acre field
~~ 3 ~~
on the distant hill
a fireworks launch at bedtime
children ooh and ah
~~ 4 ~~
the back of the wind
carrying a pungent scent
through my open door
~~ 5 ~~
with a fearful trill
and flapping of sturdy wings
cormorant nabs fish
~~ 6 ~~
Through the sighing trees
a lean and fluid roebuck
flees the hunter’s bow.
~~ 7 ~~
Till the current ends,
I have no need to propel
my raft with a pole.
~~ 8 ~~
He opens his throat,
spilling out jovial notes,
gracing all who hear.
~~ 9 ~~
Through his bars of rage
he glimpses freedom’s terrain—
one breath out of reach.
~~ 10 ~~
In the orange sun
seven crows chase each other,
crying raucously.
~~ 11 ~~
of another breeze
piping countless melodies—
why the caged bird sings

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #204
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 163

Posted on June 1, 2014, in 5-7-5, Maya Angelou, The Poetry Pantry, The Sunday Whirl and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. What a fine tribute to a great lady. It is funny that your readers tend to pick a favorite and for me this week it is No. 6 with the fleeing Roebuck with the evocative first line.

  2. All of them are about movement and action, freedom is both of those things. A wonderful way to remember a fine writer and a special woman,


  3. The fat worms waiting for the tractor is a brilliant, almost defiant image…we must always embrace our the great woman said…unique and ever so slightly surreal tumble of words..would really like to see what you see in order to come out with these verses..

  4. Brilliant! Your breath poems leaving me breathless this morning!

  5. Beautiful set… and a well thought tribute to Maya Angelou.
    I specially liked the sixth and the tenth one. Vivid and powerful.

  6. I liked all of these very much, in fact, not one more than the other.

  7. Oh how I would love to be on a raft that was being carried along by a current. My kind of rafting! Smiles. A nice set of haiku again this morning.

  8. lovely, lovely, active expressions and tribute

  9. A very wonderful tribute.

  10. A beautiful set of images, loved the last line.

  11. Number 10 is my favourite. Well done on them all!

  12. I love this, especially as I just heard Maya Angelou quote from this poem on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday….”but the caged bird sings of freedom.” You know, I had never thought of the worms waiting to be cut, when looking at a tractor in a field before. Ouch. LOVE the idea of floating on the current and not needing the pole yet. Strong image, the “bars of rage”…..Your haiku always offer deep, rich nuggets!

  13. Each is a beauty, from wraiths all the way to countless melodies.Tender tribute to Maya, thank you so much. All in a tidy compression of only 11 this time.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Thank you! Only 11 this time, because one of the poems (I forget which one) contains two Wordle words.

      On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 2:08 PM, Magical Mystical Teacher wrote:


  14. Lovely series of haiku ~ not sure which I like best ~ all well done ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  15. I love Maya Angelou and appreciate your take.
    I have ‘I know why the caged birds sings’ tattooed on my arm. 🙂

  16. I found your haikus piquant.

  17. Love #10. Reminds me the game of tags. #11 Good one! Why? So many reasons… 🙂

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